Vincent (Vince) is a persona doll representing the At Risk type of gifted student on Neihart and Betts Revised Profiles of the Gifted and Talented.
Vincent is in the At Risk group because he often plays truant.
He has become friends with a gang of thrill seeking graffiti artists. There is a real danger that associating with this group could lead to taking alcohol or other drugs.
Some teachers actually feel relieved when they see that Vince is absent as he can be very disruptive in class and they can be afraid of him.
Many of the other students are afraid of Vince too but he does have a few friends and he is fiercely loyal to them
Vince always seems to be angry. But it is also clear that Vince is suffering from depression because beneath the bluster Vince is very sensitive.
What Vincent does not tell anyone is that he loves to read Shakespeare’s Sonnets and that when he is absent from school he often pursues his own interests in libraries, museums and art galleries.
Much of what the class at school is learning seems banal, basic and puerile to him and he is not motivated by the rewards offered by the teachers. Because he is so often absent and hardly ever completes any assignments his academic achievement is very low. But it is important not to lower expectations and to arrange testing to gauge the actual levels of Vince’s abilities. He needs an individualized learning plan.
There may be problems in Vince’s family home life which could be helped with counselling. His family should endeavour to keep communications open and communicate confidence in him and a desire to work together to overcome obstacles.
Vincent needs an alternate environment with safety and structure. He needs professional counselling, direction for short term goals and help to develop long term goals and career path. He needs a strong mentor/advocate to challenge and encourage him and hold him accountable for his actions.