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What We Do

In 2000 former educational software entrepreneurs, the Davidsons, founded the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a nonprofit operating foundation, out of a concern that our nation’s most gifted and talented young people are largely neglected and underserved.  The mission of the Davidson Institute is to recognize, nurture and support profoundly intelligent young people and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference.

In order to fulfill this mission, the Davidson Institute offers the following to support profoundly intelligent young people, their families and the educators that serve them:

  • Young Scholars: An individualized, family-oriented program that supports the educational and developmental needs of profoundly intelligent young people between the ages of 5 and 18. This program assists parents and students with academic support and educational advocacy, child and adolescent development, and talent development.
  • Fellows: Fellows scholarships recognize young people 18 and under for completing a significant piece of work that has the potential to make a positive contribution to society in one of the following areas: science, technology, mathematics, music, literature, philosophy, or any other college graduate-level work considered outside the box. Fellow Laureates are awarded $50,000 scholarships, and Davidson Fellows are awarded either a $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship.
  • Summer Programs:
    • STARS Summer Camp: A five day residential summer program focused on supporting the academic and social needs of Young Scholars, ages 8 – 11.
    • REACH Summer Seminar: An academically challenging 10-day residential experience among intellectually peers for our Young Scholars, ages 11 – 13.
    • THINK Summer Institute: A three-week residential summer program on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno for 13- to 16-year-old students. These students are enrolled in university-level courses taught by University faculty and earn college credits that may be transferable.
  • Explore: Qualified gifted students, ages 9-13, can enrich their education by taking advanced middle school Explore courses online adapted from the Davidson Academy’s rigorous curriculum. Different than other online courses, this year-long middle school gifted program helps students develop their academic and social skills by giving them a platform to learn at their academic level.
  • Resource Library: This library features the weekly Davidson Gifted Blog, free guidebooks, support for educators and more to help students, parents and educators pinpoint gifted information.
  • Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting our Bright Young Minds co-authored by Jan and Bob Davidson, with Laura Vanderkam was published in 2004 by Simon & Schuster. This award-winning book has generated conversations throughout the nation about the importance of educating our nation’s brightest students.

Davidson Academy
In 2006, the Davidson Academy Reno Campus opened as the first free public school of its kind for profoundly gifted students with classes grouped by ability, not age. In 2017, the Academy launched an accredited Online Campus for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. The Davidson Academy offers a rigorous middle and high school level curriculum for exceptionally gifted students ages 9 and up who can learn and interact with same-age, intellectual peers.