From an Alumni of the Summer Enrichment Program

Dear Dr. Betts,

In my always well intentioned but invariably ill fated attempts at a New Year’s resolution, I tackled one if the boxes of Stuff that had followed me from house to house for the last 15-plus years. Packed away amongst the Stuff, I found my plaque commemorating 5 years of participation in the Summer Enrichment Program at the University of Northern Colorado. It occurred to me that most of us go through life doing whatever it is that we do hoping but never knowing that whatever it is that we do makes some sort of difference.

I am sending this e-mail because I feel you ought to know: what you do and what you created did, in fact, make a difference to me.

I suspect that my experience is not dramatically different from most other gifted children, but the fact that feelings of isolation are common among gifted children doesn’t seem to lessen the isolation. We are large collections of islands who manage to perceive the fact that we are islands and not the fact that there are many of us. SEP gave me what I didn’t find again until adulthood: a peer group and a sense of normalcy.

I’m now 33 years old, happily pursuing my passions and clearly seeing the other islands I first glimpsed at SEP. Thank you for the refuge. Thank you for my sanity. Thank you for showing me the light at the end of the tunnel. My plaque is once again safely tucked away amidst the Stuff, safe from the Anti-Clutter Campaign of 2011. I sincerely hope that SEP is still around for me to share with my own child and that she will find it as meaningful as I did.

Carrie Henriksen Kelly

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