Burbank Middle Schooler Wins Major Scholarship

(Photo courtesy Vivian Hadi) - David Hadi, a student at John Muir Middle School, was recently named Burbank’s first ever recipient of the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship by the Institute for Educational Advancement.

First published in the Nov. 26 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank-born middle schooler David Hadi was recently named the recipient of the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship by the Institute for Educational Advancement making him the first ever Burbank student to receive the merit-based scholarship.
This four-year high school scholarship will match Hadi with his dream high school or individualized education program “to help him work toward meeting his unique intellectual and personal potential,” according to the IEA. Hadi joins a community of more than 350 scholars who have been recognized over the last 20 years.
Hadi applied for the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship in the 7th grade and was required to complete a rigorous portfolio application process, which includes essays, middle school transcripts, letters of recommendation and a work sample. Hadi was also required to achieve scores at the highest level on nationally normed standardized tests.
“Before I got the call, I was telling myself that even if I didn’t get into the scholarship, I still had the experience to learn from for future programs. It was a relief when the IEA informed me of my win. I was a sort of mix between ecstatic and surprised,” Hadi told the Leader.
“We are extremely honored to have had the opportunity to impact the lives of well over 400 promising young people through the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship,“ said Elizabeth Jones, president and co-founder of IEA. “These students exhibit great intellectual and creative potential, and we look forward to nurturing them as they advance through their high school years and beyond.”
The three Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship selection committees comprise a diverse group of nationwide high school and university admissions directors, teachers and administrators, CDB alumni, community members and business leaders. The rigorous selection process took place over the course of several months, wherein the committee reviewed applications and interviewed candidates.
Over the course of the next several months, IEA staff, current CDB scholars and CDB alumni will provide guidance and assistance to Hadi as he begins to identify potential high school programs, complete applications and prepare his individualized educational plans for his high school entrance.
As part of the scholarship, Hadi will work with the IEA’s team to identify the schools or programs that best fit his individual learning styles and academic goals. This includes discussions on what an optimal high school experience might look like academically, socially and with extracurriculars, according to Kat Kirsch, a representative for the IEA.
“I have a few high schools in consideration, such as Harvard-Westlake and Polytechnic. For college, I plan to apply to Stanford, MIT, Harvard and other top-rated schools where I can learn important skills for my future success,” Hadi said.
Though he’s in middle school, Hadi is studying college-level mathematics — trigonometry, calculus, linear algebra and combinatorics.
“My favorite academic subject by a long shot is math. It’s partly because I’m quite gifted at it, but also because I enjoy solving problems and equations, finding proofs, and all the other symbols and numbers that math uses,” Hadi said.
“I never just spontaneously figured out how to do math really well. My main reason for doing well was that I started early, and continued learning throughout the day, not just at school. This helped me move faster than my schoolmates, and allowed me to focus less on schoolwork, and more on learning even more. It’s just practice,” he said.
When he isn’t busy tending to his schoolwork, Hadi enjoys playing the piano, and his favorite piece is Beethoven’s “Sonata Pathetique.” He also plays for the school chess team at John Muir Middle, winning many individual chess championships. He’s been coding since the 3rd grade, and has ambitions to join the golf and badminton teams in high school. He loves to read, and said he does it constantly — clocking himself at 800 words per minute at times.
Information and applications for Caroline D. Bradley Scholarships are available online at educationaladvancement.org. Caroline D. Bradley Scholarships celebrated its 20th anniversary by hosting its Bradley Seminar, a multi-day conference where scholars meet their peers and share ideas in an energetic environment.