April 2012

Quick Links


Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our profile on LinkedIn
Find us on Google+View our videos on YouTubeView our photos on flickr

New Jersey SEEDS Introduces 

20th Anniversary Logo


SEEDS Leading Change Anniversary Benefit Raises More Than $720,000


Dear Friends of SEEDS,


It is my pleasure to introduce New Jersey SEEDS' 20th anniversary look with the Spring edition of eSeedlings! Officially launched at our Leading Change Benefit, this logo will usher us into our 21st year with the same excitement and energy our founders brought to the table when SEEDS was founded in 1992.


Our anniversary logo was designed by Sooyeon Kim, a senior in the School of Art at The Cooper Union. Sooyeon worked under the guidance of Mindy Lang, Director of the Center for Design and Typography, whose Professional Practice Class provides pro bono services to inspiring nonprofit organizations.


In Sooyeon's design proposal, she shared that her work, "reflects youth, growth and hope. The design has the potential to continue expanding the folded shape to represent the opening of new chapters for students and reflect the organization's forward-looking mindset. The geometric form illustrates the shape of opened books and alludes to the idea of education. The five letters of the acronym break out of the geometric form, creating a more active, vibrant and playful logo to better represent the motivated and high-achieving students of New Jersey SEEDS."


We could not agree more. For 20 years, we've provided

From left to right: SEEDS President Ronni Denes; SEEDS Founders Blair MacInnes, William V. Engel, Mark Sandler, and Betty Marsh; SEEDS Scholar Class of 2000 Daniela Frias, SEEDS Board of Trustees Chair Susan Present 

educational access to exceptional students across the state and have enabled some 1,630 students
to receive the education they want and deserve. 


At our Leading Change Benefit held on April 3 at Maritime Parc, we celebrated all that SEEDS has accomplished and honored those who have made significant contributions to improving the educational experiences of high-achieving, low-income students. Thanks to our honorees for joining us on this special night: Jerry del Missier and Barclays; Joseph M. Taylor and Panasonic; Superintendent of Orange Public Schools Ronald C. Lee; and our SEEDS Founders: John Duffy, William V. Engel, John Hanly, Blair MacInnes, Betty Marsh and Mark Sandler.


Special thanks to our friends and neighbors who have been supporting SEEDS for the past 20 years, and for those who joined us for our celebration in early April. More than 300 of you came out to expand educational access for students across the state. I'm proud to announce that you contributed more than $720,000 to change the lives of our scholars.


Thank you for all that you have done to support SEEDS in its mission to create a world where young people's initiative, creativity and intellect can flourish without regard to socioeconomic status.


Best regards,


Ronni Denes


zig zag 

Happenings at SEEDS


Admissions Overview


New Jersey SEEDS is proud to announce that we have selected the 2012-2013 class of Young Scholars. In all, 25 students were accepted to the program, which will begin June 25 at Delbarton School in Morristown, NJ.


Our Admissions team is now in the final stages of selecting our next Scholars class. Eighteen students were directly accepted as early admissions to the Summer Challenge Program (SCP). For two weekends in April, SEEDS volunteers and staff interviewed potential candidates and families, and notifications will be sent out in the coming days. In all, 125 students will be accepted for SCP, which takes place June 24-July 13 at The Hill School in Pottstown, Pa.


SEEDS Scholars Participate in Law and Hospital Days


Our Scholars have had a busy spring! As part of their curriculum, Scholars had the opportunity to explore potential future career paths in law and medicine. 


Thanks to the support of Trustee Victor Boyajian and his colleagues

Victor Boyajian (front left) and   SEEDS Scholars at SNR Denton for Law Day

at SNR Denton, Scholars

from Newark Academy spent several weeks preparing written and oral arguments on internet piracy. On March 31, their hard work paid off, as students presented their arguments to peers and SNR Denton mentors. 


Scholars also had the opportunity to attend annual Hospital Day events at Morristown Medical Center (March 17) and Hackensack University Medical Center (March 31). Scholars shadowed doctors in a variety of specialties and heard what a typical day is like for these medical professionals. SEEDS students also participated in a medical ethics case study where the group discussed how each would handle a moral dilemma when treating a patient. 


Young Scholars Program Holds Second Book Club Event 


SEEDS Young Scholars participated in their second peer book club discussion on March 31. In partnership with the Friends of SEEDS, YSP students were divided into two groups. Our fifth and sixth grade girls read and discussed Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Game series, while our boys group discussed The Giver.


Our third and final peer book club will take place on May 19. Students will be discussing Mockingjay, The Pigman and The City of Ember.


College Preparatory Program Juniors Tour Northeast Colleges and Participate in Mock Interviews


In early April, 25 CPP juniors hit the road with SEEDS to visit six colleges and universities as part of the Spring College Tour. During the three-day trip, students toured Clark University, Connecticut College, Lasell College, Quinnipiac University, Tufts University and Wheaton College. 


Juniors from Orange High School and Trenton High School also participated in mock interviews on April 18. Hosted by Barclays, the interviews were an opportunity for 20 students to hone their communication skills for upcoming college admissions interviews.


SEEDS' Guidance Department Offers Activities for Middle School and High School Scholars on Spring Break


SEEDS High School Scholars at MoMA.
This is the first spring that SEEDS has two distinct programs for graduates in middle and high school (served by our Guidance department) and in college and beyond (as part of our Alumni program). Providing an opportunity for SEEDS' Middle School and High School Scholars home on spring break during the month of March, our Guidance team planned a variety of activities for graduates to interact with each other. 
The Knicks Poetry Slam kicked off the spring break season with six students traveling to NYC to see a spoken word program on March 8. On March 16, 16 students visited MoMA for an afternoon of experiencing modern art. Twenty students and guests were also able to take in a Red Bulls soccer game on March 25. 


Guidance also planned a spring college tour for High School Alumni, visiting five higher education institutions over four days. During their trip, scholars took tours of Colgate University, Cornell University, Hamilton College, Syracuse University and Union College.


zig zag

Recent and Upcoming Events


Bleakley, Schwartz, Cooney & Finney, L.L.C. Golf and 

Tennis Classic


New Jersey SEEDS would like to extend warm thanks to Bleakley, Schwartz, Cooney & Finney, L.L.C. and Trustee Andy Schwartz for their long-standing commitment to the Golf and Tennis Classic!


Join us Monday, June 4, 2012, at the Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell as we kick-off the17th annual BSCF Golf and Tennis Classic benefiting New Jersey SEEDS. Registration and brunch begin at 10:30, with our Golf Shotgun at 11:30 and Tennis Tournament beginning at 2:30. Afterwards, please join us for a cocktail reception and dinner, including the announcement of our auction and raffle winners


For additional questions or to RSVP for the event, please contact Sarah Cassidy at [email protected].


New Jersey SEEDS Honored by Jack and Jill, Essex/Hudson Chapter at Tea a la Mode


New Jersey SEEDS was honored at Tea a la Mode, hosted by the Jack and Jill of America, Inc.'s Essex/Hudson Chapter on April 15,

Ronni Denes, Jamie McClintock, and New Jersey SEEDS Middle School, High School and College Scholars with Mo'Nique.

along with special guests Regina Taylor, Angela Bassett, and Mo'Nique. 


Several of SEEDS Middle School, High School and College Scholars were in attendance, and had the opportunity to share their SEEDS stories with attendees. 


The highlight of the day was a special moment between SEEDS' Rita Keazer (YSP '10, Peck School '12) and Mo'Nique. After being presented with a uniquely-designed pair of Elisari pearls at the event, Mo'Nique called Rita on stage with her, giving her the pearls and special words of encouragement.


Warm thanks to Jack and Jill, Essex/Hudson Chapter for their continued support and friendship.

Photos are now available...


From New Jersey SEEDS Leading Change Benefit. Please visit our website to view all photographs from the event. To receive high-resolution versions of specific photos, please contact Theresa Murray at [email protected].


Alumni Alliance Spring Happy Hour


On April 14, more than 20 alumni and friends headed to Reunion Bar in New York City for a happy hour hosted by the Alumni Alliance. Check out photos from the event in the Alumni Alliance Facebook group!


Scholars and Young Scholars to Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art


On Saturday, May 12, our Scholars and Young Scholars will take their annual visit to the Met. Interested in joining our scholars? SEEDS is looking for several volunteers who will escort our scholars from 9:00 a.m. to12:00 p.m. Please contact Danielle Carlos at [email protected] for more information. 


Annual Young Scholars Program Luncheon 


This year's luncheon will take place at Delbarton School, and is scheduled for July 19. Please join us for this annual event in which supporters of SEEDS have the opportunity to meet some of our current Young Scholars. Please contact Sarah Cassidy at [email protected] for more information.


CPP Graduation


Join New Jersey SEEDS as we honor our College Preparatory Program seniors from Orange and Englewood. After spending three years with SEEDS, our seniors are preparing to head to college in the fall. 


The event will take place on Monday, June 11 at 6:30 p.m. the Newark Club in Newark. For more information, please contact Barry Ford at [email protected].