Local Middle Schooler David Hadi Becomes First-Ever Burbank Recipient Of The Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship 


Burbank middle school student David Hadi has been named a 2022 recipient of the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship, making him the first Burbanker to win the award.

The prestigious four-year high school scholarship, which was initiated in 2002, is annually given to a group of gifted scholars on behalf of the Institute for Educational Advancement through funding from The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. The money from this grant then may be put toward their attendance of a high school or an accepted academic program “that best fits the scholar’s individual intellectual, academic, and personal needs and goals,” per the IEA.The 2022 class of scholarship winners consisted of 27 victors, and every year there may be anywhere from 27 to 30 students chosen by the IEA from around the country.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

In order to meet the eligibility requirements of the honor, Hadi showed that he’d scored a 99% on both school-issued standardized tests and an upper-level Secondary School Admission Test. Hadi also submitted student and parent statements, offered examples of past award wins, completed several essays, and provided teacher recommendations and work samples. Some of his work samples included an NFT collection of 2,475 virtual swords that Hadi had created in addition to a clip of his first La Mirada Symphony piano concerto performance, which took place when Hadi was in the third grade. Lastly, once he was announced as a finalist, Hadi participated in an interview prior to securing the award.

The application period for the scholarship began in November 2021 and was closed by April 2022. Over the summer of this year, Hadi was notified that he’d been chosen as a finalist, and in August he learned that the coveted scholarship was his.  

“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,” Hadi said. “It was a relief when [the IEA] informed me of my win. I was a sort of mix between ecstatic and surprised.”

The CDB Scholarship winners are decided upon by three selection committees that “are comprised of a diverse group of nationwide high school and university admissions directors, teachers and administrators, CDB alumni, community members, and business leaders,” the IEA stated in a press release. After a months-long process, the organization selected Hadi as a recipient as a result of his admirable scholarly and extracurricular accomplishments, as well as an impressive interview performance. 

“The CDB Scholarship is one of the few national merit-based/need blind high school scholarship programs in the U.S. David presented himself as meritorious in his written application and his interview,” Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship Program Director Bonnie Raskin said. “He is an honor student, an accomplished classical pianist and competitive chess player and someone who presents as a life-long learner. Our selection committee felt that David has tremendous academic potential and will take full advantage of the benefits of being a CDB Scholar.”

Following the win, Hadi has a few educational institutions in mind for his next place of study, such as Harvard-Westlake School and Polytechnic School. Though he possesses a wide-ranging aptitude for academics, the John Muir Middle School eighth grader states that his preferred subject is mathematics, for which he has both a knack and an enthusiastic interest. 

“My favorite academic subject by a long shot is math,” Hadi said. “It’s partly because I’m quite gifted at it, but also because I enjoy solving problems, equations, finding proofs, and all the other symbols and numbers that math uses.”

Since the news of the exceptional achievement has been released, John Muir Middle School Principal Dr. Greg Miller has shared the school’s pride in having Hadi as a student. Miller has also praised Hadi’s academic ambition and exemplary personal conduct. 

“We are very proud of David and what he has accomplished,” Miller said. “He is not only a very focused and driven student; he is also a nice young man. He will be a great asset to the Institute of Educational Advancement, and I’m sure that he will continue to succeed.”

As he moves forward with the CDB Scholarship triumph under his belt, Hadi’s future goals include enrolling in esteemed universities where he can prepare for further prosperity. 

“For college, I plan to apply to Stanford, MIT, Harvard, and other top-rated schools where I believe I can learn important skill sets needed for my future success,” Hadi said.