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Boy, 9, to attend gifted residential program with help of F.I.S.H.

By Staff | Jun 11, 2018

Darren “DJ” Jenkins

Thanks to F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva’s Youth Scholarship Program, Darren “DJ” Jenkins will attend the University of Miami’s Summer Institute for the Gifted Residential Program in July.

“In kindergarten, I was tested and accepted into the Florida Intellectually Gifted Education program, and I have been attending MWA (gifted) classes at The Sanibel School for the last three years,” DJ said. “I am now entering fourth grade, and I want to learn more about the great big world around me. I want to learn everything and go everywhere.

“I know I am really going to enjoy being away and staying in a dorm room, even though I have to do my own laundry,” he added. “Lights out at 10:30 at night works for me!”

Maggie Goldsmith, DJ’s grandmother, has raised him since his infant years.

“I wanted to find something to keep DJ educationally active over the summer and came across SIG,” she said. “I felt it (SIG) represented an exceptional opportunity for DJ to learn new ideas and skills. He applied and was accepted, and will reside with likeminded kids from all over the world at the University of Miami.

“This opportunity to participate in a learning environment with his peers will prove to be a meaningful experience that will further encourage him to learn,” Goldsmith added. “I cannot thank F.I.S.H. enough for their partial scholarship; I’m not sure I could have done this for DJ without their assistance.”

DJ will take courses in computer coding and animation, debate and public speaking, genetics, astronomy and more. Asked what he wants to choose as a career path, DJ was not sure yet.

“I just want to be awesome – and I am interested in becoming a cardiac surgeon, an entertainment attorney, a medical scientist, an actor or a musical performer,” he said. “Wherever I end up, I want to be best me I can be.”

DJ is a competitive swimmer with Team SWAT and hopes to go to the Olympics. He trains daily throughout the year and he attends a three-week intensive technique program at Florida Gulf Coast University’s residential Eagle Swim Camp each summer. He is also plays the piano and sings. DJ’s other interests include soccer, basketball, skateboarding and video games.

“We are thrilled to help DJ attend this educational program,” F.I.S.H. President Maggi Feiner said. “He’s a wonderful young man who has the world at his fingertips, and it’s an honor to help shape his future.”

The Youth Scholarship Program is designed to assist young neighbors with educational opportunities such as in-school field trips and specialty camps like SIG, as well as local camp experiences during the summer. For more information, contact Program Director Kathy Monroe at 239-472-4775.