by Abby Daniels, Director of Development and Communications
This month, the Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA) kicks off our 20th year of supporting the hearts and minds of gifted youth. Since 1998, we have been dedicated to meeting the unique needs of gifted children so that they can reach their full intellectual and personal potential.
As we reflect on our history, our milestones, our current impact and our vision for the future, we invite our community to join us in identifying what makes IEA special. Can you add to the list below to help us get to 20 and celebrate our 20th Anniversary?
- Community. Central to our initiatives here at IEA is building a community of learners, teachers and mentors. This “community” happens organically with the ongoing connections between of the families we serve, but also through the events and gatherings we organize to bring new perspectives and voices together.
- Balance. As expressed in our logo of the Golden Ratio, at IEA we aim to help gifted youth achieve balance in their intellectual and personal lives. We understand that personal growth is multi-faceted, and involves not just the intellect but also emotional well-being, personal values and social connections.
- Fueling Curiosity. Gifted children need deeper exploration and enrichment than what is generally offered in a traditional school setting. We listen to our community, responding to their needs by offering deeply robust and advanced learning opportunities for all ages of gifted learners. Most recently, we launched our LABS series in response to an identified need expressed by our families for rich, STEM-based opportunities for middle and high schoolers.
- Partnerships. IEA first officially partnered with Pasadena Unified School District in 2000 to offer our Pipeline to Success program, an effort which successfully supported underserved gifted students in the district. Today, we continue to partner with local schools, school districts and education organizations so that through our combined efforts, the unique learning needs of the gifted population are met.
- Parent and Teacher Support. Finding the right resources and support for a gifted child can be overwhelming, frustrating and time-intensive. Since our inception, IEA has helped to ease this process for parents and teachers by providing in-person and online (see our Gifted Resource Center) guidance, counseling and support to help these caring adults find the optimal educational environment for a child.
- All Students. IEA is committed to helping all gifted children, regardless of background. This is why as a nonprofit we fundraise to be able to provide our heavily subsidized program offerings. And for those who are not able to pay tuition, we offer financial aid and scholarships. We are dedicated to not turning away any qualified student from participating in our programs. While it varies by individual program, approximately 1 in 4 students served by IEA receives financial aid.
- Advocacy. While IEA and our partners have made progress in advocating for the rights of gifted learners to receive needed support and resources, we still have a ways to go. In a national poll conducted through our Public Policy Initiative we have uncovered that the general public believes in supporting our gifted learners financially. With our many education and advocacy partners, we are working to ensure that gifted youth have access to the resources they need to thrive.
- People. Each time we talk to a parent, teach a student, train a teacher or provide counseling, our IEA staff, teachers, counselors and Fellows are deeply committed to providing the highest quality services possible. Our dedicated runs deep and it is felt by the students and parents in our community who overwhelmingly report positive experiences with IEA.
I invite you to learn more about how we plan to celebrate our 20th Anniversary and share with us what you believe makes IEA special. And if you’re interested in participating in our 20th Anniversary Celebration Committee, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Share your memories with us on social media using the hashtag #IEA20.