There were a lot of wonderful facets to the CAGT's Conference this October but perhaps the most inspiring were the students themselves who participated in the conference in various ways, themselves representing some of the "Many Faces of Gifted".
Two of our keynote presenters were students:
Kai Kloepfer, local high school student and winner at Intel Science and Engineering Fair. He is an entrepreneur who has worked to make the world safer by developing smart firearm technology to reduce gun violence, for which he has received international awards and recognition. He is the founder of Ægen Technologies, a startup company creating smart firearms through biometrics.
Xiuhtezcati Roske-Martinez, 14 year old indigenous environmental activist and performer (joined by his brother, Itzcuauhtli). He is co-founder and youth director of Earth Guardians, an international environmental activist group. In 2013 he received the US Congressional Community Service award and was the youngest of 24 change makers appointed to President Obama's youth council.
Distinguished Student Awards were presented at the conference to Maya Dawson and Lily Mott. This awards program is designed to recognize distinguished achievement in academics, leadership, or the arts, in children ages 7 - 12. There are two awards: A Junior Division, ages 7-9 and a Senior Division, ages 10-12. One Colorado child from each division will be named as a CAGT Distinguished Student and the winners receives a $500 cash scholarship and a CAGT Certificate of Excellence.
Maya was selected to receive the CAGT Distinguished Junior Student Award. She was nominated for her excellence in leadership, academics, and creative arts. She is interested in "making the world a better place", which is evident from her fundraising efforts for a local animal shelter and Water for People Charity that raises money for sustainable water pipes in areas that lack natural water resources.
Lily was selcted to recieve the CAGT Distinguished Senior Student Award. She was nominated for her excellence in academics, leadership, and creative writing. Lily has received numerous awards for film production, spelling bee, poetry, and literature and has had an active leadership role in school and on sports teams.
Students also paticipated in session conference panels and as conference attendees.
The conference also featured some really wonderful student performers. Thank you to Kate and Lexi Lubotsky for singing the national anthem, to pianists Xenia Mathys, Vadim Mathys and Emerald, and to the Rocky Mountain Highland Dancers for sharing their talents and making the conference special.
Special thanks goes to CAGT's high school student liaison, Dylan McNally, who helped with conference planning and was a wonderful ambassador for the youth at the conference.
Photos courtesy of Karen Larsen Photography. Article by Kathee Jones.