A 16-year-old student from Baton Rouge was recently named the best in the U.S. at Microsoft Excel and he could earn even higher accolades at an international competition next month.
Fariz Firdausi, of Baton Rouge Magnet High, beat a total of 365,000 students to earn the top honor at the U.S. championship in Orlando earlier this month. He won $3,000 for the award.
"I was confident, but I didn't want to place all my bets before anything could happen," Firdausi said after the award ceremony.
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He previously won the Louisiana state championship to qualify for national competition. Firdausi will compete at the world championship in New York City from July 28 to 31. More than 150 finalists from 40 countries will face off in New York City next month.
Participants are given a printed copy of a document or spreadsheet, which they then have to recreate. They are scored based on their accuracy.
"I've used the Office program for most of my life because we've always had a computer in the home," Firdausi said. "But in class, in accounting 1, we started practicing with geometrics and that's how I got certified to compete in this program."