Tag Archives: summer

Reflections on Apprenticeship 2014

By Min-Ling Li

Min-Ling is IEA’s Apprenticeship Program Coordinator. IEA’s residential summer Apprenticeship Program 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. These life lessons in personal and intellectual development are invaluable to their growth and assist them in making pertinent connections for the future.

High School Apprenticeship Program

Min-Ling (far left) with the four- and seven-week Apprentices

“Everything you can imagine is real.” Pablo Picasso

I had the honor of spending seven weeks – a time that has magically flown by – alongside wonderful students whom I could not get enough of. Their passion and diligence radiated all around them, and I watched each of them grow over the course of the summer. I feel privileged to have been witness to not only their physical growth (hair and height) but to the development of their perseverance and the bloom of their self-confidence.

As an IEA Apprentice, students must possess an innate desire to learn and an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Driven by these characteristics, each Apprentice worked alongside eminent professionals, becoming a vital part of a research team and/or project. These opportunities posed challenges that gifted students typically do not face in the classroom. The unique difficulties posed by the need to acquire as much knowledge of a subject as possible in an effort to become a productive contributor and by entering into professional cultures they had not yet experienced helped each student develop a newfound maturity. Doctors, research scientists, lawyers, and I comprised the team of mentors who committed to providing support for the Apprentices as they began to mature intellectually and socially, and we provided opportunities for them to learn and to succeed on their own laurels.

Apprentices cultivated relationships with each other and found the acceptance and the strength they needed to conquer the challenges they faced. After each arduous work day, dinner was the time when they shared their struggles to comprehend complex science jargon, algorithms, design techniques, and intricate medical procedures, all the while discussing their experiences with hot wire cutters and petri dishes. Somehow, dinner conversations always culminated in discussions about who they were rooting for on MasterChef or the games they planned to play back at the dorm.

During the evenings and on weekends, Resident Advisers and I engaged the Apprentices’ teenage selves. In an effort to bridge asynchronous highly able minds with their adolescent emotional and psychological needs, we played Pictionary, bowled, went ice skating, and attended a baseball game. Many of the kids also completed summer AP assignments, and many watched a Harry Potter marathon. Astonishingly, I watched each of the Apprentices achieve balance.

At this time last year, I could only dream of these young adults, who have now exceeded all of my expectations. It is now time to plan for next year’s program, and I can only imagine who the phenomenal students will be that take part in Apprenticeship 2015.

See photos from Apprenticeship 2014!
Apprenticeship2014Photos

Do you know a gifted high school student who would benefit from Apprenticeship? Sign up for our email list to stay updated on our 2015 offerings!

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Yunasa 2014

By Jennifer de la Haye

Jennifer is a recent addition to the IEA staff and attended Yunasa for the first time this summer. IEA’s pioneering Yunasa summer camps unite highly able youngsters with experts in the social and emotional development of gifted children. Campers explore and grow the intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social, and physical aspects of their lives.

Whole-camp

Yunasa 2014 left me breathless – perhaps because this was my first Yunasa experience, or perhaps because Yunasa is a special and unique hub of safety, growth, and unparalleled camp-magic. The afternoon of Sunday, July 27, campers began to filter into the conference center of Camp Copneconic in Fenton, Michigan; some brows were knitted, some smiles were uncertain, some faces looked thoughtful. Several of the kids seemed to float, others skipped, many hugged with excited ferocity, quite a few squealed and jumped up and down as they spotted a friend. The older campers – deemed either EL for ‘Emerging Leader’ or CIT for ‘Counselor in Training’ – whose bonds with one another are indurate after years of Yunasa, dispersed to welcome the younger campers, show them to their rooms, and initiate ice-breaking exercises. Kids who seemed a bit apprehensive were directed to the table of Yunasa Buddies, cuddly stuffed animals donated by staff and campers meant to offer a bit of comfort throughout the week.

Group-table

On the first night of camp, Newbury Honor Award winner and IEA Senior Fellow Stephanie Tolan led a group discussion on her work, Flight of the Raven, the second book in a series about four gifted youth who combine powers to save a violent, troubled world. I was immediately struck by the depth and intelligence of the conversation; the questions the campers asked were interesting and insightful. And so mature. Was I sitting in on a college literature course or was I watching a summer camp unfold?

See more highlights from camp!

Summer Academy at The Huntington – A Scholar’s Paradise

By Louise Hindle

Louise is IEA’s Academy Coordinator. Academy offers K-8th grade students challenging enrichment classes that focus on exploration and application of knowledge.

A group of Summer Academy students enjoys The Huntington's gardens and has fun with new friends made over lunch

A group of Summer Academy students spends lunchtime enjoying The Huntington’s gardens and having fun with new friends

This year, IEA had the tremendous opportunity to host both 3-week Summer Academy sessions at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, that scholar’s paradise situated in the center of San Marino, known and loved by curious minds near and far, young and not so young! It was a boon to our community to enjoy this remarkable location, and more, to begin to appreciate how such partnering might enrich our classes further. As we conclude our inaugural Academy program at The Huntington, we look back at the summer sessions through the eyes of our most important critics: the Academy students themselves!

See more highlights from Summer 2014 Academy

Yunasa West 2014

By Jessica Houben

IEA’s pioneering Yunasa summer camps unite highly able youngsters with experts in the social and emotional development of gifted children. Campers explore and grow the intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social, and physical aspects of their lives.

Yunasa West 2014

In June, 39 campers from across the country came together for Yunasa West at Camp Shady Brook in Deckers, Colorado, for a week of intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual, and physical growth.

The week started off by introducing this year’s IEA program theme: The Common Good. As we talked about The Common Good, campers shared what the theme meant to them and how they thought it would be relevant to their camp experience. They described the Common Good as acting unselfishly, doing things for other people rather than yourself, and behaving in a way that promotes the health of the group, even if one’s own best interest is at stake. We proceeded to establish our rules as a group to prepare for the week as part of a community. Each camper exemplified The Common Good in their actions towards others at camp, respecting one another and making efforts to ascertain that everyone felt accepted.

See more highlights from Yunasa West 2014!

Preparing for High School

By Lauren F.

Lauren is a 2012 Caroline D. Bradley Scholar and a rising high school sophomore attending a boarding school in Connecticut. She recently shared with us what she thinks incoming freshmen should know to help them prepare to enter high school. Here are her tips.

nervous-squareI don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous and excited for anything in my life than I was for starting high school. But let me emphasize “nervous,” as I’m sure all of you rising freshmen are or will be.

Therefore, I’ve compiled a very brief list of how to get prepared over the summer – in other words, a list of all of the things I wish that I’d done before my own freshman year!

1) Make a detailed list of what you’re going to need in the fall!

It turns out that just writing “clothes,” “shoes,” and “school supplies” leaves a lot of room for forgetting important things. Instead, make it specific: “six multicolored binders,” “rain boots,” “soccer cleats.” For boarders, this is twice as important, because there are things for your room that you’re really going need to remember: dryer sheets, duct tape, staplers, snack food, etc.

Read more of Lauren’s tips!

The Many Faces of Gifted: Sneha

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.

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Sneha Chidambaram
2013 Apprentice, Social Media and Media Relations, University of Southern California

“At first, I was definitely intimidated to enter into a real, adult workplace as a mere high school junior. But looking back, I feel this one nerve-wracking transition was what helped me gain more confidence in myself,” high school senior Sneha explained about her IEA Apprenticeship experience.

A counselor at an SAT Prep center told Sneha about IEA’s programs. “What interested me the most about IEA Apprenticeship was the fact that I would be working one-on-one and alongside a professional in my desired field of study, business. After searching for numerous summer programs as an anxious high school junior interested in business, I felt that the Social Media and Media Relations Apprenticeship suited my interests perfectly, as it is the perfect opportunity for getting a snapshot into the business world.”

During her apprenticeship, Sneha conducted competitive market research on Facebook pages, websites, and Twitter feeds; developed a logo; and wrote a news release that was published on the USC News and USC Marshall School of Business websites.

I asked Sneha how she felt going back to high school after her Apprenticeship. “In terms of academics, I feel my procrastination has reduced drastically, and I approach my tasks more methodically. I have definitely grown to plan effectively and manage my time more wisely!”

This summer, Sneha’s plans include “relaxing, eating, shopping, and hanging out with my friends and family,” before heading east to attend University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School to study business. “After my Apprenticeship, I can definitely say that I fell in love with the corporate world, and I definitely intend to work in a corporate firm upon my college graduation. At this point in time, I am leaning more towards the financial sector, so I aspire to work in either a top investment banking firm, or maybe even a private equity firm!”

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Sneha (second from left) with her Mentors and Apprenticeship alumnus Hunter at IEA’s Summer Spotlight 2013

See what Sneha and other IEA program participants said about their IEA experiences at our 2013 Summer Spotlight.

Want to meet more bright and talented individuals? Sign up for our e-newsletters, which regularly feature a different face of gifted.

The Many Faces of Gifted: Melissa

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.

Melissa Mai Headshot

Melissa M.
2013 Apprentice, Astronomy, California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

“Seeing the way the professors critiqued their students truly was an unexpected treasure of the Apprenticeship Program, as it revealed, unfiltered, the true dynamics of a research environment and showcased the intrinsically collaborative nature of research,” Melissa said about her four-week IEA Apprenticeship at Caltech last summer.

“I worked under Drs. Djorgovski, Donalek, and Mahabal in Caltech’s Department of Astronomy to create interactive, multimedia presentations using the WorldWide Telescope platform. My main job was to take data from my Mentors’ research about atomic emission spectra, Doppler shifting, and variability, and present it in a way that the everyday person can understand through ‘tours’ on the program. I worked with one other apprentice, Daniel Wright, who worked on a tour about asteroids.”

Learn more about Melissa!