In this issue of eSeedlings: SEEDS' All Star Spotlight on Danny Santamaria, a Placement overview, and an update on SEEDS' education programs.
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December 2014
SEEDS' All Stars
SEEDS All Star Spotlight
Danny Santamaria
College Preparatory Program '11,

University of Tampa '15
Danny has been interested in criminology since her freshman year at the University of Tampa, and it sparked her interest in research. With her faculty advisor, Danny has been involved in undergraduate research, while also participating in peer mentoring and Army ROTC during her freshman and sophomore years.

What type of research have you undertaken at UT?
Since my freshman year, I've been involved in research with my faculty advisor, Dr. Anthony LaRose. Our research looks at the relationship between television crime dramas and biased juror expectations in a courtroom setting. So far, we've tested our concepts in Colombia. In December, they will be tested in Puerto Rico.

How did SEEDS prepare you for the University of Tampa?
SEEDS offered a wealth of programs and activities that helped me become acclimated to college life very quickly. I learned time management and goal setting, as well as many skills for classes, such as in-depth writing.

What is the most important thing you learned from SEEDS? How have you stayed involved with the organization?
SEEDS taught me how to stand out among a crowd of students. SEEDS also taught me how to be a leader and network efficiently. I've made great connections with the SEEDS staff, so I stay in touch with them. I have also been featured as a guest blogger on the SEEDS Guidance blog, and participated in internship opportunities offered to alumni. (You can check out Danny's guest blog posts online.)

What do you hope to do after your graduation in May?
After graduation, I hope to start my career in corporate human resources with a focus on talent recruitment.

What advice would you give to SEEDS scholars and alumni entering their senior year of high school?
Make sure to learn vital life skills (like networking), work on your writing skills, and build your resume early on. You have no idea how many doors your resume can open for you in college.
Save the Date for New Jersey SEEDS' Night with the New Jersey Devils!

Join SEEDS on Wednesday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. to watch the Devils take on the Calgary Flames. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to New Jersey SEEDS.

Tickets are now available for purchase online. Please contact Parinaz Cole for additional information.
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Support SEEDS
The Friends of SEEDS kicked off the 2014 - 2015 school year on October 29 with a luncheon at the home of SEEDS' Board Chair Susan Present. Nearly 30 volunteers gathered to exchange ideas and revitalize projects for the year. 

Their first major initiative will be the annual Young Scholars Book Club. The kickoff event will be held Sunday, December 7 for interested middle and high school volunteers and their parents.

For additional information on how you can get involved with the Friends of SEEDS, contact Parinaz Cole.
Thanks to the members of SEEDS' Alumni Alliance for their work with CPP scholars! Each month, this group organizes a workshop to present to students at CPP Saturday Academy.

On Saturday, October 25 the Alliance presented a workshop about social media.

If you're interested in getting involved with the Alumni Alliance, SEEDS' official alumni association, please contact Jenny Dodson Mistry (SEEDS '05), Alumni Alliance President.
New Jersey SEEDS is proud to be the Charitable Partner at TABS 2014! SEEDS warmly thanks 
The Association of Boarding Schools, its member schools and affiliates for their generosity and continuous support of New Jersey SEEDS scholars.
SEEDS Scholars Prepare for Admissions Season
For the past few months, SEEDS Scholars, Young Scholars and CPP seniors have been working hard to complete applications to selective middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities across the country. Before the completion of SEEDS' placement season, these students will have submitted nearly 1,000 applications! 

To assist scholars in the school search, students and families work closely with SEEDS' Placement and Programs teams.
During Saturday classes, students prepare for the SSAT or ACT and complete their applications. Scholars and Young Scholars have already attended SEEDS' Annual Placement Fair. CPP scholars have taken college tours, and met with college representatives during CPP Saturday Academy. In addition, 14 CPP seniors have been accepted to collegiate fly-in programs at: Allegheny College, Carnegie Mellon University, Denison University, Dickinson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Hamilton College, Kenyon College and Rowan University

We  are confident that our students' hard work will turn into good fortune as they await school decisions! For more information on what SEEDS scholars have been doing this semester, please see our Program Recaps below.
On October 30, New Jersey SEEDS was recognized by the Wells Fargo Community Partners Program. The Community Partners Program allows employees to nominate local nonprofits for Wells Fargo grants. SEEDS was nominated for this $1,000 award by two of our alumni parents: Jeannette Lara and Jose Portillo. 

Jeannette Lara (mother of Kristina Lopez, YSP '07, Montclair Kimberley Academy '13, FIT '15): "Your organization planted a seed on the pathway of my daughter's success and I felt that nominating SEEDS was just a small token of appreciation to thank and recognize you for all that you've done for us."

Jose Portillo (father of Larissa Portillo, YSP '11, Oak Knoll School '17): "I nominated SEEDS because it is a nonprofit that helps kids and parents to see education in a positive and reachable way. I am so happy that SEEDS received the award because this money will help kids get a higher education."

Thank you to Jeannette, Jose and Wells Fargo for their continued support of New Jersey SEEDS and our students!
Program Recaps
Scholars and Young Scholars continue to engage in academics each week at Scholars Academy Saturdays, sponsored by The Coach Foundation, and in Step 2, respectively. In the coming weeks, students and their families will complete their PFS (Parents' Financial Statement) and TADS (Tuition Aid Data Services) forms as part of the admissions process to selective schools. To better manage the process, several students and families attended a workshop at 
Seton Hall Preparatory School on November 22 to work with SEEDS to complete these forms.

Special thanks to the nearly 30 volunt
eers who interviewed SEEDS Scholars and to our friends from the Jack & Jill of America Inc., Essex Hudson Chapter who met with Young Scholars last month in preparation for students' admissions visits. Photos from both Scholars and Young Scholars Mock Interviews are now available.
College Preparatory Program (CPP) students traveled into New York City on Thursday, October 23 to meet with volunteers from Barclays for their annual Mock Interviews. Many thanks to the 45 Barclays volunteers who worked with 21 CPP juniors to prepare them for the college admissions and 
internship interview processes. Photos from the event are available online.

CPP scholars also continue to meet with representatives from colleges and universities to hear more about their institutions' offerings. Thanks to the following institutions which sent representatives to visit CPP students over the past several weeks: Colby College, Colorado College, Dickinson College, Lehigh University, Muhlenberg College, Stevens Institute of Technology, Union College, Villanova University and Wesleyan College

On Saturday, December 20, CPP alumni are invited to the 2nd annual CPP Homecoming to be held at NJIT. For additional details, contact Barry Ford.
New Jersey SEEDS is looking for YOU!
SEEDS is looking for motivated, high-achieving students to apply for its Scholars and Young Scholars Programs! There is still time to apply for our Early Decision Deadline - Friday, December 12. For those students planning on submitting materials for Early Decision:
  • Application Step One (application and writing prompts) should be submitted;
  • Application Step Two (recommendations) should be sent by Friday, December 5 and 
  • Application Step Three (report cards, test scores and tax forms) due by Friday, December 12.
For additional information, please contact our Admissions department. If you miss the Early Decision deadline, you may still apply for Regular Decision. The deadline for all Regular Decision admissions materials is Wednesday, February 11.

Interested in learning more about our programs and the educational opportunities provided to our students? Consider attending an information session near you. To date, SEEDS has completed nearly 20 information sessions in communities across New Jersey, in addition to 80 visits to local schools.

Special thanks to SEEDS' Parents Committee and alumni parent volunteers for their help in spreading the word about SEEDS!
SEEDS' Guidance team is continuing to visit Middle School, High School and College Scholar Alumni across the country. On November 24, Guidance hosted tours of Lafayette and Mulhenberg Colleges for High School Scholar Alumni. (Check out our Facebook page for some photos from the trip.)

Save the date for these upcoming events in December and January:
  • SEEDS' Annual Alumni Holiday Party - Saturday, December 27 at the Hilton - Newark Penn Station: All SEEDS graduates in high school and college are invited to join us for dinner, dancing and other fun activities. Tickets can be purchased online (under 21 and 21+) before Monday, December 22, and afterwards, by contacting SEEDS' Guidance department.
  • FAFSA Workshop - Saturday, January 3 at the New Jersey SEEDS Office: SEEDS High School Scholar Alumni and their families are invited to receive assistance in filling out college financial aid forms. 
For additional information on any of the above events, please contact Monet Kendall.
For additional information, contact Parinaz Cole at or at 862.227.9142. 
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