In this issue: Student spotlight on Claudia Torres, a recap of SEEDS' Leading Change Benefit and a look at SEEDS' programs.
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May 2015
SEEDS' All Stars
SEEDS All Star Spotlight
Claudia Torres
Scholars '11
Kent Place School '15
Yale University '19

Claudia was one of the SEEDS graduates who shared a letter to her younger self at this year's Leading Change Benefit (read our full recap in this issue). Next fall, Claudia will attend Yale University.

How does your experience compare to friends who did not apply for SEEDS?
SEEDS opened up new doors for me that I never would have known about had I not been a Scholar. I knew I had a constant support system throughout my entire high school career. If I ever had any questions, was feeling stressed, or just wanted to celebrate an accomplishment, I knew that every member of SEEDS' Guidance department was just a click or call away. Unlike my friends who did not go through SEEDS, I had constant support from those who knew me well as a scholar and person, and were always willing to give me general advice on how to navigate through high school or help me find new opportunities outside of school that fit my personal interests.

What has been your proudest accom-plishment so far?
In the most recent years, my proudest accomplishment has been the completion of a year-long scientific research project that I conducted during my junior year at Kent Place. My project, which focused on the study of the connection between the over-prescription of antibiotics and the rise of resistant bacteria, was not the most sophisticated, but it was the product of all my hard work and determination. During that year, I worked completely independently and spent many hours in a small laboratory setting up experiments and reading through a plethora of scientific papers. I had to face any and all obstacles that came my way and figure out ways around them. By the end of the year, I was undeniably proud of my final paper because I knew that it showcased all my newfound knowledge and represented my growth as an independent and confident student. 

What is the most important thing SEEDS has taught you?
The most important thing that SEEDS has taught me is to never be afraid of having big dreams. From day one, my SEEDS mentors have encouraged me to set goals for myself and to do anything and everything in my power to achieve them. No dream is impossible to achieve; all anyone needs is the determination and tools to go out and make their dreams a reality.

Would you share an excerpt of your letter to your younger self?
"Being a SEEDS scholar will be the most rewarding experience of your young life...It’s amazing, looking back on it now, to see how the confidence and determination you first developed through the SEEDS Scholars Program will directly lead to your involvement in a dozen different activities in high school...And in the end, you’ll look back on your decision to apply to SEEDS and see that you, without any question, made the right choice. SEEDS was the ultimate beginning to a journey that I know will lead to our very bright and very successful future."
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SEEDS Welcomes Its Newest Students

Congratulations to the 126 Scholars who will enroll in the Summer Challenge Program next month at The Hill School and to the 25 Young Scholars who will begin class at Delbarton School next month. Scholars Summer Challenge Orientation will take place on Saturday, May 30. Young Scholars Step 1 Orientation will take place on Wednesday, June 3. For additional information, please contact Imani Gilliam, Dean of Scholars Programs.
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SEEDS Raises Nearly $700,000 at 4th Annual
Leading Change Benefit

On April 22, SEEDS welcomed more than 300 guests to The Park Savoy to celebrate life-changing education. At the 4th Annual Leading Change Benefit, SEEDS raised nearly $700,000 - including $200,000 during the evening's paddle raise led by New York Giants Superbowl XXV MVP Ottis Anderson - to support future scholars.

In addition to presentations by several SEEDS alumni (view their remarks), SEEDS recognized two leaders whose initiative and commitment have enhanced educational opportunities throughout New Jersey. Bank of America, accepted by NJ State President Robert H. Doherty, and Arthur Levine, President of The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, were presented with the Leading Change Award.

Thanks to all of this year's sponsors, and all of those who came out to support the event. Photos and video are now available.
Top: Past Leading Change honorees Jennifer and Alan Fournier and Laura Overdeck, with John Overdeck and Kevin Eng. Bottom left: Judith Germano and SEEDS Trustee Michael Bonarti. Bottom right: Greg Ginn, Joseph Townsend (Young Scholars '14) and John Amos.
Know a high-achieving public high school student?

SEEDS is currently recruiting students to enroll in its newest academic offering - the College Scholars Program. Eligible students must: 
  • Complete 10th grade by June 2015
  • Be nominated by their guidance counselor 
  • Attend one of the eligible College Scholars high schools
  • Be enrolled in the most rigorous coursework offered, including completion of Algebra I and Geometry by the end of 10th grade
  • Be in the top 10% of their class
  • Want to attend a highly selective 4-year college or university
  • Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Meet SEEDS' income requirements
Want to learn more? Visit our Admissions page to get more information about the nomination process. 
Alumni Host Celebrate SEEDS Events in Several Cities

Last month, alumni from New Jersey, New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. met for four separate Celebrate SEEDS events. Celebrate SEEDS is an opportunity for SEEDS grads to network with each other and to introduce family and friends to the mission of the organization.

Alumni from New Jersey and New York gathered at VB3 in Jersey City on April 1. Celebrate SEEDS: Boston was held on April 8 at 6B and Celebrate SEEDS: Washington, D.C. was at Capital City Brewery on April 15. Philadelphia alumni met at Landmark Americana on April 26. Check out photos from the events on our Facebook page. 

Interested in getting more involved with SEEDS' Alumni Alliance? Contact SEEDS' Development Officer, Alumni Relations, Patricia Rodrigues.
Program Recaps
On Saturday, April 11, Scholars participated in SEEDS' Annual Hospital Day at Morristown Medical Center (view photos here). Each year, Hospital Day is a chance for SEEDS Scholars to explore potential career paths in healthcare by shadowing doctors, nurses and technicians in a variety of specialties. Led by Dr. Maria E. Perez, DO, Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Goryeb Children’s Hospital, Scholars also participated in an an ethics discussion about how healthcare professionals would address a situation where a patient is refusing medical treatment. Afterwards, students debriefed and engaged in concluding activities. 

On Saturday, April 25, the Alumni Alliance visited students at Seton Hall Prep for the third site panel discussion on the transition to selective school. 

In the coming weeks, Scholars will visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art for SEEDS' Annual Arts Trip. Afterwards, Scholars will see Aladdin on Broadway. On May 30, Scholars entering the Capstone Experience will have orientation at Newark Academy

It's been a busy few weeks for SEEDS Young Scholars too. On April 11, Young Scholars traveled to the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. While touring the Center, Young Scholars 
were asked to create a piece of art depicting their perspective looking out into a garden. (View photos of SEEDS students at work.) A week later, Young Scholars celebrated the culmination of their monthly Book Clubs with a Book Club Party 
coordinated for the third consecutive year by Abigail and Elizabeth Fournier. Along with this year's volunteers, Young Scholars broke into groups and participated in several activities that harnessed their creativity and passion for reading. SEEDS is grateful to all of the families who joined Young Scholars in this year's Book Club as participants and facilitators. (Photos now available.)

Young Scholars engaged in the year's final Brown Bag Lunch discussion with SEEDS alumni in April. Last month's conversation was designed to assist students through the cultural and academic transition from their home schools to their boarding or day institutions. SEEDS alumni shared their own personal experiences and addressed issues students may encounter throughout the process.

Young Scholars will also participate in SEEDS' Annual Arts Trip on May 9. Following their visit to the Met, Young Scholars will see Broadway's Matilda.
Scholars in SEEDS' College Preparatory Program (CPP) have participated in several workshops recently to prepare for the transition to college. The first was a Dress for Success/Interview Preparation workshop hosted by Ethelyn Geschwind. Students heard tips on professionalism, email etiquette and interview skills. On April 25, SEEDS' Alumni Alliance visited CPP scholars for a workshop on Decision Making and Time Management. Later that day, students learned about credit card management .

On April 7, CPP juniors began a five-day college tour, visiting: Albright CollegeDickinson CollegeGeorgetown
UniversityGoucher College, the University of Richmond and The College of William & Mary. View photos from their trip.

As SEEDS Scholars and Young Scholars in the Class of 2015 prepare for graduation and the transition to independent schools, they met with the members of SEEDS' Guidance team. Speaking to both students and their parents, Guidance officers outlined the services they offer as students move into selective schools.

On April 25, Guidance hosted a workshop on the college application process for SEEDS graduates who attend public high schools. During the session, SEEDS provided an overview on: applying for financial aid, obtaining letters of recommendation, getting involved and being a leader, preparing for the SAT/ACT, choosing the right courses, and more.
In mid-April, New Jersey SEEDS headed to the National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA) conference in Philadelphia.

SEEDS' Director of Admissions and Placement, Andy Hoge, participated in a panel on "Building Connections with the Financial Aid Office" along with Sarbeth Fleming (College Counselor at The Westminster Schools) and John Leach (Director of Financial Aid at Emory University). 
Bernadette Sarlo, SEEDS' Associate Director of Placement was part of "Making the Most of Your Partnerships: Best Practices for Best Placements" with Kate Auger-Campbell (Director of Outreach, The Admission Organization) and Nahin Jorgge (Scholars '03, Phillips Exeter '07, Yale University '11, Associate Director of Admissions and Coordinator of Multicultural and Diversity Recruitment at Phillips Exeter Academy). 

SEEDS grad Da'Vion Louis (Scholars '08, Westtown School '12, Villanova University '16) also participated on a family panel with his mom, Margaret Searcy.
Join SEEDS this summer!
June 8: CPP Graduation | 7:00 p.m. | The Newark Club
July 14 - July 29: Scholars Capstone Speaker Series | The Hill School (Pottstown, PA) | Volunteers needed to discuss career experiences.
August 1: Scholars and Young Scholars Graduation | 11:00 a.m. | Summit High School

Stay tuned for other opportunities to meet our students this summer. Want to learn more? Contact Jennifer Mehr, Director of Development at 862.227.9150.
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