Jul 5, 2022
For many parents, it is a struggle to strike that perfect balance between supporting their child in their area of struggle while also developing areas of talent. This is especially true for 2e, or twice exceptional, kids. It is possible to boost an area of strength and talent while also working on skills that are more challenging and today’s guest has developed an exciting program that can help strike that balance.
Samuel Young is the founder of Young Scholars Academy, a virtual enrichment program that helps twice-exceptional students to feel seen, nurtured, confident, and happy. Their primary focus is to empower students to develop their interests and talents so that they may lead meaningful, fulfilling lives and be the creative agents of change that our world desperately needs. As a neurodivergent educator, Samuel knows firsthand how it feels to be on the brink of giving up, but through the connection with a mentor, he persevered and is now giving back to others through exciting virtual learning opportunities that are highly engaging and interesting.
In this episode, Samuel demonstrates the power of a strong mentorship and why enrichment programs are crucial for 2e students to thrive. His passion for this topic is contagious and this interview will leave you feeling excited, empowered, and inspired.
[2:30] - Samuel explains what is meant by twice exceptional or 2e students.
[3:51] - There are three ways of masking which means that there are different ways someone is hiding their talents or deficits.
[5:20] - Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.
[6:22] - Samuel shares his own experience as a struggling student.
[8:18] - Twice exceptional students are underserved because they aren’t talked about often. Samuel explains why it is so rewarding to work with 2e students.
[10:02] - Instead of being gifted or learning disabled, people can be both.
[11:03] - Students are constantly being told what their challenges are; we need to also reinforce their strengths.
[12:35] - Key ingredients to support are mentoring and like-minded peers.
[13:29] - We love Superman because he has a weakness and a strength.
[14:53] - Mentors can say the same thing as parents, but it will land differently for a student because of their similarities and connection.
[16:12] - A good mentor is someone who can help students tap into their own voice, profile their own strengths, and allow them to understand their areas of growth.
[17:48] - Because they are so asynchronous, social emotional skills may not be developing the same as their peers.
[19:49] - Samuel is passionate about reaching marooned 2e students who are not getting the support they need through virtual mentoring.
[21:57] - Samuel describes some of the ways he connects students together and demonstrates how they are creating something and truly owning it.
[23:17] - If the offered solution to helping students with academics is taking away electives or extracurricular, don’t do it. Don’t take away something they love.
[25:02] - We celebrate the people who are really good at what they love.
[26:41] - Samuel describes the programs available at Young Scholars Academy that are not available through schools.
[28:31] - There’s also a course that creates intuitive writers that can tap into their own voice.
[30:01] - Ultimately, it is important to take what students love and promote self-esteem.
[33:38] - These are students who are the future of the world and they may be on the brink of giving up.
[35:37] - We have to allow youngsters to fail with grace. We all fail and we need to normalize failure.
[37:51] - Students are going to fail. We have to prepare them for that and show them how to cope with it and learn from it.
Samuel Young, MEd, is a growth-minded, two-time Fulbright Scholar and director of Young Scholars Academy, a strength-based, talent-focused virtual enrichment center that supports twice-exceptional students and their families. Samuel is a neurodivergent educator who has ADHD. As an ADHD learner, he has a tremendous understanding of, experience in, and respect for all things related to neurodiverse education.
Samuel has been featured in the documentary 2e2: Teaching The Twice Exceptional, the textbook Understanding The Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Students, 2nd Ed., Variations Magazine, 2e News, and other publications.
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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.