Sycamore School, a private school for gifted students in Indianapolis, has learned two of their eighth-grade students, Nate Liang and Emily Hackwelder, have been named national award recipients of the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship for the class of 2025 from the Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA).
They are two of only 28 national winners of a four-year high school scholarship for gifted learners to attend an optimally matched high school program to help them work toward meeting their unique intellectual and personal potential. No other school has multiple winners, and the Sycamore eighth graders are the only two from Indiana.
“This would not at all be possible without the teachers at Sycamore,” Liang’s mom, Attaya Suvannasankha, says. “Sycamore has taught Nate to grow as a whole person, with confidence, integrity, and generosity, both in the classroom and extra activities.”
Kathy Hackwelder says her daughter would not be as successful were it not for Sycamore. “Without the ten years of challenge, love and nurturing Emily has received at Sycamore, she would not have had this opportunity.”
Students apply for the Bradley Scholarship in the seventh grade and are required to complete a rigorous portfolio application process, which includes essays, middle school transcripts, two recommendations, and a work sample. Eligible applicants must also achieve scores at or above the 97th percentile on nationally normed standardized tests.
“This scholarship provides financial and personal support so these exceptionally gifted students can focus on their quest for knowledge and work toward their full potential,” says Elizabeth Jones, President and Co-Founder of IEA.
This year’s selection committee process looked different due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Three selection committees, comprised of nationwide high school and university admissions directors, CDB alumni, and community and business leaders, met virtually to review scholarship applications. Interviews were conducted via video conference. The program, which began in 2002, is one of the few merit-based, need-blind scholarships of its kind in the United States.