Hancock Park resident Elili Flore, an 8th grader at Walter Reed Middle School, was recently awarded the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship from the Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA). The honor includes four-year tuition (upwards of $200k per scholar) to the high school or high school program of her choosing.
We met Flore with her mom, author Julie Buxbaum, for gelato on Larchmont Blvd. last week. Flore is already an accomplished eighth-grader who runs an editing service for middle-grade authors. She told us she found out about the scholarship from a school friend, who by happy coincidence, was among the 27 gifted students from around the country awarded a scholarship.
Flore’s writing and editing skills came in handy when completing the rigours application process. She and her mom worked together on separate projects using the Pomodoro time management technique, of doing focused work for 25 minute stretches with short five-minute breaks.
In addition to writing essays, she created a video on the phenomenon of Synesthesia, which she has and how it has impacted her life. Synesthesia causes sensory crossovers, such as tasting colors or feeling sounds often described as having “wires crossed” in the brain. For Flore, she sees colors when she reads certain words. Her debate skills were super helpful during the interview phase of the application process, she explained. IEA conducted two interviews of the finalists, one with parents, and one with the student speaking with two representatives from IEA.
Flore is excited about being able to attend a high school that will prepare her for college. She told us she wants to become a surgeon, she’s specifically interested in the digestive system.
“I had a dream about it when I was five,” said Flore. “I think the digestive system is very cool. I want to learn more about how the stomach interacts with our brain.”
Flore said Larchmont is one of her favorite places to come to do her homework or read.
“It’s a great place to be alone with other people,” said Flore.
“The applicant pool was one of the most diverse as far as the students’ backgrounds, interests, geographic locations and knowledge base, Elizabeth Jones, President and Co-Founder of IEA stated in a press release shared with the Buzz.
“As we celebrate our 25th anniversary as an organization that supports bright, young minds, we are reminded of how important this scholarship is for the 27 students who will benefit from an academically advanced high school program that will meet their highly intellectual needs,” Jones added.
Interested seventh-grade students who apply for the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship are required to complete a rigorous portfolio application process, which includes essays, middle school transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a work sample. Eligible applicants must also achieve scores at the highest level on nationally normed standardized tests.
Since its inception in 2002, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation has funded the scholarship. It is merit-based, need-blind scholarships of its kind in the United States. To date, IEA has awarded more than 400 scholarships to gifted learners and alumni who are already making their mark on the world.
We can’t wait to check back with Flore and see where she goes to high school and beyond!