Category Archives: About IEA

The IEA Blog Has Moved!

The IEA blog has moved to its new home on our brand new website! We hope you will check it out and stay up to date on new content at www.educationaladvancement.org/blog.

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2014 at IEA in Pictures

2014 was another eventful year at IEA! Here are just a few of the highlights from the year.

We dedicated and named our new home, The Barder House, in honor of Sarah D. Barder, whose generosity and vision have greatly impacted the Institute for Educational Advancement and our nation’s brightest youth. Ms. Barder’s family and more than 150 members of the IEA community were in attendance.

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More than 100 campers attended Yunasa and Yunasa West this year, where they learned to balance the intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual, and physical aspects of their lives.

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We had the tremendous opportunity to host three Academy sessions at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, where students and teachers were granted access to the institution’s wide range of resources.

A group of Summer Academy students enjoys The Huntington's gardens and has fun with new friends made over lunch

As part of the continuously growing Academy program, we offered two Genius Days in 2014. During these days of deep learning, students worked with an expert in the field to uncover the contributions of an individual we consider a genius. This year’s Genius Days studied Galileo and “father of geology” William Smith.

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During the summer, 29 high school students from across the country worked with renowned experts in their field of interest through IEA’s Apprenticeship Program.

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The 2014 Bradley Seminar brought more than 100 Caroline D. Bradley Scholars, parents, alumni, and supporters to Pasadena, California, for a weekend of community, support, and intellectual stimulation.

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Many members of our community gathered for IEA’s annual Summer Spotlight, an evening of learning, reflection, and friendship.

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Dr. Steve Hindle, W.M. Keck Foundation Director of Research at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, delivered a fascinating comparative talk on the English and American Civil Wars at IEA’s Autumn Benefit.

IEA President Elizabeth Jones with guest speaker Dr. Steve Hindle and IEA Academy Coordinator Louise Hindle

We welcomed 30 new Caroline D. Bradley Scholars, including these bright young minds!

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Thank you for helping us make this another amazing year of connecting bright young minds and nurturing intellectual and personal growth! We couldn’t do it without you.

Here’s to a successful, prosperous 2015!

The Gift of Giving

By Louise Hindle, IEA Program Manager

Supporting Gifted ChildrenIt’s that time of year when we rack our minds to recall, imagine, or anticipate the ‘perfect’ gift. Whether that perfect gift is for a holiday party, for Christmas, for Hanukkah – it just is, unrelentingly, ‘that’ time of year.

Trying to answer why we give is perhaps more complicated. We may give because there is an expectation, arguably enforced upon us by the commercial world in which we live and struggle to escape or hide from; we may give because we feel obliged to do so; but most of all, I’d like to think most of us give because we want to demonstrate our love and appreciation towards our family and our community.

Gift giving does not, of course, have to be a physical or monetary gesture. A gift can be an act of altruism and at IEA, there are many acts of altruism performed daily. My fabulous co-workers help each other with everything and anything daily; Academy teachers give their time and energy in so many ways beyond anything written in an IEA Letter of Agreement; our volunteers turn in to the office regularly and assist us with all manner of tasks; and our parents act with enormous help and initiative during class and in between sessions by recommending us and keeping us growing. These manifold acts are both similar to and different from what we might understand as philanthropy but they are, nonetheless, real gifts upon which a small not-for-profit organization depends.

Read more about gift giving and gifted youth.

IEA Autumn Benefit 2014

On Thursday, November 20, IEA welcomed fifty guests to The Barder House in Pasadena, California, for our Autumn Benefit. The heartwarming sense of community along with an intellectually stimulating lecture created an amazing evening. Thank you to all who joined us. Here are a few of the event highlights.

After an opening reception featuring cocktails and delicious hors d’oeuvres catered by Matt Roman, attendees enjoyed a guest lecture by IEA parent and friend Dr. Steve Hindle. Dr. Hindle presented a comparative talk on the English and American Civil Wars, making parallels between the takeover of the British monarchy by Oliver Cromwell and the leadership of the confederacy under Jefferson Davis. Most interestingly, Dr. Hindle contrasted the memorialization of these national figures, noting the immense differences in which these notorious historical leaders have been remembered in their respective native lands. As a social and economic historian particularly interested in micro histories, Dr. Hindle was adept at keeping his audience interested and laughing while probing beneath the surface of any layman’s general knowledge of historical events. IEA is grateful to have like-minded individuals like Dr. Hindle, who are eager to promote learning for the sake and love of learning, as members of our community.

IEA President Elizabeth Jones with guest speaker Dr. Steve Hindle and IEA Academy Coordinator Louise Hindle

IEA President Elizabeth Jones (center) with guest speaker Dr. Steve Hindle (left) and IEA Academy Coordinator Louise Hindle (right)

We would like to extend our most sincere gratitude to the volunteers who helped make this evening possible: Dr. Steve Hindle, for his fascinating lecture; CDB Scholar Michelle for her musical performance on flute during the reception; CDB Scholar Jarett and Apprenticeship Alumnus James for their help throughout the event; Matt Roman for the wonderful hors d’oeuvres; and Kevin Malone for the excellent bar service.

IEA program participants volunteered at the event and were a delight to have with us

IEA program participants volunteered at the event and were a delight to have with us

Michelle played flute for guests during the opening reception

Michelle played flute for guests during the opening reception

If you were unable to attend the event but are interested in supporting the social, emotional, spiritual, physical, and intellectual growth of gifted youth, please consider making a donation to IEA today. Your support will provide opportunities for more bright young minds to flourish and grow.

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Thank you again to all of our donors, guests, and volunteers. Your participation in this event has played an integral part in our fundraising efforts for this year to help us continue to provide unique and valuable programs and services to bright young minds. We couldn’t do it without you!

Small Steps

van_gogh-great_things_small_things2Last week, IEA’s staff members met for a two-day retreat. The retreat was filled with fun, laughter, and collaboration as we participated in teambuilding activities, discussed our programs and the organization, and planned for the coming year. To start the retreat, each team member shared a quote she brought to inspire the group.

Here are some of those quotes:

“The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.” – Thomas Merton

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent Van Gogh

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vince Lombardi

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

As we looked at the quotes and listened to why each person chose that quote, we found a few themes: We are all here to make a difference. The issue we are addressing – the importance of meeting the needs of gifted children – is a big issue, and we encounter many barriers in working towards that goal. However, that goal is worthy of every ounce of our time and attention, and the small steps we take to get there are powerful and important. Every small step we take impacts a life, and every life we impact impacts the world. That is why we are all here.

Over the rest of the retreat, we talked specifically about the small – and sometimes large – steps IEA will take over the coming year to support the needs of gifted children across the country, steps that included everything from school outreach to parent support to enhanced program offerings.

All of us in the gifted community can take small steps to work towards a world in which our gifted children are understood, celebrated, and supported. Please join us as we take necessary steps towards that worthwhile goal.

Announcing the 2014 Caroline D. Bradley Scholars!

We are excited to announce the 2014 Caroline D. Bradley Scholars! Please join us in congratulating this new group of bright, talented young people who demonstrate academic and personal excellence.

Rebekah Agwunobi, Washington
Cole Arnett, Texas
Tuvya Bergson-Michelson, California
Paige Busse, New Jersey
Audrey Chin, California
Galileo Daras, California
Miranda Derossi, Nevada
Eden Fesseha, Pennsylvania
Elias Garcia, New Mexico
Aeden Gasser-Brennan, California
Calder Hansen, California
Matthew Hurley, Illinois
Michelle Jeon, California
Anjalie Kini, Colorado
Ethan Knight, California
Kathy Lee, California
James Liu, Oregon
Holly McCann, North Carolina
Nicholas Miklaucic, North Carolina
Catherine Phillips, North Carolina
Emily Powell, California
Ruhi Sayana, California
Jeffrey Shen, California
Henry Spritz, Maine
Yajur Sriraman, New Jersey
Seth Talyansky, Oregon
Sophia Vahanvaty, California
Andy Xu, South Carolina
Ivy Zhang, New Jersey
Jacob Zimmerman, Massachusetts

The Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship awards highly gifted students with a four-year scholarship to a high school that fits their individual intellectual and personal needs. Students apply in 7th grade. If you are interested in receiving information about the 2015 Scholarship as it becomes available, please join our email list.

Reflections on Apprenticeship 2014

By Min-Ling Li

Min-Ling is IEA’s Apprenticeship Program Coordinator. IEA’s residential summer Apprenticeship Program links gifted high school students from across the country with mentors who advance each participant’s skills through the application of knowledge and exposure to real world experiences. These life lessons in personal and intellectual development are invaluable to their growth and assist them in making pertinent connections for the future.

High School Apprenticeship Program

Min-Ling (far left) with the four- and seven-week Apprentices

“Everything you can imagine is real.” Pablo Picasso

I had the honor of spending seven weeks – a time that has magically flown by – alongside wonderful students whom I could not get enough of. Their passion and diligence radiated all around them, and I watched each of them grow over the course of the summer. I feel privileged to have been witness to not only their physical growth (hair and height) but to the development of their perseverance and the bloom of their self-confidence.

As an IEA Apprentice, students must possess an innate desire to learn and an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Driven by these characteristics, each Apprentice worked alongside eminent professionals, becoming a vital part of a research team and/or project. These opportunities posed challenges that gifted students typically do not face in the classroom. The unique difficulties posed by the need to acquire as much knowledge of a subject as possible in an effort to become a productive contributor and by entering into professional cultures they had not yet experienced helped each student develop a newfound maturity. Doctors, research scientists, lawyers, and I comprised the team of mentors who committed to providing support for the Apprentices as they began to mature intellectually and socially, and we provided opportunities for them to learn and to succeed on their own laurels.

Apprentices cultivated relationships with each other and found the acceptance and the strength they needed to conquer the challenges they faced. After each arduous work day, dinner was the time when they shared their struggles to comprehend complex science jargon, algorithms, design techniques, and intricate medical procedures, all the while discussing their experiences with hot wire cutters and petri dishes. Somehow, dinner conversations always culminated in discussions about who they were rooting for on MasterChef or the games they planned to play back at the dorm.

During the evenings and on weekends, Resident Advisers and I engaged the Apprentices’ teenage selves. In an effort to bridge asynchronous highly able minds with their adolescent emotional and psychological needs, we played Pictionary, bowled, went ice skating, and attended a baseball game. Many of the kids also completed summer AP assignments, and many watched a Harry Potter marathon. Astonishingly, I watched each of the Apprentices achieve balance.

At this time last year, I could only dream of these young adults, who have now exceeded all of my expectations. It is now time to plan for next year’s program, and I can only imagine who the phenomenal students will be that take part in Apprenticeship 2015.

See photos from Apprenticeship 2014!
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Do you know a gifted high school student who would benefit from Apprenticeship? Sign up for our email list to stay updated on our 2015 offerings!