Guest Post: My Story - Institute for Educational Advancement

Guest Post: My Story

By Dr. Marty Nemko

I don’t deserve any credit, I just was born this way, to new immigrants, Holocaust survivors just off the boat. We lived in a Bronx tenement. My parents spoke little English, yet I taught myself to read at 3 and was reading on a 12th grade level in the first grade. I taught myself to play the piano on the broken-down piano in the vacant lot near our apartment building. I played over 2,000 gigs before I was 22.

But I could have used a mentor–so that even when I was bullied and teased relentlessly that I could have the support to know that I mattered. That I didn’t have to be like those other kids. That my intellectual abilities were actually an incredible gift.

That’s why I’d think I just might have something to offer gifted kids who, in one way or another, don’t have it so peachy-keen.

You, with your fine intellectual ability, have the luxury of deciding how much you want to fit in and how much you want to choose a road less traveled. Make the decision consciously. You’ll feel better about how you’re living your life. And remember, that with the additional luxury of youth, if your first guess is wrong, you can pivot or even do a 180—multiple times! But each time you try something, you’re closer to what will feel great. Like the game hot-and-cold.

Dr. Marty Nemko is a career coach and expert on education issues. He has been interviewed on The Today Show, The Daily Show, NPR, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and is a regular contributor to Psychology Today. He holds a PhD in educational psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

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