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Our People

Founded in 2018 by therapist Patty Williams and public school teacher Tori Jones, Bright Insight Support Network takes a whole-person approach to educating about, advocating for, and supporting the gifted, twice-exceptional, and neurodivergent communities. As a grassroots organization, Bright Insight seeks to create a network of individuals, communities, and resources to collectively support exceptional individuals in all environments.

The Bright Insight Team

Dr. Patty L. Gently
Cofounder & President

Bright Insight co-founder and president, Patty L. Gently, MSMHC, PhD, (formerly Williams) is a trauma therapist who specializes in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Neurodiversity Affirmative Dialectic Therapy (NDA-DT), and Internal Family Systems (IFS) modalities.

Through Bright Insight Support Network, Dr. Patty honors the whole person(s) while working to counsel, coach, and advocate for gifted, twice-exceptional (2e), and neurodivergent (ND) persons, along with other marginalized populations. Her unique involvement with this community gives her a platform through which Dr. Patty writes, presents, and educates others about giftedness, twice-exceptionality, neurodiversity, trauma, relationships, parenting, leadership, and developmental psychology. As a 2e adult, Dr. Patty is no stranger to topics impacting gifted, 2e, and neurodivergent persons and makes it her mission to connect with others, authentically.

Outside of her work as a therapist and advocate, Dr. Patty teaches at various universities as an associate professor of psychology. She is also on the California BrainWaves neuroscience advisory board as a 2e specialist and the Cochise County area coordinator for Free Mom Hugs- Arizona, a group of parents, friends, and allies supporting the LGBTQIA+ community. 

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   Intersection of Intensity:   
Exploring Giftedness and Trauma 

  Presales Starting in 2024  

  Published by Gifted Unlimited  

  Watch for  
  Dr. Patty's Book!  

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About Theraputic Coaching, Speaking Engagements, Trainings, or General Questions and Comments!

Quirky, wordy and lightning-fast with a keyboard, Youssef Sleiman is a professional writer and brand journalist working in Dallas, Texas.

He’s a quick study, a systems thinker with an investigative and creatively divergent mind. His career-defining mission is to “make the important interesting.” His years of experience on the street as a local newspaper reporter in the Pacific Northwest shaped his natural curiosity and insight, sparking his drive to push for a more equitable society.

 

Today, Youssef facilitates virtual get-togethers with gifted individuals, actively follows the gifted community and serves as an administrator and facilitator for the Bloomers: Gifted & 2E group. Exceptionally gifted himself without a second exceptionality, Youssef devotes his time in the gifted community promoting mental health while supporting and empathizing with humanity’s outliers.

 

When he’s not replacing keyboards ruined by his typing speed, he entertains himself with novel writing, collaborative storygaming and trying new hobbies.

Youssef Sleiman
 

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Vice President
Director of Advocacy & Policy

Sheldon Gay

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Director of Programs & Mentorship

Sheldon Gay is a Black cishet man (he/him) in his 40s, who is a late-identified gifted person. He is the host of I Must Be BUG'N, a podcast focused on humanizing the Black gifted and otherwise neurodivergent experience. The podcast centers on relatable stories and experiences that move neurodivergence from a frame of deficiency to difference. His goal is to create a safe and empowering space for all neurodivergent people, especially those who may not officially be identified and those from underrepresented communities. He believes a world can exist where labels don't have to be limited by pathology.

 

In addition to his podcasting efforts, Sheldon Gay is the Founder of Techano Solutions where he strives to build equitable and inclusive software solutions. He also moderates the Bloomers: Gifted & 2e Facebook group. Sheldon actively mentors STEM students, especially neurodivergent ones, where he leverages his lived experience and expertise in technology to support their academic and professional journeys. He looks forward to expanding his community and advancing his journey of self-discovery and advocacy through the podcast and his mentorship initiatives.

Miranda Merrell's professional journey began at six when she decided to become a music teacher and performer, driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for evoking emotion through song. She honed her skills and by fourteen launched her teaching and performing business. By twenty-one, her success allowed her to support herself, sharing her love for music while fueling her personal growth and authentic connection with others.

 

However beautiful, Miranda’s developmental trek was not an easy one. Only recently identified with ADHD and exceptional giftedness, and with a litany of experiences that resulted in post-traumatic stress, she continues to seek a soft heart as she loves and learns while healing. Both sing-songy and serious with a hearty dose of “realism cloaked in humor,” Miranda does this work triumphantly.

 

Miranda’s aspirations go beyond personal triumphs as she seeks more restoration, fun, and connection on a global scale. Miranda serves as an advocate and moderator for the gifted community, showing up authentically to spread joy and compassion. Her commitment to supporting and empowering gifted individuals reflects her belief in nurturing diversity and fostering inclusivity, and her journey exemplifies the transformative power of passion and perseverance.

Miranda Merrell

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Creativity Consultant

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Andrew Goldish
Community Engagement 
Coordinator

About community involvement and Nerdstock volunteer opportunities!

Software engineer, creative writer, comparative religion devotee, historian, world traveler and native Bostonian — Andrew Goldish loves to make connections. Once a socially awkward math prodigy, Andrew is a polymath with a degree from MIT in theoretical computer science and a minor in planetary sciences.

 

Inspired by the camaraderie at MIT, he networks today with Boston Athenaeum, Third Factor, and the Harvard Club. He also hosts an intellectual salon in Brookline, Mass., blogs at Brookline Polymath, and serves as the community engagement coordinator.

 

Panoramic interests from history and spirituality to linguistics and community inspire Andrew today. He was raised in a Modern Orthodox Jewish family and finished in Jewish private school as an exceptionally gifted and highly-sensitive person (as defined by Elaine Aron). Today, Andrew seeks to help gifted and 2E persons connect with peers for encouragement and support on their unique, multifaceted journeys.

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