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Know of any youth who have won an award or have a recent accomplishment? Send in your news on youth to Shephali J. Rele, Khaas Baat, 18313 Cypress Stand Circle, Tampa, FL 33647 or e-mail Be sure to include school name, grade and age.
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Karen Cherian, 17, is valedictorian at Hillsborough High School’s Class of 2005 International Baccalaureate program. She scored 1550 on the SAT exam and is a National Merit Finalist. Some of her academic achievements include being a member of the National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and History Honor Society.

Karen Cherian
She has been involved in research at the Sleep Center at University Community Hospital in Tampa and tutored math and algebra at the Urban Scholars Outreach Program at University of South Florida. Cherian was accepted to Harvard, Duke, Yale, Princeton and Johns Hopkins universities among others. She has decided to pursue further education at University of Miami, seven-year medical program. She hopes to become a physician and wants to specialize in neurosurgery.

Her hobbies include playing tennis, learning guitar and Indian dancing.

As for her future plans, Cherian says, “If God has given you a talent, the least you can do is use it to help others.”


By Teesta Sullivan

Teesta Sullivan
The theory of multiple intelligences (MI) was first proposed by Dr. Howard Gardner, a professor of education at Harvard University, in 1983. The paradigm proposes that the traditional view of intelligence, most often based on Intelligence Quotient (IQ), is too limiting. Instead, Gardner suggests that there are multiple types of intelligences that humans possess. The current MI model distinguishes nine specific intelligences. These are:

Linguistic intelligence – the ability to learn and use language effectively;

Logical-Mathematical intelligence – the capacity to logically view and analyze problems, perform mathematical operations and use scientific methods to investigate issues;

Musical intelligence – the ability to perform, compose and appreciate musical patterns;

Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence – using one’s entire body or parts of one’s body to create something or do something. Gardner does not limit this form of intelligence to athletes and dancers, but feels it also is important to mechanics, surgeons and craftsmen;

Spatial intelligence – the ability to recognize and manipulate patterns in space; this would be a skill useful to architects, dentists, and pilots;

Interpersonal intelligence – the capacity to relate to other people, and work effectively with them;

Intrapersonal intelligence – the ability to understand oneself, and to use this awareness to regulate one’s life. This includes recognizing one’s fears, capabilities and limitations.

Naturalist intelligence – This relates to those individuals who have a profound knowledge of the living world. Gardner noted that although many young children initially show a great interest in dinosaurs and animals, only a few continue to do so as they mature;

Spiritual intelligence – This describes those individuals who wish to learn about experiences and cosmic entities that are important to humans, but not necessarily “material”;

Existential intelligence – the ability to locate oneself, and its place within, “the furthest reaches of the cosmos – the infinite and infinitesimal.”

Gardner has suggested that these first two intelligences are often the most valued by schools. Too often, traditional schooling, with its regimented curriculums, can suppress the other intelligences in young children.

MI theory does not prescribe a specific methodology of teaching or curriculum; instead, it offers a fresh perspective on the understanding of intelligence. Familiarity with the concepts of MI theory can assist teachers in developing classroom activities that address multiple styles of learning. Students feel empowered by having choices in the methods by which they learn and then demonstrate their newly acquired knowledge. Utilizing problem-solving activities that draw from MI theory, students can build on their unique strengths to acquire new knowledge and skills.

Teachers who use MI theory discover a clearer understanding of their students' learning preferences and a greater appreciation of their strengths. In turn, the students are likely to become more engaged in learning as they use learning modes that match their intelligence strengths.

As parents, we must recognize that one child’s “genius” may be completely different than that of another. We must work at looking beyond the number (IQ) our child is given, and use models such as the theory of multiple intelligences to help our kids recognize their individual strengths and blossom accordingly.

Teesta Sullivan has a JD, a MSH and B.A. in Psychology. She is the area developer for FasTracKids and also president of Legendary Beginnings Inc., an authorized licensee of FasTracKids. She can be reached at (813) 792-0077.

Know of any youth who have won an award or have a recent accomplishment? Send in your news on youth to Shephali J. Rele, Khaas Baat, 18313 Cypress Stand Circle, Tampa, FL 33647 or e-mail Be sure to include school name, grade and age.

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