Florida teen on the fast track to success

Published On: Aug 28 2014 03:19:49 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 29 2014 06:20:00 AM EDT

Grace Bush is only 16 years old. She was the youngest graduate at Florida Atlantic University’s recent commencement. If that weren’t enough, she graduated magna cum laude.

Grace has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. After completing a dual enrollment program, she got her high school diploma a week later.

“The reason I picked criminal justice is because I’m planning on going to law school so I thought that was going to give me some knowledge about the law,” she said.

Grace is now starting her masters but she had a busy summer not only studying, but also playing the flute in two orchestras.

None of this surprises her mother, Gisla Bush.

 “Grace at 2 years old was reading,” Gisla said. “She was always very independent and self driven, wanting to do what her older siblings did and she demanded it.”

The Bush family is made up of nine children ranging from 11 months to 19 years old. All of them were home-schooled by Gisla.

“I thought it was a good advantage for me because I had my mom teaching me,” Grace explained. “So, I was able to excel in a way other kids wouldn’t be able to excel at my age.”

“I have a law degree, a professional architecture degree, and I’m always forward thinking,” Gisla said.

Although smarts run in the family, there are things parents can do to help their gifted students excel even more.

First, introduce them to new ideas and areas of study all the time.  Audit a local college class, get an internship, sign up for community programs, and volunteer on different projects. This all exposes your child to new fields of interest.

When your child does find an interest, find ways to nurture it.  Contact local museums and look for summer and spring camps focused on it. 

Gisla says to continue to direct them, even when it’s difficult, keep them with like-minded friends and keep encouraging your child. Also, gifted children often have trouble with long-term goals, so be sure to break big goals down into manageable steps.

While all the Bush children seem to have special talents, Grace has a monumental goal.

“She’s going to reach the top,” Gisla said. “Ultimately she wants to be the Chief Justice of the United States.”


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