Gionna Sumabon entered the Gifted and Talented (GT) program as a kindergarten student in Corpus Christi. Now an eighth grader at Travis Middle School, Sumabon is excelling in every area of her academic career and credits the GT program for constantly pushing her to be better. Sumabon’s teachers describe her as an extremely talented student and recognized artist with off-the-charts test scores. From being involved in Destination Imagination, to playing the clarinet in band to being an artist, all while taking advanced courses, Sumabon loves a challenge.
“I enjoy being able to learn at a pace that is more suitable for me,” she says. “GT allows me to take courses for high school now, which will help advance my education.”
Gifted and Talented students are required to complete Research for Discovery (R4D) projects each year on a topic of their choice. This project is one of Sumabon’s favorite to do.
“One of my favorite projects was in 4th grade, and I decided to research the Philippines, which is where I’m from. I learned so much about my culture through that project,” adds Sumabon.
This year she decided to do her project on a topic that she felt hit home – school shootings.
“It’s a huge problem, and I wanted to learn more about it and how we can work to prevent them from happening because this issue affects me as a student,” she says.
Sumabon recently highlighted another issue plaguing society through her art project for the Irving Art Show – eating disorders. Her art won her the Best of Show in drawing for middle school students.
“We were tasked with creating artwork highlighting a mental illness, and my group chose eating disorders. My piece shows someone who’s struggling, and the shadows reaching out to them represent negative voices in their head,” explains Sumabon.
Art is something she’s very passionate about, and it’s a huge part of her life.
“My dad and sister are artists as well, and they’ve always been there to support my efforts,” she adds.
Even though she has yet to reach high school, Sumabon has already put thought into her future plans. She hopes to attend Rice University or Texas Woman’s University and pursue a career in architecture, dentistry or law.
If you are interested in having your student tested for the Gifted and Talented program in Irving ISD, visit IrvingISD.net/GT for more information.