Seeing their son compete this past week on the series premiere of Lifetime’s “Child Genius” reminded Gregory and Traci Sumter of their gratitude in seeing a self-motivated youngster grow in multiple ways.
John Sumter, a 9-year-old in the fourth grade at River Oaks Elementary School, was among the first group of contestants who went home from the “Child Genius” competition for 20 youth ages 8-12 – with only five from east of the Mississippi River – and a $100,000 college fund prize. However, that was just one endeavor among many activities inside and outside of school with which he stays busy.
Gregory Sumter reflected Friday about the venture on the TV show, which continues with new episodes 10-11 p.m. Tuesdays through February on the cable channel Lifetime. He also said “all the credit goes to my wife” for keeping up with John and active daily life, with the shuttling by car, waiting “in the pickup lines” at school, and always being there for his needs with the dutiful attention “a soccer mom” devotes.
He’s pretty well rounded ... a typical little boy. He likes video games and things along that line. He’s pretty well balanced.
I believe that with disappointments, if they’re handled appropriately, and you had a good support system ... it causes you to grow and get better. We have a saying in our house, and I use it when I’m doing meetings with staff: In life, you either get better or bitter; that’s the philosophy we try to adhere to. ...
John has said he wants to be a scientist and find a cure for cancer. Then he was talking with somebody yesterday, and he said he changed his mind about being a scientist. You have that freedom when you’re little. He said he wants to be a defense attorney.