July 2013

Quick Links


In This Issue
Letter from the President
Placement Update
Programs Updates
Summer Schedule
 Stay up to date on all news and events! Like us on Facebook or following SEEDS on Twitter 
and Google +.

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our profile on LinkedIn
Find us on Google+View our videos on YouTube

Scholars Spend Their Summer with SEEDS


Dear Friends of SEEDS,


What a fabulous few days I've had spending time with our oldest and youngest scholars. I started the week in Geneva, New York, on the gorgeous campus of Hobart and William Smith (HWS) Colleges. In this pristine setting on the largest of the Finger Lakes, with rolling lawns and exceptional facilities, our College Preparatory Program (CPP) students are tasting college life while sharpening the academic and interpersonal skills that will make them successful once their own higher education begins.


CPP's Haverford House

Some 90 students, rising sophomores, juniors and seniors from Orange and Trenton Central High Schools, mix across grade and geographic lines to live together in "houses," aptly named Amherst, Haverford, Swarthmore and Wesleyan - in aspirational reference to some of the small liberal arts colleges that are eager to recruit and support SEEDS scholars. Houses compete for points through academics, sports, extracurricular activities - all leading to terrific spirit and, of course, much coveted prizes.


I had the opportunity to watch the rich programming developed for CPP, sitting in on classes and electives in Pre-Calculus, Chemistry, Critical Reading, Expository Writing, Spoken Word, Visual Arts and Dance, among others. Perhaps most fascinating for me was the Physics class where our students were studying the science behind cantilevers. Their challenge: work in teams using bendable straws and masking tape to design the cantilever that would support the most weight when attached to a wall. They key to winning: develop their design using formulas based on torque and force. I can't wait to see the video of their presentations and final weigh-in.  


CPP Dean Barry Ford has been tracking the summer's progress in pictures posted on his personal Instagram page (I'll admit it, to keep up with CPP, I had to open an Instagram account!). If you'd like to see more of the HWS experience go to Instagram and check out the photos from cppdeanford, or stay tuned to our Facebook page for a complete overview soon.


Right after my return from Geneva, it was out to Morristown and the Annual Young Scholars Program (YSP) Luncheon held at The

Students and guests at the
YSP Luncheon

Delbarton School, where the Young Scholars in Steps One and Three of the program spend five weeks in SEEDS classes. It's a great chance to take a look at the work SEEDS does with rising fifth- and sixth-graders before sending them off to independent schools. Trustees, special guests and representatives of the independent school community attend YSP classes in Mathematics and Language Arts and then get to know students over an informal lunch (courtesy of our friends at Martini 494). This year for the first time, under the tutelage of Choirmaster Dave Blazier (Choir and Music Director at Delbarton School), our scholars opened the event with two songs including a highly stylized and harmonized version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (enjoy it on our Facebook page).


For me though, the best moments are listening to our student speakers who are so articulate in expressing their ambition, their willingness to work hard and their gratitude for the doors that SEEDS opens for them. This year, Michelle Carneiro, a sixth grader from Lafayette Street School in Newark, said, "I know that this program gives me an opportunity to show what I am worth and presents me with a chance to have a future I can be proud of." Her classmate, Joseph Townsend from Newark's North Star Academy agreed. "Each day I feel my potential expanding," he said. "My new friends and I are able to grow together by embracing the challenges SEEDS places in our paths. By overcoming these challenges, I am able to create a foundation for my learning career. Each obstacle makes me one step closer to my full potential. My friends, my teachers, and I are challenging me to be the best that I can be."


There is no better testimony to the benefits of the programs made possible by you, the friends of SEEDS, than the words of our students. You've made the world a far more promising place for them, and for that, I thank you.


Best regards, 


Ronni Denes



Congratulations to the SEEDS Class of 2014!


SEEDS is proud to welcome our newest Scholars and Young Scholars to the SEEDS family. SEEDS received 640 applications

SEEDS' admissions interviews.

for consideration. After an intense review process, including finalist testing and interviews, 25 Young Scholars and 129 Scholars were accepted. Those Scholars are now completing the final phase of the admission process at the Summer Challenge Program. Of these Scholars, approximately 95 will be invited to continue with Scholars Academy Saturdays, sponsored by the Coach Foundation, this fall. 


Congratulations to all of the students who applied to SEEDS for the hard work and dedication they have shown to further their educations. We wish you the best of luck in your endeavors. And to our newest class of scholars - welcome! We look forward to all that you will accomplish with SEEDS and beyond.

Placements for Class of 2013 in Final Stages
With SEEDS' Class of 2013 heading off to selective schools and colleges this fall, the process of placing students with substantial financial aid packages is nearly complete!  
In addition to assisting our CPP graduates with the college admissions and financial aid processes, SEEDS' Placement team has been working closely with Scholars and Young Scholars to enroll students in independent day and boarding schools across the country. To date, 95 percent of our Young Scholars have been placed in day and junior boarding schools. For the first time this
year, SEEDS has partnered with All Saints Episcopal Day School
(Hoboken, NJ) and Stoneleigh-Burnham School (Greenfield, MA) to provide educational opportunities for our rising sixth- and seventh-graders. 
Ninety-eight percent of Scholars have been placed to date at boarding, day, magnet and parochial schools with robust financial aid packages. This includes over 60 placements offered at boarding schools, nearly 20 at day schools in New Jersey and New York City, four at parochial schools in New Jersey and New York City, and one at a magnet school. For the first time, SEEDS students will be matriculating at Friends Seminary School (New York, NY) and Stony Brook School (Stony Brook, NY).
Congratulations to all of our students on their hard work in achieving excellent grades, while taking on the challenging SEEDS work and navigating the admissions process this year. Their hard work has paid off!


Congratulations to our CPP Graduates!


Our College Preparatory Program (CPP) seniors recently graduated from NJ SEEDS.  

Sulamit Quezada (Albright College '17) and Eddy Torres
(Lehigh University '17)


Thirty seniors from Orange and Trenton Central High Schools completed their three years with SEEDS (including two weeks over three summers, and each Saturday during the academic school year). On June 10, we welcomed 100 students, family members, friends, mentors and Trustees to the Newark Club to celebrate this accomplishment. It is our first graduating class from Trenton Central High School, which was supported by NRG. Following a reception and dinner, guests heard from Mr. Brian Maher, our keynote speaker and supporter of the SEEDS Class of 2013 from Orange High School. Eddy Torres, Valedictorian of Trenton Central High School - Main Campus, provided remarks on behalf of his classmates. 



Students then participated in our processional, receiving 


their SEEDS diplomas and announcing to our guests their plans for the fall. Our seniors received 124 acceptances from 53 colleges across 14 states. Of these, 56 percent are from Most, Highly and Very Competitive institutions, as ranked by Barron's. (For a more detailed overview of the evening, you can check out the SEEDS segment on NJ Today or WABC-TV!)


Congratulations to the CPP Class of 2013:

Louis Aduko - Manhattanville College

Samuel Akande - Denison University

Rosmery Almonte - Gettysburg College

Chartae Anderson - Denison University

Timothy Beckford - Albright College

Nordia Bennett - Denison University

Shaquille Brown - Rider University

Johnson Browne - Armed Forces

Muldride Ceus - Rider University

Tamisha Ceus - Ramapo College

Monayasia Davis - Albright College

Sherley Dorcelian - Albright College

Uchenna Eze - University of Southern California

Torrie Garvin - Lasell College

Aphnie Germain - Dickinson College *OHS Valedictorian*

Micaelia Gibson - Rider University

Jose Granda, Mercer County Community College

Shahin Gumbes - Elizabethtown College

Liz Lopez - Albright College

Tyla McAlmont - Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Kienesha McDonald - Hood College

Najeer McEachin - U.S. Marine Corps

Sulamit Quezada - Albright College

Karla Ramirez - Mercer County Community College

Henry Santizo - Mercer County Community College

Cassania Smith - Albright College

Irene Suarez - Mercer County Community College

Khadijah Thompson - Albright College

Eddy Torres - Lehigh University *TCHS - Main Valedictorian*

Tayanna Washington - Rowan University 



Scholars Head Off to The Hill School 


On Sunday, June 23, 129 Scholars began their three-week residential Summer Challenge Program on the campus of The Hill School (Pottstown, Pa). As the final admissions piece before enrolling in Scholars Academy Saturdays, sponsored by the Coach Foundation, students spent their days in Math, Language Arts, and History classes. Scholars have also been taking part in daily skills-building meetings (with topics ranging from goal setting, to time management, to effective decision making), participate in electives (Yoga, Drama, Latin Dance, Italian Conversation, Poetry/Spoken Word, Aerobics, Book-Making and Sketching), and engage in sports and recreational activities. 

Students and families participating in Parents Day activities
In addition, the SEEDS Parents Program hosted its annual Parents Day. On Saturday, July 6, nearly 300 family members had the opportunity to visit their children at The Hill School, see the campus, and learn more about the activities and classes students have been experiencing. Check SEEDS' Facebook page in the coming weeks for all photos from the event.

The students accepted into the next phase of the Scholars Program will head to the Princeton-Blairstown Center in late August for the Annual Leadership Retreat before beginning classes in the fall.    

This Sunday, Scholars entering their final stage of the program will also head to The Hill School for The Capstone Experience. These students will begin their second, three-week residential session with SEEDS on Sunday, July 14. As we shared with you earlier this year, our Scholars in Capstone will take part in a new integrated curriculum and will select a focus in one of four tracks: Arts and Culture; Business and Finance; Law and Society; and Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine.

Interested in participating in this year's Capstone? SEEDS is looking for speakers to discuss their careers with these rising ninth graders. All talks will be held at 2:30 p.m. on the campus of The Hill School (speakers will be asked to arrive by 1:00 p.m.). Speakers will discuss leadership experiences in: engineering, medicine, technology, physical sciences, social sciences, law, business, management, marketing, performing arts, fine arts and publishing. Interested individuals should contact Marcy Lopez, Dean of Programs, at [email protected]

Students completing The Capstone Experience - as well as YSP Step 3 students - will graduate from New Jersey SEEDS on Saturday, August 3 at a ceremony at Summit High School (Summit, NJ). Additional details to follow.


Guidance and Alumni Plan College and Networking Events for SEEDS Graduates


Students at SEEDS' College Day

On Saturday, June 8, 170 CPP students, High School Scholars and family members joined SEEDS' Guidance department for its annual College Day. Hosted at North Star Academy in Newark, the event was designed to introduce students to a variety of colleges and universities across the country. In fact, nearly 60 higher education institutions sent representatives to meet with SEEDS students and families. (Photos from the event can be found on our Facebook page.)


Students also had the opportunity to participate in workshops hosted by college representatives. Students joined sessions including: "College Admissions Secrets," "Early Action vs. Early Decision," "Financial Aid 101," "Finding the Right Fit," "The Truth About Test Taking Optional," and "Writing the College Essay." Parents attended workshops on "Financial Aid 101" and "Helping Your Scholar Succeed in the College Admissions Process." 


Thank you to North Star Academy for hosting the event and to all of the colleges and universities who participated in this year's event!


To help our students continue the college research process, our Guidance department is hosting an overnight college visit July 17 and 18. Students will visit Fairfield University, Wesleyan University, Amherst College, Williams College and Union College


Guidance and Alumni hosted SEEDS' Annual Senior Luncheon on

Raekwon Walker-Perry and
Karen Valerio

Saturday, June 15. It was an opportunity for high school seniors (from all three SEEDS programs) to celebrate their successes and look ahead to the future. As part of the celebration, Karen Valerio (YSP '07, Oak Knoll School '13, Lehigh University '17) and Raekwon Walker-Perry (Scholars '09, Cambridge School of Weston '13, Goucher College '17) were selected as the recipients of the Leigh & Randy Porges Spirit Award. The Award is given each year to SEEDS graduates who "most exemplify the SEEDS mission of developing future leaders through educational opportunity." Congratulations Karen and Rae!


SEEDS' Alumni Alliance is also honoring recent graduates. On June 14, the Alliance hosted its annual College Graduation Celebration, welcoming SEEDS' newest college graduates into the ranks of the Alumni Alliance. The 4th Annual celebration was held at the Sunburnt Cow (New York City). Nearly 25 alumni, friends and colleagues attended the event for an opportunity to network and share the successes of the Class of 2013. 


In addition, the Alliance is hosting a sold out fundraiser tonight to celebrate the "SEEDS Impact." The Wine Tasting event will be held at Moore Brothers Wine Company (33 E. 20th Street, #1, New York) from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 




SEEDS Parents Program Planning for
Annual Boutique



Save the date for SEEDS' annual Precious Passdowns Boutique! The Boutique, filled with new and gently used clothing free of charge for SEEDS families, will open on Saturday, August 10 at NJ SEEDS' Office (494 Broad Street, Suite 105, Newark) from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Contact Jamie McClintock, Development Officer, Parents Program, at [email protected] 









Thank You! 


As we welcome the next class of scholars into SEEDS and celebrate our SEEDS graduates as they start the next phase of their educations, we want to thank you! Because of your continued support of New Jersey SEEDS and our scholars, educational access and opportunity is possible for all of our students. 


If you are interested in seeing any of our programs in action, please contact SEEDS' Director of Development, Jennifer S. Mehr at [email protected] or at 973.642.6422, ext. 235.


Summer Schedule

June 23 - July 12: Scholars Summer Challenge Program (The Hill School, Pottstown, PA)      
June 30 - July 14: CPP Summer Program (Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY)
July 1 - August 2: YSP Summer Program - All Students (Delbarton School, Morristown, NJ)

July 14 - August 2: Scholars Capstone Experience (The Hill School, Pottstown, PA)

August 3: Scholars and Young Scholars Programs Graduation (Summit High School, Summit, NJ)
August 5: BSCF NJ SEEDS Annual Golf & Tennis Classic (Mountain Ridge Country Club, West Caldwell, NJ) *Tickets are now available...purchase yours today!*

August 18 - August 20: Scholars Leadership Retreat (Princeton-Blairstown Center, Princeton, NJ)


New Jersey SEEDS

494 Broad Street, Suite 105 | Newark, NJ 07102

NJSEEDS.ORG | Main 973.642.6422 | Fax 973.642.5175