Most students don’t think about scholarships in middle school, but Shreyan Jain is not like most people. The Cabrillo Middle School eighth-grader recently won the prestigious Caroline D. Bradley scholarship. A merit-based scholarship awarded to students who want to attend schools that support their unique ways of learning.
“The selection committees look for applicants who have demonstrated a strong interest and commitment in maximizing their education, who have tested in the 98th percentile on nationally normed standardized tests, who can articulate their passions, are creative and who have a strong intellectual curiosity,” said Elizabeth Jones, the president of the Institute for Educational Advancement.
Shreyan was 1 of 27 students selected this year.
“Shreyan’s passions about computers and technology have gone above and beyond mere interest,” said Jones. “[His] Caroline D. Bradley application and interview presented a very articulate young man with strong intellectual curiosity destined to be a lifelong learner.”
One of the things that made Shreyan stand out was his blog about technology and the application of what he already knows about computers. Currently, he’s working on a program that will allow people with slow internet connections or older computers to search the internet.
“I read an article about a monk in a remote area in Myanmar who was forced to use dial up connections because those were the only connections that were offered in his region,” said Shreyan, who says newer websites take a long time to load on older computers and dialup internet connections.
“There were obviously other people in the world who were in similar situations,” continued Shreyan. “I wanted to make sure that they could at least search the internet, even if they were forced to use such slow and old internet connections.”
Shreyan understands himself better than most kids his age. While computers and technology are his passions now, he knows that tastes change over time and so he hasn’t confirmed yet what he’ll study in college.
His mom, Priyanka, is just happy that her son will attend a high school that fits his needs.
“It’s not the recognition as much as that he’s going to have the right support and resources to continue learning in the best way,” said Priyanka. “Despite being academically strong, traditional schools don’t always meet his needs as he has a curious nature that wants to delve deeply into subjects, but is also very shy. To bring out the best in him, he needs a learning environment that accommodates his unique traits.”
The Caroline D. Bradley scholarship will pay for the next four years of schooling for Shreyan.
Shreyan attended Helios School in Sunnyvale from kindergarten through sixth grade and spent the last two years attending Cabrillo Middle School. His family credits Mike Orlando, Shreyan’s counselor at Helios School, with inspiring him to apply for this scholarship.