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What We Do

After piloting a support program for 15 profoundly gifted youth and their families in 1999, former educational software entrepreneurs, the Davidsons, formally founded the Davidson Institute for Talent Development a year later. The nonprofit operating foundation was created 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: A free source of resources and general support for families with a profoundly intelligent child between the ages of 5 and 18. This program provides a rich community of peers as well as webinars, events, and more to assist families with parenting support, 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 Davidson Academy Online’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 opened in Reno Nev. as the first free public school of its kind for profoundly gifted students with classes grouped by ability, not age. In 2017, Davidson Academy Online, an accredited online school for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, was launched. Both the Davidson Academy and Davidson Academy Online offer 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.