Child Geniuses Find A Home

GENERIC genius brain money cash economy CBS/AP

What do you do when the little company you founded turns into a billion dollar buyout and you still have much of your life ahead of you?

"We were at the right place at the right time and we're very fortunate," Bob Davidson remarks.

As CBS News correspondent Jim Stewart learns, for Jan and Bob Davidson it all started in 1982, when they bought one of the first primitive personal computers, and then wondered, why can't you do more than just play games on these things?

"There was supposed to be some educational software, but it was terrible, I mean, it just didn't work well, and it wasn't accurate. It was horrible," Jan recalls.

So she started tinkering and it wasn't long before Jan had what she calls her "Aha Moment."

Her creation became a breakthrough product: teaching kids math in the guise of a game they called "Math Blaster."

In 1997, the Davidsons sold their company for a very large sum, or, as Bob Davidson says, "Well, more that we knew what to do with, let's put it that way."

And what have they done with all that money? Well, that's where the story really gets interesting.

They're giving it away, and not just to anyone, but only to the certifiably brightest young geniuses in America. They call their program the Davidson Institute for Talent Development.

"Intelligence is a gift. But you have to develop it if you're going to keep it. You have to nurture it like any other talent," Jan says.

Consider, for example, kids like Jacob Komar of Burlington, Conn. He's 13-years-old. He's already got two years of college under his belt and at age 9, he founded a charity called "Computers for Communities" to help needy families.

"By the time I was five, I was reading my mom's programming manuals and writing in several computer languages," Komar says.

Regarding his charity work, Komar explains, "My family was at my sister's school and I came to find out by a janitor that they were throwing out all of these computers. So I decided to refurbish them and give them to families in the area that can't afford them."

Learning had never been a problem for Jacob. Public schools, however, were another matter.

"When I went into the public school, it was really, really boring," Komar recalls.

Komar wasn't shy about expressing his feelings. "I let everybody know that," Komar says. "I told my first-grade teacher that I was, that she was insulting my intelligence."
  • Sean Alfano

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