Vanessa's Story

Includes living in a rural area, homeschooling, accelerated online classes, Duke’s Talent Identification Program (TIP), the annual Young Scholar Summit.






The Davidson Young Scholars (YS) Program has benefited our daughter and our family in more ways than we ever imagined, and we are so grateful such a unique program is available to us.

Living in a mostly rural area in southern Alabama, educational programs and opportunities for highly gifted/profoundly gifted children are very rare and limited, to say the least. We pulled our daughter out of public school at the end of fourth grade, because we felt the school wasn’t addressing her academic needs and because homeschooling would give us the opportunity to select courses for her from different grade levels.

Thanks to our daughter’s participation in the YS program, she has been able to take multiple in-depth and accelerated (online) courses that meet her educational needs, and attend and participate in high-quality educational programs she would otherwise have no access to because of cost, geography and other factors.

Last year, at the age of 12, she scored high enough on her ACT for Duke’s Talent Identification Program (TIP) State Recognition and to qualify to participate in this year’s Duke TIP Summer Studies program. This year’s score on the SAT indicates that she is ready for college-level work.

In addition to the valuable educational benefits, our daughter immensely enjoys meeting and socializing with other YS and YS families at the annual Summit or informal gatherings, where she feels completely understood and accepted for who she is.

For me, the parent, the best part is being able to speak freely with others about my daughter and her needs, to share experiences with other YS moms and dads, and to give and receive virtual handholding support, when needed.

I cannot stress enough how wonderful the support of the Davidson Institute and other YS families has been. The YS program provides an incredible resource to families like mine and we are fortunate to have found such a great community of caring and competent people for our daughter and for us.

Programs mentioned in this story:
Young Scholars
Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP)

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