A month ago, at my 14-year-old daughter’s college interview, I was asked to define success. As a parent, success for me is: to see my daughter happy, doing what she passionately loves; growing and finding who she is; and always keeping her love for learning.
By the time Jen was 2, and already reading, I knew she was gifted and had a unique learning style. In the first two weeks of preschool, I saw Jen’s love and excitement for learning vanishing, because a teacher told her “Preschoolers do not read; you need to learn your shapes and colors first”. I knew we would have a high mountain to climb.
Kindergarten was a similar experience. At this time we found out about the Davidson Institute for Talent Development in Reno, Nev. Jen applied for and was accepted as a Young Scholar (YS) in 2001. And this is when the climb of the steep mountain became easier and we actually were able to enjoy it.
The Davidson Institute has given us a community to belong to, a place to share and learn from others. If I have questions about anything from parenting and schooling to simply finding a good book to read, I just need to post it to one of the many eLists and by the end of the day I will have a few wonderful suggestions.
The Davidson Institute has given us a team of professionals who are just a phone call away, always there for us to advise, educate, advocate and help in any way to solve many of the challenges of raising a gifted child.
The Davidson Institute has given us a family to have around, to share and vent, laugh and cry with; a family who understands and listens without judging and nagging; a family that is always there for us.
For the 10 years the program has existed, it has not only helped individual families like ours, but it has opened the eyes of educators all over the country and has created a new awareness and better understanding of the needs of gifted children
My words are not strong enough to express our gratitude to Bob and Jan Davidson for sharing their lives with us. All I know is that the climb of the steep mountain would have been impossible without them.