Grapevine-Colleyville Supporting and Advocating for Gifted Education (SAGE) is pleased to announce the 2022 recipient of the SAGE Senior Scholarship for $1,000.

Jessie Farbisz, Class of 2022 of Grapevine High School, will receive $1,000 from SAGE when she enrolls at the University of Texas at Austin to study Environmental Engineering. Her parents are Ted and Kim Farbisz of Grapevine. Jessie also attended Dove Elementary and Cross Timbers Middle School.

Jessie’s strong academic achievements and variety of extracurriculars demonstrate her many gifts and capabilities. She ranks near the top of her graduating class, and is a member of the first graduating class of GCISD’s ASPIRE Academy for Highly Gifted Students.

Jessie performed in 10 theater productions and was a vice president and a publicity officer for the Grapevine High School Theatre Troupe. She was named a National Honor Thespian in the International Thespian Society.

As a 12-year gymnast, Jessie competed in floor and vault for the Grapevine-Colleyville Gymnastics Team, and was a district & regional qualifier two years in a row. She also served as a Gymnastics Team officer.

Jessie also was a PTSA representative and a member of Chinese Club, Chinese Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta (Math Club), National Honor Society, and National Science Honor Society.

Outside of school, Jessie served in the Buddy Ministry at Compass Church, volunteered for the City of Grapevine Parks & Recreation, and worked as a gymnastics coach for Top Flight Gymnastics.

SAGE’s scholarship judges were very impressed with Jessie’s essay, activities, and school and testing performance. Congratulations again to Jessie Farbisz!

Here is Jessie’s essay:

“I always knew that I was gifted, but I never really understood what it meant. I believed for most of my life that gifted kids had this stigma around them to be the introverts, the nerds, the tutors, and the learning lovers. I didn’t have a place. I liked to socialize, I had a lot of friends, I didn’t obsess over books or movies the way most kids my age did, and I certainly did not love to learn.

“In elementary school, however, I seemed to fit in more than anyone else despite not fitting into the right boxes. I don’t love books, but when a group of kids played Harry Potter at recess, I was happy to jump right in and figure things out as I went along. I don’t love to learn, but I was always happy to listen to the things people wanted to teach me. This ability to get along with anyone helped me realize my emotional intelligence and social maturity. However, I also realized I was a weird kid. I had imaginary friends and I would come up with these wild events and games such a throwing a funeral for a plastic knife and dragging everyone in my class into an imaginary zombie apocalypse.

“So I had some things about me that were unique, but were they really gifted traits? I wouldn’t know until I started ASPIRE Academy in middle school. My school life leading up to middle school was filled with confused teachers who meant well, but didn’t fully understand the minds of gifted kids. There were no accommodations in place for me to gain the proper education for a gifted kid, so I couldn’t really explore and stimulate my mind in the ways that I wanted to. School was boring and monotonous, but when I didn’t pay attention, I was met with punishment, rather than given better opportunities to prompt more learning.

“When I met my 6th grade ASPIRE teacher, I knew things from there on out would be different. On the first day, we had to take multiple gifted personality and placement quizzes, and my teacher used the data to specifically cater his class to our needs and excitabilities. We learned all of the curriculum, but we expanded on it in deeper ways that he knew only gifted kids and creative minds could excel in. I performed an interpretive dance from the perspective of a sea cow as a commentary on the human impacts of extinction. I filmed a documentary from the perspective of an astronaut trapped on another planet to provide insight on how alternate societies could be executed.

“Mr. Bland ensured that I was stimulated every day to expand my idea of conventional learning into something more engaging and exciting. Because of this, I was fully able to connect with my other gifted traits. Now in high school, I’m able to combine all three traits of maturity, creativity, and eccentricity to create A+ assignments in class, be a good Vice President to GHS Theatre, and be one of the best gymnastics coaches at my gym. In college, I hope to continue to nurture and use these traits to make friends easily, stay out of drama, and continue to be a star student.”