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Westside 8th grader headed to state geography bee

Posted at 7:02 AM, Mar 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-13 08:03:29-04

Maya Johnson is putting herself on the map by knowing every map better than anyone else in District 66. 

"I read a whole bunch of facts and videos, various books about the United States," the 8th grader said. 

The wiz kid is top of her class when it comes to history and geography and she is doing it all as an adolescent with autism. 

"Maya is what we would consider twice exceptional, so yes she is on the spectrum but she has talents and gifts in other areas like History and Geography where she absolutely shines," Kristen Job, the gifted and talented coordinator in the Westside District, said. 

At the beginning of the semester, a 45-question test was used narrow down the competitors to the district-wide geography bee. Those two competitions were whittled down to the top two "remarkably quick," according to Job. 

"Maya knew everything, there were a couple that tripped her up but she got the most right to qualify for the state bee," Job said. 

The state geography is April 6 and there Maya will compete against more than 100 others from around Nebraska. 

"My parents are say they are really proud of me and that they hope I do great and stuff. And my friends are also proud of me too," Maya said, "and I know I'm really proud of myself."