HARVEST, Ala. (WHNT) - A 14-year-old from Harvest will represent Alabama at the 26th annual National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C., May 19-21. Christian Gonzalez is one of just 54 competitors remaining out of the millions who participated nationwide. The eighth-grade homeschool student has devoted thousands of hours to preparing for the competition. Gonzalez says, "I created a plan where you have to go through a certain number of countries per day and learn the capitals, major cities...major imports and exports of every country."
For the National Geographic Bee, there is no study outline, no reference guide on what may be asked. Students are simply told to study the world. For Christian's mother, Laura Gonzalez, the magnitude of the task makes his achievement of state finalist all the more rewarding. "We're really just full of joy for him to be able to accomplish what he did," she says.
Now the family is looking ahead to the national competition. They leave for Washington, D.C Sunday. On Monday, the 54 finalists will be narrowed down to ten. The remaining contestants will compete on May 21. The winner will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos. The second and third-place finishers will be awarded college scholarships of $25,000 and $10,000 respectively.