Eighth Grader, Tommy N., Earns Four-Year High School Scholarship!

Eighth Grader, Tommy N., Earns Four-Year High School Scholarship!

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Congratulations to Sage eighth grader, Tommy N., who recently earned a four-year high school scholarship through the Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA)!


IEA’s Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship offers one of the only merit-based, need-blind high school scholarships to highly gifted students across the United States.

The Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship is a full four-year, merit-based high school scholarship. The Scholarship can be used nationally toward any high school or approved alternative educational program that best fits the Scholar’s individual intellectual, academic, and personal needs and goals. The Scholarship enables highly able middle school students to explore and access unlimited high school and early college opportunities that provide these young adults with the optimal educational match for their high school career.

“The Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship is a wonderful opportunity to not only financially support some of the brightest young minds in the country, but to welcome them into a nurturing community,” said Elizabeth Jones, President and Co-Founder of IEA. “It’s a key part of our mission to support gifted youth so that they can become thought leaders, problem solvers and successful individuals.”

Tommy has been at student at The Sage School since the third grade. He shares his essay application below, describing the world he comes from and how it has shaped his dreams and aspirations.


During my thirteen and a half years of life, I have been given many opportunities, privileges, and gifts. I’ve always lived in a comfortable and pleasant home in a safe neighborhood. I’ve never had to worry about my next meal. I’ve had two loving and supportive parents who have provided me with many options to explore my passions. I’ve tried several different sports, taken cooking classes, played guitar and trumpet, and discovered a true passion for rock climbing and travel. 

Perhaps the most significant gift that I have been given is a high-quality and transformative education. My parents prioritized my education above all else. I spent the first few years of elementary school at my local, public school. While I made some good friends, I was bored at the pace of learning and school didn’t interest me very much. When I was in third grade, my parents transferred me to the Sage School—a private school for the academically gifted. Being at Sage has been crucial to my growth as a student and a person. Surrounded by supportive and academically challenging teachers, I have thrived and learned to truly enjoy learning.

In addition to all of these gifts, my world has been strongly shaped by the values exemplified by my parents. They have taught me to be respectful and kind to others, to work hard, and most importantly, to make the world a better, more equitable place. My dad has spent his career working to improve the lives of persons with disabilities. My mom, who strongly believed that everyone has the right to quality healthcare, dedicated her entire career to ensuring that our most vulnerable people have access to high-quality health care. My parents taught me to use my gifts to make the world a better place and I intend to follow in their footsteps.

My dreams and aspirations involve figuring out the way to best use my gifts to make the world a better place for others. This summer, I plan to travel to Ecuador on a service-related trip where I will be helping to rebuild an impoverished village. On this trip, I’ll be able to combine my love for travel with my passion for helping others less fortunate than myself. While my long-term professional dreams and plans are less clear, I do have some ideas about where I want to end up. I’m considering diplomacy, law and/or healthcare policy or some combination. All that considered, I do know that no matter what direction I take, I will always be guided by the values and principles that my parents taught me. I may never have a fancy house, drive an expensive car, or work on Wall Street. But I will work to make the world a better, more equitable place for others, especially those who need it the most. Not for myself, not for my family, but for everyone.