Recently, MMS 8th grader Elyse C. learned some incredibly exciting news: She has been named one of just 15 students nationwide to receive the prestigious Caroline D. Bradley scholarship, a highly competitive full scholarship that identifies exceptionally gifted middle school students and offers them a full four-year scholarship to any private high school of their choosing.
Elyse worked very hard to receive the scholarship, studying for weeks to take the SAT (the standardized test normally taken by high school upperclassmen to gain acceptance into college). She was also required to write roughly six long and short-answer essays on a variety of topics such as describing characteristics about herself and sharing insight on her favorite books. After submitting her SAT score, her essays, and other required materials for application, Elyse was notified that she had become a finalist for the scholarship, and would be interviewed for final consideration in July.
“It was a really long process, and a lot of work,” Elyse explains. “But I am thankful to Ms. Van Aken and Miss Ziemke for coaching me for the interview portion. They offered so much help, so I wasn’t that nervous in the interview at all!”
Elyse learned she was selected for the scholarship on Monday. “I was really excited when I found out,” Elyse beams. “But I had to keep it a secret all day until my dad got home. My parents freaked out!” She said her parents were jumping up and down in excitement, and even her younger sister, MMS Lower El student Nikki, joined in the celebration, “even though she probably didn’t realize exactly what we were excited about,” Elyse laughs.
Receiving the scholarship means Elyse can choose essentially any private school in the country that she would like to attend, granted she would gain acceptance. “The scholarship program gives special guidance [to all recipients] to help find a school anywhere that would be the best fit based on your interests,” Elyse explains. “I’m not sure my parents would be too excited [if I went abroad], but I think it would be a really good experience to go.” Even so, Elyse is not ruling out the idea of attending any local schools, naming University School and Divine Savior Holy Angels as top choices, as well.
When asked how she felt taking the SAT, Elyse, who loves both writing and math, said she was confident the whole way through. From the help she received for the interview portion, to the time management skills required for studying and submitting the required essays, Elyse feels that what she’s learned at MMS gave her a leg up in the running for the scholarship. “I definitely think it was MMS that prepared me,” she says.
We are so proud of Elyse and her incredible honor. As she enters her final year at MMS, it is obvious she embodies our school’s mission to educate students of knowledge, courage, personal integrity, and compassion. Congratulations, Elyse, and best of luck as you search for your next school; they will be lucky to have you.