November 2012

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In This Issue
Letter from the President
Casino Night Recap
Apply to NJ SEEDS!
SEEDS Heads Back to School
20 Reasons to Celebrate SEEDS
Be on the lookout for 20 reasons to celebrate New Jersey SEEDS in our 20th year of service to students.

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Paul Tough Shares "How Children Succeed" with 

Friends of SEEDS


Dear Friends of SEEDS,


The past few weeks have been trying ones for our community. Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy, and we trust that life has at least begun to return to normal for you and your loved ones. During this time, we've worked to ensure that our students stay focused on their educations as the adults in their lives work to restore order. To that end, our classes resumed on November 10.


How Children SucceedOn November 12, we welcomed author Paul Tough to The Pingry School to discuss his book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. Following lunch, our nearly 100 guests listened to Paul talk about what children need to succeed...and it's not what you might think. (You can view some photos from the event here.)


It truly was a captivating discussion that ranged from the importance of allowing children to fail and work to learn from their failure, to understanding why self-control is a better predictor of academic success than IQ tests. In his research and observations, Paul found that, perhaps not surprisingly, students from more affluent backgrounds experience signifcantly less adversity than their peers, something he termed the "adversity gap." 


No matter the amount of adversity in their lives, Paul realized that all of the successful, less affluent students he met with had two things in common: character and help. That's something that we've seen when working with our students as well. The students who enroll in SEEDS all have strong character, or a combination of traits that includes persistence, resilience and grit. They have set goals for themselves and work hard to achieve these goals. As for the help, our students have strong support systems in their family and friends, who encourage them throughout their time with SEEDS and in their placement schools across the country. 


Listening to Paul talk about what it takes for young people to succeed made me truly appreciative of the commitment shown by our families, our amazing students and our partners in the independent school and higher education communities. And with the holiday season quickly approaching, I'd like to take this moment to thank you all for your generosity and support over the past year. 


Here at New Jersey SEEDS, we have a lot to be thankful for in our 20th year of service to our students. In the coming weeks, please be on the lookout for the 20 reasons we are celebrating, from the more than 1,700 students who have graduated from our programs to our 99% college attendance rate. 


Best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful holiday season!


Best regards,


Ronni Denes


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Casino Night Raises $62,000 in Support of New Jersey SEEDS



Brandon Arthur and  Blair Meisels at Casino Night.

Thanks to all those who came out to Hudson Terrace on October 18 for our Fifth Annual Casino Night: Gaming for a Cause. Organized by SEEDS Young Leadership Committee and Alumni Alliance, nearly 250 guests joined SEEDS for the event and raised more than $62,000. 


View photos of the event on our website and on's Social Scene.


And don't forget to save the date for our 2013 event: 

Thursday, October 17!


SEEDS' Alumni Alliance

The Alumni Alliance is recruiting new members! The Alliance will be hosting a retreat on Saturday, December 15. All post-college aged SEEDS alumni are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to Sarah Cassidy at or to Jenny Dodson at


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SEEDS Kicks off 2012 - 2013 Recruitment Season


It's that time of year again! New Jersey SEEDS is looking for high-performing students who want top notch educations. 


This year, for the first time, the application for all three NJ SEEDS programs is entirely online. The application process formally opened on October 15, and since then, we have received an average of eight applications each day.


In the past few weeks, our recruitment team has already visited more than 20 schools to bring in the next classes of Scholars, Young Scholars and CPP scholars. Already, more than 300 inquiries have come in!


SEEDS Anthony Jones visits Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School in Trenton.
SEEDS' Anthony Jones visits Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School in Trenton.

If you are interested in having New Jersey SEEDS come to your school, organization, church or business, contact us at recruitment@njseeds.orgThose interested in more information about the application can fill out an inquiry


The deadline for Early Decision applications is Monday, December 3. The deadline for Regular Decision applications is Friday, February 1. You can stay up to date on all NJ SEEDS admissions info by liking the Admissions page on Facebook.


Good luck to all applicants!


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SEEDS Scholars Head Back to School


Scholars and Young Scholars Prepare for Admission to Independent Schools


Our Scholars and Young Scholars have been working hard over the past few months to prepare themselves for the admissions process to independent schools, meeting with our Admissions and Placement team to complete their applications.


Scholars listen to a panel discussion at 
Westminster School.

For our Scholars, this included trips to three boarding schools in early September. The visits to the Masters School, the Taft School and Westminster School were opportunities for SEEDS students and their families to take a look at boarding school campuses and meet with SEEDS graduates who attend each school. 


Scholars and Young Scholars also had the opportunity to meet representatives from local independent day schools and boarding schools from across the country at the NJ SEEDS Placement School Fair. On September 15, 114 students and family members met at Dwight-Englewood School to learn more about the schools represented. Students and families also had the opportunity to sit in on an admissions panel, an alumni panel, a financial aid workshop and an interviewing workshop. Thanks to everyone who came out; it was a terrific event, as you can see from our photos online


To prepare for their upcoming admissions interviews, students participated in mock interviews in mid-October. Special thanks to Jack & Jill, Essex/Hudson Chapter who worked with our Young Scholars, and to our Friends of SEEDS and volunteers who interviewed our Scholars.
Earlier this month, SEEDS hosted the first workshop of our financial aid series
Scholars Mock Interviews
for the parents of our Scholars and Young Scholars. Run by SEEDS staff and representatives from several of our partner schools, these workshops are an opportunity for parents to receive help in completing the Parents Financial Statements and TADS Forms.
Best of luck to all of our Scholars and Young Scholars as they continue to excel and complete their applications to independent schools.

CPP Seniors Prepare for College with the Help of Mentors


Our College Preparatory Program (CPP) seniors have spent the past few months working very 

CPP students work with their mentor on college applications.

closely with their mentors, a dedicated group of volunteers and SEEDS alumni, as they navigate the college application process. Seniors and mentors have been meeting at least once a month to finalize common applications and edit supplemental essays. Our mentors also conducted mock interviews last month at Newark Academy to prepare for admissions interviews.


CPP students also have been diligently researching potential colleges and universities to find the perfect fit for their skills and interests. As part of this process, several college representatives have visited our students at Orange High School over the past few Saturdays. These colleges and universities included: Allegheny College, Boston University, Bowdoin College, Columbia University, Drew University, Oberlin College, Rider University, and Tufts University. Several of our students also had the opportunity to participate in fly-in programs and tour Colorado College, Denison College, Oberlin College and Occidental College.


Thanks to all of our mentors for their help, and good luck to CPP students on their applications!


Guidance Team Sets off to Visit Middle and High School Scholars


SEEDS High School Scholar Harry Flores at the Hudson School Observatory.

The four members of our Guidance team are hitting the road this fall, scheduling meetings with SEEDS Middle and High School Scholars at their placement schools across the country. In October alone, our team met with 102 students at 30 different schools. This also included visits with our CPP freshmen and sophomores in college.


Guidance will host two separate college tours to Connecticut and Pennsylvania for High School Scholars over Thanksgiving week. On Monday, November 19, Guidance will take students to Moravian College, Muhlenberg College, Lehigh University and Lafayette College. On Tuesday, November 20, students on the trip will visit Quinnipiac University, Wesleyan University and Yale University.



Interested in hearing more about SEEDS before our next newsletter? Like us on Facebook or follow us on Google Plus or Twitter to get all the news from New Jersey SEEDS. 



New Jersey SEEDS

494 Broad Street, Suite 105 | Newark, NJ 07102

NJSEEDS.ORG | Main 973.642.6422 | Fax 973.642.5175