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An Investment in the Future

Through the financial generosity of Mr. Manuel DeBusk and DeBusk Foundation, the DECATS summer experience offers gifted and talented Scholars exciting opportunities for growth, achievement, and adventures in learning. Each summer, tomorrow's leaders gather to form a community dedicated to the pursuit of excellence, wisdom, and creativity. By providing qualitatively different learning experiences, DECATS instills in young Scholars the ambition to make the most of their God-given talents and the commitment to make a difference in our world.

A Tradition of Excellence

Since 1994, Scholars accepted for DECATS are students from grades three through six who have demonstrated achievement or shown potential in such areas as general intellectual ability, specific subject matter aptitude, creative and critical thinking, leadership, and task commitment. Scholars who graduate from the program join over 2,000 alumni who have been part of the DECATS legacy. Immersed in the Triad Process developed by Dr. Joseph Renzulli, DECATS Scholars are challenged ...

  • By activities that enable them to operate cognitively and effectively at complex levels of thought and feeling.
  • Through group and individual work that demonstrates process and product outcomes.
  • By discussions among intellectual peers.
  • By the opportunity to see inter-relationships in all bodies of knowledge.
  • By special courses in the Scholar's areas of strength and interest, accelerating the pace and depth of content presented.
  • By greater exposure to new areas of learning and without the formal school structure, and to develop more fully the following skills: critical thinking, creative thinking, research, problem-solving, coping, exceptionality, risk-taking, decision-making, and leadership.
  • To apply their abilities to real problems in the real world.
  • To develop leadership skills that are centered in Christ's example of servant leadership, and to embrace the philosophy that "better at does not mean better than."

A Qualitatively Different Learning Experience

Each summer, distinguished professional educators present a variety of courses that spark and sustain interest in the intellectual pursuits, expand problem solving ability, enhance leadership, and equip Scholars with the skills and awareness that is integral to their success as gifted young men and women.

Typical course offerings include computer science and technology, robotics, life science, astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, architecture, government, religion, literature, music, drama, journalism, anthropology, history, art and art history, as well as creative and critical thinking.

Ideas for courses are not only generated by mentors but also by Scholars and parents as a part of our evaluation process.

Celebrating Academic Achievement and Excellence Since 1994

The story of DECATS begins in Grand Prairie, Texas, with a principal of a small, low-income Catholic school of primarily Mexican immigrant students. The special thing about this school is that it had been recently named an Exemplary School by the United States Government.

The news of this achievement appeared soon after in the Dallas News. What Dr. Diane Cooper, Principal, did not know was that Mr. Manuel DeBusk would read that issue of the News, and she would be the one to chance the lives of gifted children across Texas forever.

"After reading this article, I [DeBusk] said, 'the principal there must be good.' So I walked into this little school with a $7,000 check in my hand. I presented it to the principal, Diane Cooper, and asked if she would like to use this money to set up a program for talented kids. She did, and that's how the DECATS program got started," DeBusk said.

DECATS is funded each year through the generosity of DeBusk Foundation. Manuel and Edith DeBusk established the Foundation on March 5, 1979, as a means of giving financial support to charitable activities. Because Mr. DeBusk was a gifted child growing up in a time when there were virtually no special programs for gifted students, he was anxious to provide opportunities for gifted children. This led him to approve a grant for the establishment of the first DeBusk Enrichment Center for Academically Talented Scholars, in Grand Prairie, Texas.

The mission of the Foundation and of DECATS is to provide enrichment for gifted students of elementary schools. At DECATS, that enrichment includes not just exciting and accelerated courses but also in-depth study of what it means to be gifted. During DECATS, we explore the joys of being gifted, as well as the difficulties, the advantages, and the responsibilities.

Core to DECATS, and most importantly, Scholars learn that "better at does not mean better than."

DeBusk Foundation continues to provide the grants to carry out the DECATS program at various locations each summer. DECATS was founded by Cooper at Immaculate Conception School in Grand Prairie to serve the academically talented students in the Dallas area. Since then, DECATS has expanded to Houston and surrounding areas.

DECATS today offers over thirty challenging courses. Since Dr. Marty Webb opened DECATS in Houston in 1994 at Corpus Christi Catholic School, it has been held every summer. Webb has since passed the program on to Director John Barone, and she now serves on DeBusk Foundation's Board of Directors and is the Founder and Principal of The Monarch School in Houston.

The Association of Small Foundations has published an article about DeBusk Foundation. The article highlights the Foundation as one of Focused Giving. You can read the article at

To read more about the mission of DeBusk Foundation, its Founders, Board of Directors, and other programs which it funds, visit DeBusk Foundation at http://www.debuskfoundation.org.

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