August 2013

Quick Links


In This Issue
Letter from the President
Golf & Tennis Classic
Programs Updates
Guidance & Alumni
 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 joy it was on Saturday, August 3, to preside over the graduation of more than 100 Scholars and Young Scholars. They marched into the auditorium to the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" and the thrilled applause of their parents, siblings and grandparents. After spending the past 14 months with us, these intelligent, dedicated and exceptionally aspirational students are ready to take the bold leap into their new educational world. (A full list of SEEDS graduates and placement schools can be found here.)


We're proud to report that 100 percent of our Scholars and Young Scholars gained admission to selective schools, with offers of financial aid totaling approximately $4M. What awaits them is opportunity: the opportunity to excel in a nurturing learning environment, to make new friends, to travel, to push their limits in sports programs, to steep themselves in art and short, to expand their horizons in extraordinary new directions.


Chisa Hutchinson addressing the graduates.

Our keynote speaker at this year's graduation was award-winning playwright and screenwriter Chisa Hutchinson, who was a member of SEEDS' very first graduating class in 1994. SEEDS led her to Kent Place School, Vassar College and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Chisa shared the importance of "saying yes to everything" in a speech that was warm and funny, and provided our graduates with some terrific advice.


"...isn't that the whole point of attending a swanky private school? To become open-minded and well-rounded?" Chisa asked. "Open-minded and well-rounded people are likely to find more stuff they enjoy in life because they didn't dismiss the opportunity to experience it. You can't enjoy what you never experience, right? Open-minded, well-rounded people know this and are generally happy. Not to mention, highly employable and a real hoot to have at parties. It's the stories, man. They got stories. Heck, their entire lives are stories. They've written excellent lives for themselves."


Chisa's advice isn't just for Scholars and Young Scholars in the Class of 2013. It's for the seniors who graduated from our College Preparatory Program in May. It's for our Middle School Scholars, High School Scholars and College Scholars starting their new school year. It's for our alumni entering the workforce. And it's for the students who will be continuing their SEEDS journey with us this year.


As we close our 2013 fiscal year on the last day of August, I want to say a very warm and heartfelt thank you to the Trustees, friends and donors whose generosity allows SEEDS - year after year - to change the lives of highly motivated young people by transforming their educational opportunities. Your support gives them the chance to become open-minded, well-rounded adults who will write excellent lives for themselves.  


Best regards, 


Ronni Denes



Annual Golf & Tennis Classic Raises

$135,000 for Future Scholars


SEEDS offers a huge thank you to the more than 150 golfers, tennis players and guests who attended the annual Bleakley, Schwartz, Cooney & Finney Golf & Tennis Classic Benefiting New Jersey SEEDS at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell on Monday, August 5.

Following an afternoon on the links and tennis courts, guests

enjoyed cocktails along with a gorgeous sunset, a live and silent auction and remarks from Emmanuel Bello (Scholars '00, Blair Academy '04, UNC - Chapel Hill '08). Emmanuel is an associate at Goldman Sachs, an active member of SEEDS' Alumni Alliance, and the newest member of SEEDS' Board of Trustees


In his remarks, Emmanuel shared his own SEEDS experience and how that helped him to receive a "top-notch and rigorous" education that pushed him to "discover [his] intellectual being as well as [his] capacity to shape [his] destiny both inside and outside of the classroom."


Emmanuel went on to explain how SEEDS led him to serve as a role model for others, demonstrating a link between working hard and finding opportunities to advance his education. His inspiring words helped SEEDS to raise $135,000 for future scholars to receive the same life-changing opportunities.


Check SEEDS' website in the coming days for all photos from the event!

Application Season is Coming Upon Us
New Jersey SEEDS is looking for motivated, high-performing students to be the next class of Scholars, Young Scholars and CPP scholars. Students planning to apply must have strong academic skills, live in New Jersey, meet SEEDS' financial guidelines and be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. For more information on SEEDS' online application, check out our Admissions page in mid-September or like NJ SEEDS Admissions on Facebook.

Interested in having a SEEDS representative visit your school, community organization or parent association for an admissions presentation? Contact Dean of Admissions Adriana Andujar at [email protected]

Independent School and College 
Search Begins Anew

Although members of the SEEDS' Class of 2013 are just heading off to their new schools, the Placement team is preparing fall opportunities for scholars to meet school representatives from across the country.

SEEDS Scholars and their families will visit boarding schools on September 14. Then, on September 28, Scholars and Young Scholars will have the opportunity to meet with admissions representatives from selective schools at SEEDS' annual Placement School Fair, which will again be held at Dwight-Englewood School

As the school year unfolds, CPP scholars will hear from college representatives during Saturday classes. These sessions are also open to SEEDS' High School Scholars and interested Orange High School students. On Saturday, September 14, representatives from Tufts University and Washington University in St. Louis will be at Orange High School presenting to students. Bard College and Rowan University will present on Saturday, September 21.

For more information on attending one of these sessions, please contact the SEEDS office at 973.642.6422.

Representatives from New Jersey SEEDS' Placement team will be presenters at the SSATB Annual Meeting in Philadelphia (September 18 - 21). The workshop will focus on "Meeting the Need: Supporting Families During the Financial Aid Process."


Scholars and Young Scholars
Finish Summer Sessions


SEEDS' students have had a busy summer. In late June, nearly 130 Scholars headed to the campus of The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania to take part in the Summer Challenge Program (SCP). (An overview of students' time with SEEDS can be found in the last issue of eSeedlings and photos from SCP - and Parents Day - are now available online.)


At the end of their three weeks at The Hill School, SEEDS' Selection Committee invited 95 students to continue to Scholars Academy Saturdays, sponsored by the Coach Foundation. In preparation, these Scholars traveled to the Princeton-Blairstown Center to take part in a three-day Leadership Retreat, where they explored diversity, learned to resolve conflicts and built leadership skills. You can see photos from our Scholars' experience at Princeton-Blairstown here.


Scholars listen to a presentation by Lorene Cary during Capstone.

Scholars in the Class of 2013 headed back to The Hill School in mid-July for Capstone, their second, three-week summer session with SEEDS. As part of SEEDS' new second summer curriculum, Scholars had the opportunity to meet with professionals in a variety of industries to learn more about potential career fields and job responsibilities. Students heard from executives at Goldman Sachs, Bernstein Wealth Management, Macy's, Wells Fargo, Pershing LLC, and PartnerRE, as well as those employed in the fields of law, the arts and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Thank you to all the guests to joined SEEDS' Scholars at Hill - or presented via teleconference - for sharing your experiences and advice!


Scholars in Capstone also heard from Lorene Cary, author of Black Ice. Students read Black Ice before the presentation to learn about Ms. Cary's experiences at St. Paul's School, as they prepared for their own journey to independent school. After an exceptional discussion, students were able to meet with Ms. Cary individually and get their copies of Black Ice signed. Photos from the event - and from the rest of the Capstone Experience - are now available.


Young Scholars interacting
with an exhibit at
Liberty Science Center.
Young Scholars finished their five-week summer session at Delbarton School on August 2 (photos now online). During their time with SEEDS, students in Steps 1 and 3 took part in academic classes, enjoyed choir lessons and mapped out the garden of Delbarton in scaled drawings. In late July, Young Scholars also took a field trip to the Liberty Science Center, where they had the opportunity to learn about different aspects of STEM fields up close, by engaging in hands-on exhibits like Grossology (the science of the human body), Skyscraper! (what it takes to design and build these buildings) and Block Party (engineering using giant blocks). 
Both Scholars and Young Scholars will begin Saturday classes with SEEDS on September 7. 



CPP Scholars "Take Off" with
Help from Southwest


CPP scholars in class at Hobart & William Smith Colleges.
Rising 10th, 11th and 12th graders in CPP finished up their two-weeks with SEEDS at Hobart & William Smith Colleges in late July. Rising seniors participated in Taking Off - a course in college application essay writing sponsored by Southwest Airlines. In Taking Off, students created and honed thesis topics which they had selected during their junior year. Scholars then received one-on-one coaching from faculty, student advisors and peers in reviewing - and rewriting - their essays.


Students learned to show - not tell - their stories, and the results were powerful. One young woman expressed the freedom she gained by spending a semester studying at The Mountain School in Vermont.


"I started a fresh and new path, no longer letting the thoughts and opinions of others affect who I should be or what I should do. My new outlook is not profound or noteworthy; I have only just found the beginning of my journey as [an] individual and not [a] follower."  


Others focused on a single event and the clarity and drive it brought to their lives. In describing an auto accident that nearly killed her mother, a student wrote:


"Losing three months of communication with the one person who always had time for me was one of the hardest things I've ever been through."


Another, whose family had come to the United States from Nigeria where they were robbed and her father seriously injured, recalled:


"My grandmother and other relatives were in the living room with their attentions focused on the robber with the AK-47 pointed at my uncle...I glanced at my father and noticed that a machete had been used on his back...In an attempt to protect my mother, my father had almost lost his life...After moving to America, I focused more on the issues that were important...I make sure the paths I take to achieve my goals are the right ones."


Another student wrote of the social and academic struggles of starting a new high school.


"Surrounded by unfamiliar faces, I became reserved and afraid to open up because I feared brutal judgement from my peers...One of my friends gave me the idea to overcome my fear of rejection and apply to NJ SEEDS...I learned that even if I fear rejection, I should always pursue whichever program, club, organization or activity that will help me achieve in life." 


Thanks to Southwest, students will be finalizing their reflections and their personal statements for college applications this fall.  


After returning to New Jersey, rising seniors had the opportunity to visit Connecticut College and the University of New Haven. Seniors will continue the college search - and application and essay-writing process - with New Jersey SEEDS when classes begin September 14.


Guidance Department Hosts Summer Activities 


SEEDS' Guidance department made a variety of opportunities available for graduates in middle school, high school and college this summer.

This year, 20 High School Scholars participated in Community

Jasmine Nazaire (Scholars '12, Oak Knoll School '16) displays her capstone project on GlassRoots.

Engagement Internships. SEEDS graduates had the opportunity to gain experience working with 10 locally-based organizations - and New Jersey SEEDS. At the conclusion of their internships, students attended an internship reception and discussed their experiences with peers. Thank you to SEEDS' internship partners: Wynona's House, Newark City Hall, Greater Newark Conservancy, Family & Children's Services in Elizabeth, Liberty Science Center, GlassRoots, The Bridge, La Casa De Don Pedro, Newark Museum and The Masakhane Center.


Six graduates earned scholarships to take part in the Environmental Studies Summer Youth Institute, a two-week interdisciplinary program exploring environmental policy, ethics, and economics, which took place at Hobart & William Smith Colleges in July. Another six SEEDS graduates were selected to participate in the Experiment in International Living. Students spent their summers abroad in Mongolia, Spain, Argentina, Peru and Mexico.


SEEDS' Guidance team also hosted a college tour for high school

College Scholars with Associate Dean of Guidance, Monet Kendall, center.

students in mid-July, visiting Wesleyan University, Fairfield University, Union College, Williams College and Amherst CollegeOn July 31, Guidance held an Alumni Reunion and Networking Reception for CPP graduates. Check out all the photos from the networking event here.  



SEEDS Alumni Sponsor One Scholar Through Fundraising Efforts


In November 2012, SEEDS' Alumni Alliance set a goal to raise $15,000 in alumni donations and solicitations to support one scholar on his or her journey through SEEDS. 


At the annual Alumni Holiday Spectacular, the Alumni Alliance 

SEEDS Alumni and friends at the Moore Brothers wine tasting event.

formally launched The SEEDS Impact Campaign, and have hosted several fundraising events throughout the year. The most recent was a wine tasting at Moore Brothers on July 11. The 75 guests in attendance added more than $1,700 to the pot. 


Just a few days later, SEEDS' alumni reached their goal, raising more than $16,000 for the next generation of scholars - five months before their proposed deadline. Thank you to the Alumni Alliance and the alumni who have helped provide future SEEDS scholars with the same educational opportunities you have received!  


100 Shop at Annual
Precious Passdowns Boutique 


SEEDS' Precious
Passdowns Boutique

On Saturday, August 10, New Jersey SEEDS hosted its annual Precious Passdowns Boutique. Thanks to the support of SEEDS' friends, the Boutique provided clothing to nearly 100 students and family members free of charge for the upcoming school year. 






Save the Date!


On Thursday, October 17, SEEDS' Alumni Alliance and Young Leadership Committee will team up to host the 6th Annual Casino Night: Gaming for a Cause. For more information, visit our event page.



New Jersey SEEDS

494 Broad Street, Suite 105 | Newark, NJ 07102

NJSEEDS.ORG | Main 973.642.6422 | Fax 973.642.5175