IEA 2017 Highlights
by Niña Abonal, Senior Program Coordinator
To celebrate the beginning of a new year, we wanted to take a look back at some noteworthy moments from 2017!
IEA has expanded and bought a house!
Through the generosity of our donors, IEA was able to purchase a beautiful craftsman home in Pasadena. The new space houses our programs, Academy classes, and monthly Gifted Support Groups. This past December, we hosted a Tree Trimming and Open House where families had the opportunity to take a guided tour, observe Academy classes, meet our dynamic Academy instructors, make DIY holiday ornaments, check out student work and nosh on cookies and hot cocoa.
IEA released results from a first-of-its-kind poll about gifted learners.
We commissioned the first ever national survey assessing the American public’s views on gifted education which found overwhelming bipartisan public support for increased funding for programs and resources for gifted students. It also indicated that the public recognizes the gifted population is often underserved. As a follow up in September, IEA gathered gifted education leaders from across the country in Pasadena to discuss the next steps in advocating for a policy solution championing gifted learners. The gathering included a presentation of the poll results, roundtable discussions, and a conversation on how organizations can work together to advocate for our nation’s gifted students. We are working on additional initiatives to inform and create change.
Students, parents, and supporters gathered for IEA’s Summer Spotlight.
In July, over 100 students, parents, and supporters of IEA gathered at The Barder House for IEA’s Summer Spotlight event where families enjoyed interactive demonstrations of our programs conducted by IEA students and Academy instructors, connected with other families with gifted children, and chowed down on a complimentary barbeque dinner and drinks!
Twenty-eight middle-schoolers from across the country were named 2017 Caroline D. Bradley Scholars.
From an applicant pool of 386 students, CDB’s largest-ever applicant pool, 55 Finalists were selected by three Scholarship Selection Committees comprised of a diverse group of school admissions directors, CDB alumni, university personnel and community and business leaders nationwide. Following extensive personal interviews, 28 of the Finalists were selected as recipients of the 2017 scholarship. Congratulations to our 2017 CDB Scholars!
Twenty talented high school students worked with distinguished Mentors through EXPLORE.
Students were thoughtfully matched with mentors who shared similar passions in their career field of interest and had professional trajectories externs hoped to pursue in the future. These externs conducted college level research and work in fields such as biomathematics, computer science, architecture, pediatric medical research, ethnomusicology and more. Also, as a new component of EXPLORE, students met every Friday to attend educational excursions and workshops geared towards building their college and career readiness.
Yunasa brought together 113 campers for a summer of fun outdoor activities, workshops led by our beloved Fellows, and community-building events.
This year, Yunasa accepted the most campers it has in its 15 years of operation. We welcomed back 77 returning campers and 36 new campers for Yunasa and Yunasa West. The goal of the one week camp is to balance all sides of giftedness – intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and physical. Hannah, a 4th year Yunasa camper, shares her experience about finding her tribe at Yunasa on our blog.
Teacher trainings brought Academy instructors together to share their experience, knowledge and creative ideas.
Academy conducted 3 pre-session teacher trainings to help prepare our instructors to work with our community of gifted learners. Trainings covered such topics as support for twice-exceptional students and guest speakers included Sharon Duncan from GRO Gifted and IEA’s very own, President Betsy Jones.
IEA honored three valued members of the IEA community, Dr. Tony Travouillon, Jason Roberts and Sandy Roberts, at the Awards Dinner and Celebration.
In November, we hosted 90 guests at the University Club in Pasadena for our annual fundraiser. The evening brought together program alumni, Mentors, parents, board members, and supporters of IEA and we also honored three gifted education rock stars including Academy Instructor, Dr. Tony Travouillon, who received the Educator Award, and Sandy and Jason Roberts of Math Academy who received the Community Advocate Award. The event raised nearly $30,000 to support IEA’s programs for gifted youth! Thank you to all who attended and contributed to this event!
We’ve grown our online presence through our redesigned Gifted Resource Center.
The Gifted Resource Center (GRC) is a free public tool created and curated by IEA which serves as an online database of resources for the gifted community. To date, the database has over 450 gifted resources and over 15,000 page views.
IEA hosted nine free Gifted Support Group meetings.
During the school year, we offer complimentary monthly talks featuring experts on various aspects of gifted youth and education. These talks are intended for parents and educators of gifted children to provide support and community, a venue for shared discovery, and a space to exchange resources and ideas. Previous topics include Mindfulness and the Whole Child, Gifted Resource Swap, Gifted and Teenage, Homeschooling 101 and Finding the Right School Fit.
Four new staff members joined our small but mighty team.
Anvi Kevany, Administrative Assistant
Abby Daniels, Director of Development & Communications
Nicole Endacott, Program Assistant
Hillary Jade, Program Manager
And, most importantly, IEA programs supported more than 453 bright young minds!
Needless to say, IEA had a lot to celebrate in 2017 and we could not have done any of this without the help of our amazing community!
IEA continues to receive remarkable support from families who have benefited from our programs, as well as community partners who believe in our mission and work. Thank you to everyone who generously contributed this year, and to our amazing volunteers who assisted in our programming, marketing, and fundraising efforts. Thanks to you, we are able to deliver highly customized programs to more bright and eager learners across the country.
We look forward to an impactful 2018!
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