In this issue: a student spotlight on Joshua Jamurath, highlights from the Scholars and Young Scholars graduation ceremony, and a recap of SEEDS' summer programs.
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August 2016
SEEDS' All Stars
SEEDS All Star Spotlight
Joshua Jamurath
Young Scholars Program '16 |

Newark Academy '23
Joshua Jamurath was one of the 23 students who completed the 14-month Young Scholars Program in 2016. This fall, Josh will start 6th grade at Newark Academy.

Why did you apply to New Jersey SEEDS?

I applied to New Jersey SEEDS because I needed a greater challenge than what I was receiving at my home school. New Jersey SEEDS pushes students to their limits by setting high standards. This made me know that NJ SEEDS was the right place for me.

What has been your biggest accomplishment with SEEDS?
My highest accomplishment in NJ SEEDS was getting accepted into Newark Academy with a full scholarship for seven years. I am excited and I am looking forward to learning new material and experiencing more hands on activities. I thought that I was just some random kid named Joshua who was like everyone else, but no, I realized I was a unique kid who was smart enough to be accepted into a great private school that would give me a bright future. I couldn't have achieved this without the push and guidance from NJ SEEDS! 

What are your goals for the future?
I have many goals in life. I want to maintain a high GPA in Newark Academy until I graduate. This will help me get into college and major in marine biology. I then want to become a marine biologist and help end pollution so animals can live longer. NJ SEEDS has already prepared me to set these goals and work towards them.
What does NJ SEEDS mean to you?
To me SEEDS means many things. The first thing that comes to mind is an enormous educational opportunity. I also think about personal growth which teaches you how to manage your time and how to be responsible for your actions. I thank SEEDS for teaching me these lessons and many, many others!
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John Castano Named SEEDS' New Executive Director

In mid-July, SEEDS' Acting Executive Director, John F. Castano, was named Executive Director of the organization. John has been part of the SEEDS team since 2008. Learn more about John.
SEEDS' Annual Precious Passdowns Boutique Serves 120 

Earlier this month, SEEDS hosted its annual Precious Passdowns Boutique where new and gently-used clothing was available to students and their families free of charge. Thanks to Friends of SEEDS, Kate Spade and our generous supporters for their donations.
3rd Annual Heads of School Summer Reading Poll Results

SEEDS surveyed Heads of Schools across the country earlier this summer to learn the books they were most looking forward to reading. There were two books that stood out in the responses - Grit (Angela Duckworth) and A More Beautiful Question (Warren Berger). One respondent shared that s/he is recommending these books to colleagues because of the "great perspective on the role of questions and challenges in life and education." Be sure to check them out!
Know a Student Who Would Benefit from NJ SEEDS?

Applications for our Scholars and Young Scholars Programs will open on September 13. Students who will be in the 4th or 5th grade in the Greater Newark area or students in 7th grade are eligible to apply. Sign up through our online inquiry form to receive a link to the application when it opens. The Early Decision Deadline is Friday, December 9.

Nominations are still being accepted for high school students for the College Scholars Program Class of 2018. Eligible students may be nominated by their guidance counselors and select students will be invited to complete an application. The College Scholars application deadline is Friday, November 11.
Congratulations to Scholars and Young Scholars in the Class of 2016!

One hundred and four Scholars and Young Scholars celebrated their graduation from New Jersey SEEDS on Saturday, August 6 at Summit High School (view photos). Ninety-nine percent of these students were placed in selective schools across the country and will receive nearly $4.5 million from the schools they will attend this fall. Students will enroll in 71 schools across 15 states. (View a complete list of students and their schools.)

The afternoon's keynote remarks were given by SEEDS alumna Diamond McClintock (Young Scholars Program ‘04, The Pingry School ‘10, Dickinson College ’14). Guests also heard from student speakers Mark Johnson (Scholars Program ‘16, Moorestown Friends School ’20) and Maria Vieira (Young Scholars Program ’16, Peck School ‘18).

Before the presentation of diplomas, several students were honored for their accomplishments as part of the Scholars and Young Scholars Programs: 
  • Salma Abdurahman (Fryeburg Academy ’20) was named the Dwight L. Wilson Scholar for her personal and work ethics, honesty, integrity, and love of education while enrolled in the New Jersey SEEDS Scholars Program.
  • Afran Ali (Groton School ’20) was named the Blair MacInnes Scholar for her outstanding academic achievement and dedication to education while enrolled in the New Jersey SEEDS Scholars Program.
  • Katrina Bergen (Oak Knoll School ’20) was the recipient of The Angela Shankar Foundation Award which is presented to a student with a strong community focus.
  • Courtney Crowder (Kent Place School ’23) was named the Alumni Scholar for representing the ideal SEEDS graduate while enrolled in one of SEEDS’ Scholars Programs.
  • Natalia Jaramillo (Saddle River Day School ’20) was the recipient of the Cavalier Scholarship, which helps to underwrite tuition at independent schools for high-achieving students. The scholarship is generously awarded by the F&P DeRosa Memorial Fund.
  • James Langan (Thacher School ’20) was named the Amy Ziebarth Scholar for his passion for social justice and strong commitment to SEEDS.
  • Joel Moya (Brooks School ’20) was the recipient of this year’s Dean’s Award for his overall achievement, strong leadership, citizenship, exceptional academic qualities and great personality while enrolled in the Scholars Program.
  • Maria Vieira (Peck School ’18) was named the Edward & Barbara Becker Scholar for her outstanding academic achievement and exemplary work while in the Young Scholars Program.
Congratulations to all of the Scholars and Young Scholars in the Class of 2016!
Golf & Tennis Classic Rescheduled for September 12

After being rescheduled due to rain, the Golf & Tennis Classic will be held at Mountain Ridge Country Club on Monday, September 12. While the golf portion of the event is sold out, please consider reserving your spot to play tennis or join us for cocktails, an auction and/or dinner. 

There are also other ways to support the Golf & Tennis Classic if you are unable to join us on September 12. SEEDS is once again pleased to partner with Tewksbury Fine Wine & Spirits to provide an easy way to make a significant difference for our scholars - by contributing to the SEEDS Wine Library. A variety of wines and price ranges are available. Please call 908.439.0007 or visit to make your selection. Your donation will be delivered directly to NJ SEEDS and be included in the auction at the event.

Or, take a chance on this year's raffle. Buy one raffle ticket for $10, or a book of 10 for $100. 
  • 1st Prize: Yankees Tickets (4) with Parking Pass ($600 value)
  • 2nd Prize: NY Giants Tickets (4) with Parking Pass ($580 value)
  • 3rd Prize: Kate Spade Tote ($378 value)
The drawing will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, September 12. The winner need not be present.
SEEDS Celebrates Alumni and Families at 2nd Annual Summer Spectacular

Thanks to the more than 260 alumni, parents, family members and friends who joined SEEDS at Forest Lodge for the 2nd Annual Summer Spectacular on August 21! It was a terrific day filled with old and new friends, great food and fun games and activities. Check out photos from the event.
Summer Program Overview
Young Scholars kicked off a five-week summer session in early July at Far Brook School. Nearly 50 students in the YSP Classes of 2016 and 2017 participated in math and English classes. Young Scholars in the Class of 2016 also took a history class, while the newest class of Young Scholars prepared for the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT). Graduating Young Scholars also met with SEEDS' Guidance team for workshops on social media, self-identity and diversity. (View photos from this summer.)

In addition to their academic classes, students participated in several special events, including: a Parent Picnic, where family members toured Far Brook, held conferences with teachers and deans, and participated in activities and games with their students; a CommunityTeamWorks Day with Goldman Sachs, where volunteers worked with Young Scholars on business plans and addressing issues facing our country; and a field trip to the American Museum of Natural History

Young Scholars in the Class of 2017 resume academic classes with SEEDS this September and will prepare for class by attending an orientation on September 8. Young Scholars will also join Scholars at SEEDS' Annual Placement Fair on September 10. Held at Dwight-Englewood School, nearly 100 day, boarding and junior boarding schools will be in attendance to meet with students.

Scholars enrolled in the Summer Challenge Program (the first step of the Scholars Program) arrived on the campus of The Hill School (view photos). Scholars took classes in math, English and history; engaged in electives such as glee club and creative writing; participated in sports and other activities; and prepared for the selective schools admissions process. Scholars' parents visited students during the second week of the three-week session for SEEDS' Annual Parent Day to explore campus, meet their Scholars' teachers and learn more about the SEEDS experience. 

Following the completion of the Summer Challenge Program - the final stage of the Scholars admissions process - 96 Scholars were invited to move forward to Scholars Academy Saturdays this fall. These students attended a three-day Leadership Retreat at Princeton-Blairstown Center earlier this month where they engaged in activities such as canoeing and kayaking, dam rappelling, climbing a rock wall and traversing bridges in trees. (Photos are now available.) Students will attend an orientation on September 7 to prepare for Saturday classes, and attend the Annual Placement Fair with Young Scholars (details above) on September 10.

Scholars in the Class of 2016 completed their SEEDS journey with the Capstone Experience, a final three-week academic session at The Hill School. Students took classes in one of four tracks - Business and Finance, Culture and the Arts, Law and Society and STEM. With a focus in their core academic area, Scholars also had the opportunity to meet with professionals working in their field of interest. More than 20 volunteers spoke with Scholars about their professions and answered questions about their career paths. (View photos from this year's Capstone Experience.) 

College Preparatory Program (CPP) Scholars and College Scholars completed their Summer Collegiate Experiences on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges for a two- and three-week residency, respectively. Students spent their time in academic classes and refining their personal statements for college applications. College Scholars also toured the Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester. (View photos of the Summer Collegiate Experiences.)

Seniors in both programs are now preparing for Saturday Academy. CPP Scholars will have orientation on August 30 (Orange) and September 1 (Trenton) and College Scholars will have orientation on August 31. Both CPP Scholars and College Scholars will spend the first few weeks of their fall with SEEDS continuing college research, finalizing supplemental essays, and applying for college fly-in programs.
New Jersey SEEDS' Guidance Department Helps Students Prepare for College Admissions

In mid-July, Guidance hosted a two-day College Tour for NJ SEEDS graduates in high school. Students visited Connecticut CollegeFairfield UniversityTrinity College and Wesleyan University. Guidance also hosted a six-week SAT class with Foley Prep. Students met for class twice a week at the NJ SEEDS office to prepare for fall tests.

In the fall, Guidance will host a financial aid workshop for seniors and their parents at the New Jersey SEEDS office. Stay tuned for additional information.
Alumni Association Hosts Conversation on Networking and Negotiating 

SEEDS' Alumni Association hosted a Conversation on Networking and Negotiating on Tuesday, July 26. The discussion was led by SEEDS Trustee Claire Santaniello (Managing Director, Chief Administrative Officer at Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon Company) and alumna Therisa George (Scholars '97, Dwight-Englewood School '01, Dartmouth College '05, Australis Partners) and resulted in terrific discussions. Thanks to all who came out!
Thanks to SEEDS' Generous Foundation Donors for Their Continued Support!

New Jersey SEEDS received a generous gift of $15,000 from the Ralph M. Cestone Foundation in support of Orange High School students enrolled in SEEDS’ College Preparatory Program. The Scholars Program received a funding boost from the Norman and Bettina Roberts Foundation in the amount of $20,000, while our Young Scholars Program continued to be the very lucky beneficiary of the Jockey Hollow Foundation’s generosity when the Foundation increased its annual support to $10,000! Thank you to the trustees and staff of these wonderful foundations who help to ensure that SEEDS can continue to deliver transformational education opportunities to deserving students.
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