In this issue of eSeedlings: SEEDS' All Star Spotlight on Ralph Belony, a feature on SEEDS' Spring College Tour and an in-depth look at SEEDS' academic programs.
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March 2015
SEEDS' All Stars
SEEDS All Star Spotlight
Ralph Belony
Trenton High
School West '16,
CPP '16

Ralph is a junior in SEEDS' College Preparatory Program (CPP). Instead of attending class at Trenton High School West this semester, through SEEDS, Ralph is participating in a program where he takes courses at The Mountain School in Vermont.

What has your experience at The Mountain School been like so far?
The Mountain School is amazing. I take Honors Environmental Science, Honors Humanities, Honors English, and A.P. U.S. History. As far as extracurricular activities, we have work periods and activities that allow us to do different things. For example, we explore the woods around campus, cut trees for heating campus buildings, and practice outdoor skills. I have gained a lot of confidence while I have been here and have made new friends from different parts of the country. I am looking forward to seeing how that progresses as the semester continues.

Last summer, you participated in a program at Phillips Exeter Academy. What did you do while there?
Around 800 students from across the U.S. and throughout the world were part of the program. I took classes in English, math, humanities and swimming. At first, I was hesitant to be there because I had to figure things out for myself, but the most important things I got out of the program were independence and responsibility.

How did you find out about the opportunities at Exeter and The Mountain School?
The Mountain School and Exeter would not even be on my mind if it were not for SEEDS. I never heard of those programs before, and Anthony Jones, Interim Dean of CPP, introduced them to me. SEEDS played a large part in the process.

What are you hoping to learn in the next year about the college process? 
I'm hoping to learn more about scholarships and grants. I also want to know the process of getting into an Ivy League school. I have already started looking into college options, including  Howard University, Temple University, Boston University, and Northeastern University. I have enough faith to also apply to Yale and Columbia. I would like to get my doctorate in physical therapy and minor in business.

What does SEEDS mean to you?
To me, SEEDS is hope. In my family, it is rare to see someone go to college or do something in life that they actually want to do. So SEEDS, in a way, let me know: "Ralph you are going to college and you are going to fulfill everything that you put your mind to in life."
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SEEDS' Ronni Denes Named one of New Jersey's Best 50 Women in Business!

SEEDS President Ronni Denes was named one of NJBIZ' Best 50 Women in New Jersey Business in 2015. Learn more about Ronni's selection
Meet the Newest SEEDS Staff Members! 

Sharon Zucker, 
Dean of Guidance

Sharon heads up the Guidance team, working with SEEDS graduates who are now in middle school, high school and college.

Patricia Rodrigues,
Alumni Relations Officer

Patricia joins SEEDS' Development team, working with alumni in college and beyond.

To learn more about SEEDS' staff, visit our website.
Thanks to the students at Kean University for again selecting SEEDS as the recipient of its annual Pi Day fundraising events! 
Guidance Department Hosts Annual
Spring College Tour

The Guidance department is busy helping SEEDS graduates in high school prepare for the college application process! Last week, Guidance hosted its annual Spring College Tour. Nearly 50 Scholars and Young Scholars alumni joined them, visiting nine schools over five days. Students wrote about their experiences at each school, and reflections will be posted on the SEEDS Guidance blog in the coming weeks. Thanks to the following schools for hosting SEEDS: Bates College, Boston College, Bowdoin College, Clark University, Connecticut College, Harvard University, Quinnipiac University, Tufts University, and Wheaton College

On Saturday, April 25, SEEDS' Guidance team will host a college preparedness workshop for graduates in public high schools. SEEDS alumni who are sophomores and juniors are welcome to attend. For additional information, contact Monet Kendall. On June 20, SEEDS graduates in high school and CPP seniors will attend the annual College Day at North Star Academy (Newark). For additional information, contact SEEDS' Guidance department.

Interested in finding out where SEEDS' seniors have been accepted to college? Be sure to follow us on Facebook for regular updates!
Thanks to the more than 250 families who joined SEEDS on Saturday, March 14 at The Newark Club for the Annual Parents Luncheon. Special thanks to this year's speakers - SEEDS Trustee Sherronda Brown (Director of D-E Learning & Teaching Annex, Dwight-Englewood School) and Giovana Espejo (Scholars '05, Taft School '09, UNC-Chapel Hill '13) for sharing their stories. Be sure to check out photos online from this year's event.
Thanks to our friends at Southwest Airlines® for providing tickets for Thomas Campbell (Scholars '15) to visit The  McCallie School in February!
SEEDS Prepares for the Class of 2016

Earlier this month, the 21 students admitted to the Scholars' Summer Challenge Program through the Early Decision admissions process attended orientation. Congratulations to the newest SEEDS Scholars!

More than 750 applications were submitted for consideration during this year's admissions process. Of these students, 165 Scholars and Young Scholars candidates were invited to interview and test with SEEDS. Thanks to the volunteers who joined SEEDS at Newark Academy and The Pingry School to meet with students, and congratulations to interviewed students on all they have accomplished thus far. SEEDS looks forward to announcing final decisions next month.
Program Recaps
As Scholars await decisions from placement schools, Alumni Alliance representatives have been visiting each site to discuss the transition to these new educational environments. To date, alumni panels have been conducted at Dwight-Englewood School and The Pingry School (the final session will be held April 25 at Seton Hall Preparatory School). Thanks to the alumni volunteers for sharing their own experiences and answering questions from our Scholars!

In the coming weeks, SEEDS Scholars will have the opportunity to shadow healthcare professionals at Morristown Medical Center for the annual Hospital Day event.

SEEDS' Young Scholars have participated in two additional Book Club discussions since early February. Young Scholar girls have discussed The Black Rose (by Diana Sweeney) and When You Reach Me (by Rebecca Stead), while boys have read Loser (by Jerry Spinelli) and Varjak Paw (by S.F. Said).

Young Scholars have also been preparing to enter their new middle schools through a Brown Bag Lunch series with SEEDS graduates. In February, Young Scholars discussed gender relations. Upcoming sessions will focus on information about specific selective schools students may enroll in and the cultural and academic transitions that students will experience.

Families from both the Scholars and Young Scholars Programs will meet with SEEDS' Guidance team in mid-April to discuss the transition to selective schools and the role of Guidance in the next stage of scholars' journeys.
The College Preparatory Program (CPP) has been busy introducing scholars to a variety of colleges and universities as underclassmen begin to prepare for college admission. In late January, representatives from Albright College and Drew University visited CPP Saturday Academy for an information session. In February, CPP juniors visited Rowan University to tour the campus and learn more about the academic services offered to students. Juniors will also visit Albright College, Dickinson College, Georgetown University, Goucher College, the University of Richmond and William and Mary College on their spring college tour April 7 - 10.

On Thursday, March 19, CPP sophomores and juniors visited Barclays' office in New York City. While there, SEEDS students - along with Oliver Scholars - met with Barclays volunteers for a workshop on personal branding.
Keith Canton, Managing Director, Private Capital Markets, welcomed all the students and Yanni Amouris, VP, Learning and Development Specialist, led the workshop. Thank you to Barclays employees for another great session.
Thanks to the approximately 200 friends - including more than a dozen current and alumni families - who came out to support SEEDS as the official nonprofit partner at the New Jersey Devils game on February 25. A portion of ticket and 50/50 proceeds is being donated to SEEDS by the Devils. Other special privileges of the night included a ride on the Zamboni for current Scholar Thomas Campbell and a group photo on the ice after the game. 
There's still time to reserve your seats for SEEDS' 4th Annual Leading Change Benefit on Wednesday, April 22 at The Park Savoy. Join SEEDS as we honor those whose initiative and commitment have enhanced the educational opportunities of students in New Jersey. In addition to recognizing the evening's honorees - Bank of America and Arthur Levine - guests will enjoy strolling dinner, seated dessert, live and silent auctions, and remarks from SEEDS scholars and alumni. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are now available!
For additional information, contact Parinaz Cole at or at 862.227.9142. 
Calling All SEEDS Alumni!

Join the Alumni Alliance for upcoming Celebrate SEEDS events in your area:
In February, Monet Kendall, SEEDS' Associate Dean of Guidance, met with families at the The Institute of Music for Children for a workshop about how parents can help their students "TAP" into college resources. 
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