January 2013

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In This Issue
Letter from the President
Leading Change Benefit
SEEDS This Semester

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The application deadline for all three programs is Friday, February 1st. Apply today!

Questions about applying? Visit our Admissions Facebook page for details.

SEEDS Scholars Resume Classes as Application Season Ramps Up


Dear Friends of SEEDS,


What better way to start a new year than with wonderful news from one of our students? Uchenna Eze is a SEEDS College Preparatory Program (CPP) scholar from Orange High School. Just as the holidays began, we learned he had been accepted early action by Colorado College. But the best news came in just as the old year exited. I thought you might enjoy sharing Uchenna's excitement, skepticism and awe as expressed in a message to Andy Hoge, our Director of Admissions and Placement:


"...I am in disbelief now. I literally must be dreaming because I received my financial aid package yesterday. They gave me FULL scholarship! Like, literally, NO LOANS. Everything calculated is $54,200 and they gave me $54,100. This is crazy. I'm obviously going crazy. I attached a picture of the letter. Can you take a look at it to make sure I'm not going completely insane?..."


While it has only been a week since we rang in 2013, acceptances to college - typically expected in the spring - have already begun rolling in for our CPP seniors. With many more still to come and financial aid packages yet to be negotiated, this is the time when SEEDS' scholars wait anxiously for their hard work to pay off in an extraordinary educational opportunity.


Our Scholars and Young Scholars too have finished their applications to independent schools and are awaiting decisions with both wonder and trepidation. To offer them the chance of a lifetime, we submitted 928 requests for admission on behalf of 116 students to more than 130 schools, coast to coast.


At the same time as we plan to send our scholars off to the next phase of their educational journey, we focus on refilling the SEEDS pipeline with incoming classes for all three of our programs. Leveraging technology to manage the process, this year we began accepting applications exclusively online, with special workshops at our offices for families without access to the internet. To guide families through the forms, we developed a new video that provides step-by-step answers to frequently asked questions. More than 400 applications reached us in time for our early decision deadline on December 3, another 200 are in process, and our recruitment team, having completed some 60 visits to schools and community groups, will spend another month doing outreach in the field.


Our application season will close on February 1, so if you or someone you know is interested in applying to one of our programs or would like to recommend SEEDS to a friend, I suggest you visit our Facebook Admissions page for more information, including the location of upcoming information sessions.


With great confidence in the academic strides they've made in SEEDS' Saturday and summer classes, I wish all of our scholars the joy and satisfaction of opening those envelopes that offer an exceptional independent school, college or university experience. For those of our graduates in middle school, high school, or college, I look forward to hearing how your semesters are going and ask you to keep in touch... like us on Facebook, follow us on Google + and Twitter, and stop into the SEEDS office on your next break.


And to all of you who make the SEEDS community the vibrant, supportive, expansive network that it is, I wish you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013.    


Best regards,



Ronni Denes


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Save the Date


For the Second Annual 

Leading Change Benefit!


Join New Jersey SEEDS for our 2nd Annual Leading Change Benefit on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, at Park Savoy (in Florham Park). Enjoy a fabulous "strolling dinner" with friends and colleagues and our annual one-of-a-kind auction.


This year, SEEDS will honor CHASE - with Robert St. Jean, President of Middle Market Banking accepting the award - and Laura Overdeck - President & Founder of Bedtime Math


As SEEDS' largest annual fundraiser, Leading Change provides critical support for our scholars. For more information on how you can participate in this year's event, please visit our Benefit page, or contact Sarah Cassidy at Ticket purchases and sponsorship opportunities are also available.

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Scholars and Young Scholars 

Back to Class Jan. 5


SEEDS Scholars and Young Scholars headed back to the classroom on January 5. For the first 2013 Scholars Academy Saturday, sponsored by the Coach Foundation, all Scholars were together at The Pingry School. During this large group session, the students contemplated their last semesters and defined their "community expectations" for the current semester.


Young Scholars have a lot to look forward to. In addition to a relaunched arts program two Saturdays each month, Young Scholars will continue to participate in peer book clubs for the third year. Spearheaded by Friends of SEEDS, book clubs bring together YSP alumni and the children of Friends of SEEDS members for peer discussions. This year's book club discussions will be led by volunteer high-school aged facilitators from area independent schools and YSP graduates. The first two books that will be read are White Giraffe (girls) and The Homework Machine (boys).


Finally, partnering with the Guidance department, Young Scholars will participate in Brown Bag Lunches with graduates of YSP. The first session on academic motivation took place on January 5. The second session - to be held later this month - will focus on gender relations.



College Prep Program Kickstarts 2013


On December 11, approximately 80 CPP students, their 

CPP Junior Denzel Railey (right) brought two of his friends to "Bring a Guest" night.

families, friends and volunteers met at the Wilshire Grand Hotel (West Orange) for the second "Bring a Guest" night. The topic was "Completing 2012, Creating 2013." CPP students discussed what they have been learning with SEEDS and shared what their accomplishments have been thus far. Photos from the event are available here


Twenty-five CPP students and their parents were at Orange High School for a financial aid workshop on January 5. As part of the event, volunteers assisted the families of senior CPP students in completing FAFSA and other necessary financial aid paperwork in advance of college enrollment. 


The Young Leadership Committee and Alumni Alliance will continue visiting CPP students for a three-part series on communication. The first two sessions focused on written and oral communication. The session at the end of this month will address non-verbal communication. 


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Guidance Department Plans for 

Spring Semester


The SEEDS Guidance team kicked off the spring semester with a financial aid workshop for the families of High School Scholars who will be enrolling in college in the fall. Through the event on January 5, SEEDS was able to assist 17 families in completing the necessary FAFSA and CSS Profile information. Special thanks to our three Alumni volunteers - Emmanuel Bello, Daniela Frias and Brandon Jacobs - who helped our families.   

In addition, Guidance is already preparing for SEEDS' Middle School, High School and College Scholars to be home on spring break. While they are in New Jersey, SEEDS will host several social events and a college tour for high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors. Stay tuned for additional information.


Alumni Celebrate the Holiday Season


Last month, SEEDS' Guidance and Alumni departments hosted three holiday parties for graduates. 


The first event, on December 26, was a Winter Pajama Party for Middle School Scholars. Held in office space in the SEEDS building, attendees enjoyed food, a movie, games and dancing.  


SEEDS High School Scholars at the Alumni Holiday Spectacular.

The annual Alumni Holiday Spectacular, for SEEDS graduates in high school, college and beyond, was held December 27 at Michael Anthony's in Jersey City. Nearly 200 graduates attended the event, featuring food and dancing. 


At this event, Eleni Papadaopoulous (Scholars '09, Concord Academy '13) presented a check to SEEDS for $901 on behalf of her volleyball club. All SEEDS graduates from Concord Academy joined Eleni to present the check. 


CPP graduates attended a "Throwback Game Night" at the SEEDS office on January 4. The College Scholars enjoyed a night of food and old-school board and card games. 


You can check out all of the photos from all three holiday parties on our Facebook page.



SEEDS Alumni Alliance Launches 

The SEEDS Impact


At the Alumni Holiday Spectacular, the Alumni Alliance formally launched its 2013 fundraising campaign: The SEEDS Impact. As part of this launch, they presented their "Empowered Alums" video and announced a $1,000 matching gift challenge sponsored by a SEEDS graduate. In the coming weeks, be on the lookout for the reasons why SEEDS alumni are empowered to give!

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Parents Committee Expands


The New Jersey SEEDS Parents Committee expanded to 36 members this winter, increasing its numbers by more than a dozen. The members will continue to serve SEEDS families and work to assist the organization in providing the support necessary to ensure student successes. 


As part of their commitment, Parents Committee members assist with recruiting, volunteer with SEEDS, fundraise, attend bi-monthly meetings and act as ambassadors on behalf of the organization.


Parents Committee members Betty Blackwell, Rafael Botey, and Gloria Greaves. 

The most recent Committee meeting was held on December 14. Nearly 30 members attended the event, which also served as a celebration of accomplishments in 2012. 


For those interested in learning more about the Parents Committee, please contact Jamie McClintock, Parent Coordinator, at or at 862.227.9146.


Save the Date for the Annual Parents Luncheon!  

The event will be held Saturday, March 23, 2013, at the Newark Club (One Newark Center, 22nd Floor, Newark). The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. Additional details to follow.


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Community Groups and Friends of SEEDS Bring Holiday Cheer to SEEDS Families


New Jersey SEEDS would like to warmly thank Parents Committee Member and President/CEO of the Family Assistance Resource Center, Roger Hinton, for providing Thanksgiving Baskets to families this past November.


SEEDS would also like to thank the Essex Hudson Chapter of Jack and Jill of America; Spirit of the Holidays; and Friends of SEEDS. Through their generous support, several SEEDS families were able to have a happy holiday season.


Thank you to all who make the entire holiday season enjoyable for all of our families.




New Jersey SEEDS

494 Broad Street, Suite 105 | Newark, NJ 07102

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