FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ (September 16, 2021) — Far Hills Country Day School Grade 8 student Sahara Muhammad of Franklin Township, NJ, is the recipient of The Institute of Educational Advancement (IEA) Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship. The program provides its recipients a four-year high school scholarship for gifted learners to attend an optimally matched high school program to help them work toward meeting their unique intellectual and personal potential.

Students apply for the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship in the seventh grade and are required to complete a rigorous portfolio application process, which includes essays, middle school transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a work sample. Eligible applicants must also achieve scores at or above the 97th percentile on nationally normed standardized tests.

“The Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship is a wonderful opportunity to not only financially support some of the brightest young minds in the country, but to welcome them into a nurturing community,” said Elizabeth Jones, President and Co-Founder of IEA. “It’s a key part of our mission to support gifted youth so that they can become thought leaders, problem solvers, and successful individuals.”

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The CDB selection committee is comprised of a diverse group of nationwide high school and university admissions directors, CDB alumni, community members, and business leaders. The rigorous selection process took place over the course of several months, wherein the committee met both virtually and in-person to review scholarship applications and interview candidates.

Sahara's father, Sharif Muhammad found out about the scholarship six years ago when he met the parent of a CDB scholar while attending a gifted education conference. "Her daughter was attending Phillips Exeter Academy on the scholarship, and it planted the seed for envisioning such an award for Sahara. Well, Sahara did all the work to make that dream a reality," said Mr. Muhammad.

Sahara previously received the Grand Honors Award in the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) talent search for her exceptionally high SAT score. Her SAT performance (96th percentile in Math and 94th percentile overall) also resulted in her being invited to join CTY’s Julian C. Stanley Study of Exceptional Talent (SET) program. Students qualify for SET by taking the SAT before age 13 and scoring at least 700 on either the SAT Math or SAT Verbal (Critical Reading or Evidence-Based Reading and Writing) test. Sahara took the test as a 12yr old in the seventh grade.

Sahara’s SAT performance was also recognized by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, which accepted her into their highly competitive Davidson’s Young Scholars program. This program offers enrichment programs and services designed to nurture the intellectual, social, emotional, and academic development of profoundly intelligent young people between the ages of 5 and 18.

Sahara, who take Honors Precalculus as an eighth-grader, also qualified for the Mathleague state championships as both a Grade 5 and Grade 6 student.

In addition to her academic excellence, Sahara also enjoys playing tennis for Far Hills in the fall and is excited to lead her school's fencing team this winter. As part of her commitment to community service, she serves as a peer tutor in math.

"I couldn't be happier for Sahara and her family,” said Edward Thompson, Director of Operations and Secondary School Placement at Far Hills Country Day School. “Being named a Caroline D. Bradley scholar is a spectacular honor and achievement. Speaking for the whole community, we are all looking forward to watching Sahara's curiosity and ambition take root at her next school, therein launching the pursuit of her dreams and goals. There are no limits for Sahara!”

The Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA) is dedicated to the intellectual, creative, and personal growth of our nation’s gifted and high-potential youth. Central to the mission of IEA is a commitment to the development of the whole child through engaging educational experiences that promote optimal challenge, mentorship, exploration of ideas, and recognition of personal potential. IEA seeks to connect like-minded individuals through dynamic and engaging year-round programming. Additionally, IEA supports a diverse community that creates a sense of belonging and affirmation. For more information, visit

IEA’s Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship Program is one of the few U.S. high school scholarship programs that are need-blind and awarded solely on the basis of merit to highly gifted seventh graders. Since its inception in 2002, the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship has served over 350 students with academic and social support, high school tuition, and a lifelong network for mentorship and peer connections.