August 2012

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SEEDS scholars and alumni stay busy during summer months


Dear Friends of SEEDS,


The community of New Jersey SEEDS alumni continues to grow. As you read in our last issue of eSeedlings, the 27 members of our CPP Class of 2012 graduated on June 11 at a terrific celebration high above the city at the Newark Club. They were followed on August 4 by 104 Scholars and Young Scholars who walked across the stage at Montclair State University to receive their diplomas. That means SEEDS now has nearly 1,800 alumni out in the world.


It takes tremendous commitment to achieve that status. Approximately 230 students, including those recent graduates, spent part of their summer with SEEDS in academic classes. They aren't the only ones working hard over their summer break.


Through our Guidance department, our High School Scholars had the opportunity to participate in a variety of internships or other educational events, adding to their work and life experiences. 


Here is a snapshot of what SEEDS graduates have done this summer:

  • Six of our High School Scholars attended the Experiment in International Living (EIL) in Mexico, Spain, France, Turkey and New Zealand. EIL is an opportunity for students in high school to enrich themselves (and the world) by experiencing other cultures for several weeks.
  • Five students, including both High School Scholars and CPP students, attended the Environmental Studies Summer Youth Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges with full scholarships.
  • Sixteen High School Scholars participated in Community Engagement internships. Students were required to participate in a two-day training and present a capstone project following the completion of their internship. This year, our students interned at several nonprofit organizations, including: the American Civil Liberties Union, Jersey Cares, Masakhane Center, Newark City Hall and Stop Shootin, Inc.


Our Guidance officers visited each of the students participating in Community Engagement internships to hear about their 

Carrie Huang makes a glass bead.
experiences. One of the internship sites was right down the road from the SEEDS office: GlassRoots. Here, Hermione Brice (Scholars '10, Elizabeth High School - Lower Academy '14) and Carrie Huang (Scholars '11, George School '15) spent the summer making paperweights, cups, vases and bowls for display and sale in the GlassRoots Gallery.

Hermione Brice demonstrating how to blow glass at GlassRoots.
Hermione had the opportunity to work in the Hot Shop, creating three to four blown glass projects a day. She liked this internship because the organization allowed her to experience a medium she didn't previously know about and encouraged her to get her out of her artistic comfort zone. 

Our Alumni in college have also been busy. Through our Alumni department, SEEDS helped more than 20 students obtain internships this summer. Special thanks to Atlantic Health Network, Coach, LinkIt!, and Panasonic for giving our graduates the opportunity to get their start in the business world.

On behalf of the organization, I want to offer a hearty thanks to the Alumni who interned for SEEDS this summer, working as counselors for our summer programs and serving as role models for the next generation of SEEDS scholars.

I also want to recognize the four interns who did an amazing job as staffers at the SEEDS office this summer, and wish them luck as they head to campus this fall:
  • John Alexander Hall (SEEDS '07, Concord Academy '11, Davidson College '15): John Alexander will be beginning his sophomore year shortly. This summer, we asked him to be our alumni speaker at the Cocktails & Couture Party for Precious Passdowns.
  • Calvin Millien (SEEDS '08, Seton Hall Prep '12, Georgetown University '16): Calvin was recently named the Elise E. and Joseph W. Beck Memorial Scholar, awarded to a student with worthy scholarship, character, personality and leadership qualities. Calvin is participating in Georgetown's YLEAD: Young Leaders in Education About Diversity, before the official start of classes.
  • Maya Odei (SEEDS '08, Phillips Academy - Andover '12, Stanford University '16): Before officially beginning her first semester at Stanford, Maya is participating in the Stanford Summer Engineering Academy.
  • Christiaan Pfieffer (SEEDS '08, Concord Academy '12, Sarah Lawrence College '16): In the fall, Christiaan will be taking classes in theater, gender studies, German and "Reform and Revolution in 20th Century China."

Best of luck to all of our graduates as they head off to independent school and college this fall. We cannot wait to hear all of the terrific things you're doing at your campuses across the country! 


Best regards,


Ronni Denes


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Happenings at SEEDS


Scholars and Young Scholars Graduate from SEEDS 

On Saturday, August 4, 104 Scholars and Young Scholars celebrated the completion of SEEDS' 14-month programs at their graduation at Montclair State University.(Photos from the event are available here.)


Several students were honored for their exceptional work as part of the program:  

  • Rafid Kabir was named the Youngman Family Scholar because of his accomplishments while participating in the New Jersey SEEDS Program at the Dwight-Englewood School.
  • Monique Kalu was presented with the Dean's Award for overall achievement, strong leadership and citizenship.
  • Abisola Lawal was named the Amy Ziebarth Scholar for demonstrating a passion for social justice and a strong commitment to New Jersey SEEDS.
  • Jennifer Montejo was named the Dwight L. Wilson Scholar for most embodying the qualities of the first Executive Director of New Jersey SEEDS, Dwight L. Wilson, including a sense of personal ethics, honesty and integrity and a love of education and a willingness to work hard at succeeding.
  • Michelle Rowicki was named the Blair MacInnes Scholar for outstanding academic achievement and dedication to education.
  • Hope Sanders was named the Edward & Barbara Becker Scholar for her outstanding academic achievement and exemplary work done while in the New Jersey SEEDS Young Scholars Program.
  • Samantha Uy was named the Francis David Scholar for her outstanding academic achievements.


Congratulations to our Scholars and Young Scholars graduates!

Before our scholars received their diplomas in front of the more than 700 family members and friends in attendance, students completed the final phases of their SEEDS experience.


For Scholars, this final phase was the three-week residency at The Hill School in Pottstown, Pa. While here, students took classes in history, math, science and English to prepare them for the start of high school in the fall. Scholars also received a special visit from Google's Gautham Ramdurai who shared details about life at Google, answered student questions, and introduced them to Google Plus. Check out all of the photos from this summer program online!


Young Scholars completed Step 3 of their program at Delbarton School, where they took classes in English, math and history. Students also participated in daily workshops, such as "Keeping a Schedule and Staying Organized" and "Note Taking and Classroom Success."


Congratulations to both the Scholars and Young Scholars Class of 2012 for their accomplishments! For a complete list of the independent schools our scholars will be entering in the fall, please visit the Montclair Patch piece on SEEDS. 


Scholars Participate in Summer Challenge, Kick-Off Leadership Retreat


In July, 125 students were invited to join SEEDS for the Summer Challenge Program (SCP), also held at The Hill School in Pottstown, Pa. Over this three week period, students took English, history and math classes. Scholars were also invited to experience sports and electives, including Japanese, journalism/blogging, step, and Zumba, just to name a few. 


Students welcomed their families to campus for the annual Parents' Day event. On July 7, more than 200 family members traveled to The Hill School to participate in a day of outdoor fun and games and meet the SEEDS staff. Be sure to visit our website to view all of the day's photos.


Following the completion of SCP, 95 students were invited to continue on to Scholars Academy Saturdays, sponsored by the

Scholars enjoy canoeing at the Princeton-Blairstown Center.

Coach Foundation. But first, these Scholars attended the annual Leadership Retreat at the Princeton-Blairstown Center. For three days, Scholars worked on building leadership skills, resolving conflicts and exploring diversity. Scholars participated in activities such as canoeing, dam rappelling and rock climbing. Looks like it was a great experience!


Beginning in September, classes for Scholars will be held at Dwight-Englewood Schoool, The Pingry School and Seton Hall Preparatory School.  


Annual Luncheon Serves as an Opportunity to Meet Young Scholars


Twenty-four Young Scholars completed the five-week SEEDS program at Delbarton School this summer. While on campus, these scholars took math and English classes, and prepared for the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT). Students participated in projects including globe making and scale model drawing and 

engaged in daily workshops.


Board Chair Susan Present chats with Young Scholar Rania Benatia.

Students in Step 1 of the program also hosted SEEDS Trustees, donors and friends for the annual Young Scholars Luncheon on July 19. It was an opportunity for guests of SEEDS to sit in on classes and meet with students over lunch. 


Photos from the Luncheon and the YSP summer programs for Steps 1 and 3 are available on the SEEDS website. 


CPP Rolls Out Human Behavior Curriculum and "House Program" at Hobart

This summer, 75 rising tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders traveled to Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. (Photos from the summer session are available here.)


While at Hobart, the CPP students took core classes in language arts and math. In order to increase students' self-awareness and emotional intelligence, SEEDS introduced its proprietary Human Behavior curriculum. Each grade participated in a different Human Behavior course, integrating intellectual inquiry with experiential learning. The goal of the curriculum is to train students to subject their own assumptions to rigorous analysis so that they can increase their level of effectiveness in life. 


CPP also instituted a "house" program, through which students were placed in living groups, regardless of their grade, to improve 

Students create living polygons in math.

camaraderie and team-building. This also increased collaboration between the faculty and administrators, resulting in improved morale and a more cohesive and supportive environment.


After returning from Hobart, CPP hosted "Seeking Excellence/Achieving Greatness: The Value of Education" at Orange High School. Held in mid-August, the seminar was attended by 70 students, parents and community members. While there, attendees shared stories about their educational growth; the event also explored how formal education has affected students and their communities in positive and negative ways. 


Stay tuned for more information on our next seminar.

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Recent and Upcoming Events


SEEDS Raises $190,000 at BSCF Golf & Tennis Classic


On Monday, August 6, Bleakley, Schwartz, Cooney & Finney, L.L.C. (BSCF) hosted the 17th Annual Golf & Tennis Classic benefiting New Jersey SEEDS. 

Andy Schwartz and Jamil McClintock


In addition to a great day of golf and tennis, attendees had the opportunity to participate in both live and silent auctions, and hear from Jamil McClintock, the alumni speaker for the evening. After graduating from SEEDS in 2000, Jamil continued on his path to success at The Pingry School and Brown University. He is a 2013 J.D. candidate at Golden Gate University at San Francisco, and has been offered a position at DLA Piper Global.


Additional highlights from the event can be found on The Caldwells Patch and the Social Scene. All photos from the event are also available on the NJ SEEDS website.  


Tickets Now Available for Oct. 18 Casino Night! 


Join the New Jersey SEEDS Young Leadership Committee (YLC) on Thursday, Oct. 18 for the Fifth Annual Casino Night: Gaming for a Cause. For the second year, the YLC will be partnering with SEEDS' Alumni Alliance for this event. 


Beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Hudson Terrace in New York City, tickets for the event include top shelf open bar, food, a live/silent auction and the chance to win great prizes. Tickets are $100 and are now available for purchase.


Last year's event drew more than 300 guests and raised over $30,000 in support of NJ SEEDS students. 


For additional information, please contact Sarah Cassidy at [email protected].


Precious Passdowns Back-to-School Boutique Serves More Than 200 People Over 2 Days


On August 10 and 11, more than 200 SEEDS scholars, alumni and family members attended the Precious Passdowns Back-to-School Boutique. (Photos from the event are now available.)


The event was sponsored by Jack & Jill of Essex/Hudson County and spearheaded by the Friends of SEEDS. Through the donations of new and gently-used clothing, SEEDS was able to provide an opportunity for our students and families to start the new school year with confidence or prepare for admissions interviews in the fall. 


For Sherry Phillips, mother of Starr-Renee' Phillips (YSP '09, Fay School '12, New Hampton School '15), it's an opportunity to shop for items for the entire family. "The Boutique was really pretty and the items were impeccable. My daughters were able to pick up some

very nice and much needed items to help me prepare them for school. I even found something nice for myself! Please pass my thanks to those who donated to this effort  and let them know how appreciative we are."


For additional information on Precious Passdowns events, please contact Jamie McClintock at [email protected]


More than 300 Guests Attend College Day


Students visit the Rider University table, manned by SEEDS grad Brandon Jacobs (Scholars '03, Hill School '07, College of Wooster)

On June 16, SEEDS welcomed representatives from approximately 45 colleges and universities across the country to St. Philip's Academy in Newark. More then 300 CPP students, High School Scholars and their families attended the annual event. 


After a keynote presentation on financial aid by John Leach of Stuart Country Day School, students and their families participated in several workshops on college admissions. 


SEEDS' photos from the event can be found on our Flickr page.


New Jersey SEEDS Placement School Fair for Scholars and Young Scholars to be Held this September

The annual New Jersey SEEDS Placement School Fair for Scholars and Young Scholars will be held on Saturday, September 15 at Dwight-Englewood School (315 East Palisade Ave, Englewood). For more information, contact Bernadette Sarlo at [email protected]


New Jersey SEEDS

494 Broad Street, Suite 105 | Newark, NJ 07102

NJSEEDS.ORG | Main 973.642.6422 | Fax 973.642.5175