SPARTA, NJ —Sebastián Gómez, a student from Sparta, was recently honored as one of the brightest young students in the nation at a regional awards ceremony for academically advanced children sponsored by The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. The Center honored Sebastián, a participant in the CTY Talent Search, for his exceptional performance on a rigorous, above-grade-level test given to academically talented second-through-eighth-grade students.
As part of the CTY Talent Search, which is going on now, advanced young learners take above-grade level tests that CTY has used for years to spot academic talent and reveal gaps between a child’s academic program and his or her actual capacity for learning. Seventh and eighth graders take the SAT or ACT—the same tests used for college admissions. These students, along with second through sixth graders, can take the School and College Ability Test (SCAT), an above-level test.
Sebastián, a student at Sparta Middle School, was one of more than 38,000 students from over 120 countries who participated in the CTY Talent Search. Because of the difficulty of the tests, only about 30 percent of students who participated earned an invitation to a CTY Awards Ceremony where they are individually honored for their academic performance and potential. Most students honored in 2014 CTY Awards Ceremonies also qualified academically for CTY's summer courses and online classes.
"The CTY awards ceremony congratulates students for their academic achievement, and it recognizes the defining roles that parents, educators, and others play in developing the academic talents of our outstanding honorees,” said Elaine Tuttle Hansen, executive director of CTY. “For these advanced learners, as with all children, there should be no gap between their capabilities and the opportunities open to them."
This spring, some 9,700 CTY Talent Search honorees were invited to participate in 43 CTY Awards Ceremonies across the county, and one in Hong Kong. New Jersey’s 2014 ceremonies were scheduled at Rowan University on Saturday, May 10; Rutgers University on Saturday, May 31; and William Paterson University on Saturday, June 7.
A global leader in gifted education since 1979, The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth is focused on recognizing academic talent in exceptional K-12 students and supporting their growth with courses, services, and resources specifically designed to meet their needs. Education Week called CTY "one of a set of remarkable nonpublic institutions dedicated to the discovery and nurture of the most talented young people for the highest levels of accomplishment."
- CTY draws students from 50 states and nearly 100 countries worldwide.
- CTY provided $5.5 million in financial aid to more than 6,770 students for Talent Search or programs in fiscal 2013.
- CTY Talent Search participants are a diverse group: Among those who chose to report their ethnicity, 42 percent describe themselves as white or Caucasian, 27 percent as Asian American or Asian, 12 percent as Latino or Hispanic, 8 percent as black or African American, 6 percent as of South Asian origin, 1 percent as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, less than one percent as Native American, and 4 percent as other.
- Gifted students qualifying for the federal free- or reduced-price lunch program may join the Talent Search virtually for free.
- For more information about enrolling in the CTY Talent Search, go to www.cty.jhu.edu.