Letter from the Director

Dear parent or advocate of a gifted child,

David Bonner, DirectorIn our culture, if a child scores 15 touchdowns in a football game, it would be the talk of the town. On the other hand, if a child scores in the 99th percentile on the ISTEP test, they may have difficulty finding someone willing to listen to the story. Both achievements are cause for immense celebration, but unfortunately it’s generally more socially acceptable to talk about the football game. Don’t get me wrong, football is a great activity and those who do well deserve to be recognized, but I think it’s equally important to give our bright young minds the same celebration for a job well done.

Mensa is a social organization where people who score in the top 2% (typically an IQ of 132 or higher) on standardized IQ tests can get together to talk about topics that interest them, play games, and enjoy a wide variety of social, cultural, and academic activities.  Our Indy Mensa Family Program was established in 2009 to reach out to families like yours with children and youth up to 18 years old.  If you become a Mensa member, you can continue enjoying this unique community for a lifetime.  Many people do.

Being gifted can be tough. A child may have the vocabulary of a 16 year old, the passion for world peace like a 34 year old, and then meltdowns and outbursts like a 2 year old… all at a ripe young chronological age of maybe 6 or 7. We at Mensa understand because we were once gifted children ourselves, and we want to make sure that today’s gifted children are appropriately served.

We developed our Indy Mensa Family Program as an outreach to the gifted families in our area so they don’t have to navigate these challenging years alone.  It’s a common misconception that gifted kids are smart enough to figure things out on their own, but that’s simply not true as most of you reading this can attest.  One parent I know often refers to gifted kids as, “delightful and draining.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself!  We designed our program to meet the specific needs of parents by providing a peer support group of other parents who know what it’s like raising delightful and draining kids.  We offer free parent workshops put on by highly qualified professionals in our area.  For the kids, we offer one of the biggest and most comprehensive social programs in the nation for bright young people.  Gifted kids need to be together.  It’s healthy for them in so many ways, and it’s such a huge thing for them to have friends that challenge and complete them.

The award you see pictured here is given once per year by American Mensa.  Even though it has my name on it, this huge honor belongs to the countless parents, professionals, kids, and Mensa members who have not only supported our program, but who have given their very best to turn our community into a close family.  I feel truly blessed and thankful that we all get to be a part of this!

People join Mensa because they find their true peers here.  Everyone needs to find a place to feel normal. For gifted people, this may be their only outlet in a world that doesn’t understand them.  It’s refreshing.

There are many benefits for a young person who gets connected with Mensa. The most obvious is to meet intellectual peers in a safe and inviting setting where their minds will be stimulated. Mensa also offers other resources such as scholarships, a wealth of information for parents and teachers of gifted students, connections to professional services like counselors who work only with gifted children, and adult mentors who were once gifted children themselves.

Membership is open to anyone who scores in the top 2 percent on a standardized intelligence test. That means 1 out of every 50 people qualifies for Mensa. That’s a lot when you think about it; probably quite a few kids in your school qualify and don’t even know it!

If you are here reading this, you and your child are probably already qualified.  Even if you don’t have your IQ scores handy, we have experts trained to find the information you need.  All you have to do is answer a few simple questions and our agents will do the rest.

A lot of people ask, “Can I come to your events if I’m not a Mensa member?”  The short answer is yes!  The longer answer is that Mensa, like any other social organization, is supported by the annual dues paid by members.  Mensa works really hard to keep the dues affordable.  Currently dues are only $7 per month for the first family member and even less for additional members.  Do you know of any other organization that gives so much to your child for so little?  In recent years an anonymous donor has been paying the annual dues for members under 18 years old because they believe so much in the quality that Mensa brings to our lives.  Membership also brings benefits including a monthly newsletter, leadership opportunities, and other perks that you’ll want to learn about.

A good starting point is to look at the programs and upcoming events on this web site.  We also HIGHLY recommend that you sign up for our Email Updates so you can be informed of upcoming events and the latest details.  We keep the emails to a minimum and you can unsubscribe at any time.

I look forward to meeting you at our next event. Please email or call me if you have questions.