Monthly Archives: January 2013

Consider Taking a Gap Year, and Bring Your Zeitgeist to College

By Kate Duey

Kate Duey is a private college counselor serving gifted students. She has worked with students on traditional schooling paths, home schooled students, community college students, and students seeking accelerated or early college entrance. Kate is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. She has a Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA.

Gifted Students Enjoying Balance!What happens if a student graduates from high school exhausted? AP classes, standardized testing, extracurricular activities, sports, music, community service, research projects…and all of those college essays! What if they worked so hard they can’t remember what they like? Are they ready for four or five or six more years?

Among gifted high school students, it is especially important to remember that giftedness is innate to a person, and we should embrace the whole student by supporting their intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional and physical growth. When a gifted student’s high school years disproportionately emphasize intellectual development, the whole person is neglected. Refreshing all parts of a gifted student’s self helps to focus his or her intensities in ways that work with and for the student.

Read more about taking a gap year!

The Many Faces of Gifted: Lucian

By Carole Rosner

Every gifted person has a unique story. The following story is part of a series of posts depicting the many faces of gifted by highlighting gifted children and adults we have found through IEA programs. IEA’s Apprenticeship Program – mentioned in this story – links gifted high school students from across the country with mentors who advance each participant’s skills through the application of knowledge and exposure to real world experiences.

Photo courtesy of Lucian Capellaro

Lucian Capellaro
IEA Apprentice at CNN Atlanta in 2000
Sr. Photo Editor in International Publicity, Paramount Pictures

It is true that Lucian Capellaro’s current job involves international travel, world famous celebrities and cutting edge photography; however, he actually started on his career path shortly after participating in IEA’s Apprenticeship Program at CNN in Atlanta in 2000.

“I was originally interested in the photography program. However, after hearing about IEA’s involvement at CNN, I became excited about the prospect of learning something completely new. I wanted to see a real-world career application of my photo, video and writing interests. Journalism always appealed to me, and seeing a company like CNN in action was an exciting prospect,” Lucian explained.

Read more of Lucian’s story here!

The Perfect Test

By Lisa Hartwig

Lisa is the mother of 3 gifted children and lives outside of San Francisco.

At my son’s kindergarten parent/teacher conference, his teacher played a game with my husband and me. She put 3 marbles on the table and asked us to close our eyes. When we opened them, we saw 2 marbles. She asked us how many she was holding in her hand. When we told her “one”, she repeated the game with 4 marbles.

Our son’s teacher told us she played this game with each student until the child no longer gave the correct answer. All the children in her class stopped at 10 marbles, except my son. She played with him until she had 20 marbles on the table. Then she stopped. She told us that he was clearly very good at math.
I left the meeting feeling proud of my son’s talent and satisfied with the teacher’s assessment. My husband wasn’t.

“Why didn’t she keep going until he gave the wrong answer?”

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Mentorship and Gifted Youth

By Kate Williams

Kate was IEA’s Apprenticeship Program Coordinator. Prior to moving to the Los Angeles area, Kate worked as an educator for over five years in Washington, D.C.

What is mentoring?

The role of the Mentor is recognized in many parts of society as well as many cultures throughout time. One of the earliest known mentorships was from Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. The Mentor in The Odyssey is described as a wise friend that helps to guide Telemachus in discovering his inheritance. According to Dr. Susan Miller and Dr. Anne Frederickson of The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,

Mentor did not guide Telemachus to discover the riches of plundered Troy, rather he guided the young man’s yearning for his father and heritage. Perhaps the same can be applied to mentorship, which guides us to understand the inheritance within us and our full potential in our chosen profession.

Mentors today are still guiding our youth, young professionals and protégés in the same manner. Without Mentors to guide us along the path of possibility, we wouldn’t know our true potential.

What does mentoring look like today?

Industrial Design Mentor Stan Kong teaches Apprentices about design each summer.

Industrial Design Mentor Stan Kong teaches Apprentices about design each summer.

True mentoring today is not just an activity; it develops a lasting relationship between the Mentor and Apprentice that can be a highly meaningful experience.

Read more about mentoring gifted youth!

Gifted kindergartners through eighth-graders to learn from local specialists this winter

Institute for Educational Advancement welcomes highly able students to the Academy


SOUTH PASADENA, Calif.—Los Angeles-area kindergarten through eighth-grade gifted and talented students are stepping out of the traditional classroom to engage in advanced classes that explore disciplines such as chemistry, astronomy and humanities. Academy classes, taught by local specialists who hold doctorates in their fields, college professors and professionals, inspire Los Angeles’s brightest youth to grow socially and intellectually.

The Academy was created by South Pasadena-based Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA). IEA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing programs that help gifted children balance intellectual ability with social, emotional, physical and spiritual growth. Independent of government funding, IEA gives students the tools to work toward actualizing their full intellectual and personal potential in supportive environments such as the Academy.

IEA is meeting a need in the community by serving a demographic that often struggles with a lack of challenge in the mainstream classroom. Academy students are given work at a level appropriate for them, develop community with like-minded peers and bond with instructors who can relate to their special needs. For the students IEA serves, weekly classes at the Academy are essential in fueling and satisfying their quest to know more. “I would recommend Academy classes to anyone who enjoys learning!” says Ariane Watkins, an Academy student who completed a Neuro-Energy course last term.

The program links a broad range of students from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds with instructors who’ve been trained to teach advanced, college and high school material in a kid-friendly fashion. Winter 2013 classes include self-paced math, calculus, chemistry, ecology, humanities and astronomy. With an average class size of five students, Academy classes are a hands-on, inquiry-based and student-driven approach to learning. In Rocket to Calculus, for example, students make use of actual rockets to learn the basics of algebra, geometry and pre-calculus; in the final class, calculations are brought to life with a real rocket launch.

Scholarships for local Pasadena youth have been made possible by generous grants from the Ann Peppers Foundation and the Avery Dennison Foundation. “Due to the scholarships we provide, gifted students in our community grow. Not only do we fan the flame of life-long learning in youngsters from all backgrounds, but they become stronger representatives of the schools they attend and are better able to contribute to their communities,” says Jen Mounday, IEA Academy program coordinator.

The Academy runs year-round, with the winter 2013 session running Jan. 12 to March 14. Classes are held at the IEA offices in South Pasadena, Calif. Classes meet once a week for eight weeks and are offered after school on weekdays and during the day on Saturdays. For a full schedule of classes and to download an application, please visit the Academy page of IEA’s website or contact Jen Mounday at or 626-403-8900.