About me

My name is Teresa Ryan Manzella, and I have been advocating for gifted youth since 1993. As a person who weathered adolescence being both gifted and bisexual, I have first-hand experience with the challenges that can come from being G2.

Member of:

  • American Mensa, Ltd.
  • Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented (MCGT)
  • Minnesota Educators for the Gifted and Talented (MEGT)
  • National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)

Elected and appointed positions I hold in these organizations (or have held in the past) include:

  • Member, Mensa Educational and Research Foundation (MERF) National Gifted Youth Committee
  • Diversity and Equity Committee, NAGC
  • Gifted and Talented Advisory Committee, MN Dept. of Education
  • Gifted Youth Coordinator, Minnesota Mensa, 2002 – 2017
  • Past President, Minnesota Mensa
  • Past Co-chair, NAGC LGBTQ Network
  • Past Under-served Populations Representative (at-large board position), MCGT

Because this combination is not something many people have researched or advocated for—leaving most organizations unaware of the need to address it—I work to inform groups and individuals of the unique needs of these kids. I also press for more inclusive language, policies, and opportunities for them.

In 2011, I was part of a group of three people who founded the special interest group (SIG) dedicated to G2 youth, within NAGC. This SIG has now grown into the LGBTQ network, consisting of hundreds of people, and it has its own strand of sessions at NAGC’s annual convention.

In 2012, I completed a self-designed Master of Liberal Studies degree. My research focused on the challenges faced by youth who are both gifted and members of gender/sexual minorities.

As an advocate and a scholar, I have made numerous presentations to groups of educators, parents, and community groups. I have been invited as a guest lecturer, as part of undergraduate and graduate courses for student educators and administrators. I have also been invited to write on issues facing gifted-LGBTQ+ youth. Those who engage my services tell me that they see me as someone who not only has specific expertise around gifted/LGBTQ+ issues, but who is also approachable and willing to help.

If you are interested in having me speak to your group, act as a guest lecturer, or write content for a book/newsletter/website, please visit my Speaking page for more information.

Comments are closed.