In this issue: a student spotlight on Satinder Parmar, a look at SEEDS' 25th anniversary alumni event, and an overview SEEDS' academic programs.
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Winter 2017
SEEDS' All Stars
SEEDS All Star Spotlight
Satinder Parmar
Scholars Program '13 | Cambridge School of Weston '17

 
Satinder is a senior at the Cambridge School of Weston who recently made the decision to attend American University in the fall. At the Cambridge School of Weston, Satinder is serving as co-head of the Diversity Committee and is a dorm leader. He is also part of the cross country team, and assists the school with admissions and development events. During his junior year, he took a five-week trip abroad to France, visiting Paris and Montpellier.

What was your experience with the Scholars Program?
My experience with SEEDS has been monumental in my life. Being at my school, going to conferences, continuing my personal development - none of this would have been possible without SEEDS. They gave me the opportunity to get where I am.

How have you stayed in contact with SEEDS?
My Guidance officer has been so supportive and understanding throughout my high school years. I know with SEEDS I have an adult advisor who is genuinely looking out for me, and having that support means a lot.

Last summer, you served as a Student Advisor with the Young Scholars Program. Tell me a little bit about your time with the Young Scholars. 
I really liked working with the Young Scholars. I was young when I applied to SEEDS, but not as young as they were. You could see the dedication and determination in their eyes; they really wanted to be there and wanted to learn. It was also amazing to connect with SEEDS alumni from classes different than my own. We all had that one connection that brought us together even though everyone SEEDS' experience was unique. 

What does NJ SEEDS mean to you?
Genuinely, it means a lot. It was an opportunity to grow as a person, as well as a scholar. SEEDS gave me a lot of confidence in social and academic settings. If it were not for SEEDS, I would not be exposed to different possibilities or the chance to speak with like-minded people. I'm really thankful to SEEDS. It's not something that I look at as part of my past. It's part of me. It's a connection where SEEDS understands me and I understand SEEDS. With all the opportunities it's given me, it's made me a better person all around.
 
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SEEDS Alumni Gather at VB3 for Holiday Celebration

On Friday, December 9, more than 30 alumni (of college age or older) took time from their busy schedules to attend the SEEDS Alumni Holiday Party at VB3. Thanks to everyone who came out to reconnect!


SEEDS Gives Thanks

Thank you to the following individuals and organizations for making several of our family's holidays a bit brighter: the volunteers of Friends of SEEDS, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Evangel Church.
SEEDS Scholars Submit Nearly 1,500 Applications!

Over the past few months, SEEDS scholars have been working diligently to complete applications to selective middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities.

Our Scholars and Young Scholars have submitted more than 1,000 applications to 159 schools in 19 states. Students will learn their decisions in early March.

Meanwhile, College Preparatory Program Scholars and College Scholars have completed nearly 500 applications to colleges and universities across the country. Students have already received Early Decision acceptances to the University of Pennsylvania, Smith College and Union College. Decisions will continue to be mailed out over the next few months.


Best of luck to all of our students and congratulations on all you have accomplished thus far!
Congratulations to SEEDS' Guidance Seniors on their College Acceptances!

SEEDS' Scholars and Young Scholars graduates who are seniors in high school are already receiving college acceptances to top colleges! Congratulations to our students on their early acceptances to: Bowdoin College, Colorado College, Columbia University, Duke University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Swarthmore College, the University of Pennsylvania, Wake Forest University, and Wesleyan University.

Haven't updated SEEDS on your college acceptances yet? Be sure to connect with your Guidance Officer with college acceptances and decisions.
SEEDS' Founding Executive Director Publishes Book

Congratulations to Founding Executive Director and SEEDS Trustee Emeritus Blair MacInnes on the publication of her first book, A Book of Hours!
SEEDS Early Graduates, Founders and Trustees Gather for Discussion

On Saturday, January 7, several graduates from SEEDS’ earliest classes inspired current Scholars and Young Scholars by recalling their journey from SEEDS through today and by sharing important advice. This homecoming was made more special when two of SEEDS’ founders and several of current Trustees braved the snow to hear our alumni share their stories at The Pingry School. It was a terrific opportunity for our alumni to connect with current SEEDS students and for SEEDS to look back on 25 years of educational success.
 
Special thanks to our alumni guests: Igor Alves (Scholars ’95, Montclair Kimberley Academy ’99, Rutgers University – Newark ‘03), Taffi Ayodele (Scholars ’96, Newark Academy ’00, New York University ‘04), Michael Fletcher (Scholars ’95, Seton Hall Preparatory School ’99, Princeton University ’03), June Francis (Scholars ’95, The Pingry School ’99, Drew University ’05), Greg Kornegay (Scholars ’96, Seton Hall Preparatory School ’00, Rutgers University ’04) and Melvin Sarkor-Clinton (Scholars ’97, Seton Hall Preparatory School ’01, Pratt Institute ’06). And thanks to SEEDS’ Founders and Trustees for sharing this day with us: Founding Trustee Blair MacInnes, Founding Trustee Mark Sandler, Chair Lee Shavel, Vice Chair Theo Lubke, Honorary Vice Chair Susan Present, and Trustee Andy Schwartz.

SEEDS Founding Trustee and first Board Chair Blair MacInnes summarized the day's events best, “I wouldn’t not have missed this and hearing you all for the world. So, thank you. I think SEEDS has gotten better and better and better. So, stay connected. Please, stay connected. Let’s do this on a more regular basis. You make us very proud.”


Looking to help SEEDS celebrate its 25th anniversary? Join us at one of our 25th anniversary events this year. For additional information, contact Karen R. Gonon, Director of Development.
Hyde & Watson Foundation and Union Foundation Provide Support for Chromebooks for SEEDS Students

As NJ SEEDS’ site schools relied less on traditional computer labs and more on personal devices such as tablets and laptops, SEEDS began an initiative last year to purchase Chromebooks for use by students during Saturday classes. The Hyde & Watson Foundation and the Union Foundation have provided grants that enabled SEEDS to purchase dozens of Chromebooks and a cart to charge and store them. The initiative will continue until SEEDS has a Chromebook for each student in our education programs and a cart for storing them at each site school. To support this effort, please contact Kristin Walpole, Development Officer, Institutional and Major Gifts. Thank you for your support of SEEDS scholars!
Reserve Your Seat for SEEDS' 25th Anniversary Benefit

Please join New Jersey SEEDS on Thursday, April 27 for our 25th Anniversary Benefit at the Pleasantdale Chateau!

In addition to celebrating the nearly 2,500 lives changed over the past 25 years, SEEDS will recognize the accomplishments of this year's Leading Change honorees: Amy Ziebarth and Soleio Cuervo, SEEDS '95.

Each year, SEEDS' Leading Change Awards are presented to individuals or organizations whose initiative and commitment have enhanced the educational opportunities of young people throughout New Jersey. Amy Ziebarth is a former Executive Director of New Jersey SEEDS. Having joined SEEDS in 1995, Amy served as the Executive Director from 1998 to 2010. Today, she is Head of School at Far Brook School. Soleio Cuervo graduated from the second SEEDS class in 1995. He was one of Facebook’s earliest designers and
was later was head of design at Dropbox. Today, is he an investor and advisor to early stage technology combines and a founding partner of Combine.

Interested in contributing to his year's auction? To donate an item, learn more about how you can participate in the evening's event by becoming a sponsor, or purchase a table, please contact MarrLa Brown, Development Officer, Special Events, at 862.227.9142.
Congratulations to the College Scholars Class of 2018!

In late 2016, New Jersey SEEDS selected 44 high school juniors to be part of the second class of College Scholars. These 44 accepted students come from 21 high schools across 15 cities. They will join the current 22 seniors in the College Scholars Program when they begin classes with SEEDS this Saturday, February 4.

In order to apply, potential College Scholars had to be nominated by a guidance counselor. For the Class of 2018, SEEDS received more than 300 nominations. Nominated students were then invited to complete an application, and 70 finalists were invited to interview. (If you would like additional information on the College Scholars application process, please contact our Admissions team at 973.642.6422.)

Congratulations to the College Scholars Class of 2018! 
Programs Overview
Scholars and Young Scholars are continuing the selective school application process with their families and SEEDS staff. In November, SEEDS hosted financial aid workshops for Scholars, Young Scholars and their families designed to provide one-on-one guidance for Parents Financial Statements (PFS) and TADS forms. Students prepared for the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) and Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE), which were both taken in December. Students and their families also participated in Parent Meetings in January to discuss the placement process. 

During the spring semester, SEEDS Young Scholars will have workshops with Sanofi's Millennials Influencing Learning & Leadership (MILL) Employee Resource Group (ERG). Members of the MILL ERG will visit Young Scholars and facilitate monthly STEM workshops designed to expose students to the everyday, practical applications of STEM fields. Young Scholars' first session with Sanofi volunteers was on Saturday, January 28; volunteers demonstrated what an engineer does and how engineering projects come together.

In addition, Young Scholars began an arts curriculum earlier this month in conjunction with the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. These monthly workshops will culminate with a field trip to the Arts Center in April. Young Scholars will also participate in monthly Brown Bag Lunch Sessions with SEEDS alumni. Topics that will be discussed include: gender relations,  insider scoop on independent schools, and code switching. Young Scholars will visit New York City in May as part of SEEDS' Annual Arts Trip.

Scholars will visit Morristown Medical Center for SEEDS' Annual Hospital Day in April. This is an opportunity for Scholars to shadow healthcare professionals and learn about different types of careers in medicine. In May, Scholars will join Young Scholars for the Annual Arts Trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

College Preparatory Program (CPP) Scholars and College Scholars will resume classes on Saturday, February 4, and participate in a senior retreat. On February 25, CPP Scholars and College Scholars will be joined by SEEDS alumni for a panel discussion on future careers. (Any alumni looking to participate in the panel on Saturday, February 25 should contact Masuma Salam , Development Officer, Alumni Relations, at 862.227.9148.)

In March, CPP alumni will return for a College Homecoming event and share their experiences with current CPP Scholars and College Scholars. In April, CPP scholars and College Scholars seniors will participate in an Arts Trip to New York City.


SEEDS' Guidance department hosted its annual holiday party on Thursday, December 22 at the Hilton Newark - Penn Station. Nearly 100 SEEDS graduates in high school came out to see their former classmates and check in with the SEEDS team. Check out photos from the event!

SEEDS Guidance department is continuing to assist high school juniors and seniors with college research and application processes. In November, students attended a college tour with stops at both Lafayette College and Lehigh University. Another tour will be held this March, from Monday, March 13 through Friday, March 17. Students will visit the New England region, including stops at Amherst College, Boston College, Brandeis University, Brown University, Hampshire College and Northeastern University. Online registration for SEEDS graduates will be available soon; check in with the Guidance department for additional details. 


Interested in taking part in internships or other opportunities this summer? Or, looking to hire SEEDS graduates? Each year, SEEDS' Guidance department distributes a handbook with opportunities available to SEEDS graduates. Contact Guidance Officer Johulin Zuluaga (862.227.9133) or Development Officer Masuma Salam (862.227.9148) or more information on how you can get involved with our internship program or for questions on internships.
Scholars and Young Scholars Applicants Have Until February 10 to Submit Information

Seventh graders in New Jersey and fourth- and fifth-graders in the Greater Newark area have until Friday, February 10 to complete applications to NJ SEEDS and submit supporting materials. Haven't requested your application yet? Head to our website to complete the application request form. A link to our application will be emailed to you within 5-7 business days.

More than 150 applications to SEEDS were reviewed following the Early Decision deadline in December. Seventy-seven students were invited to interview and test with SEEDS in late January, with decisions for Early Decision candidates being announced in early February. Thanks to all of the volunteers who came out to interview potential scholars and their families, and good luck to all candidates!
Parents Committee Supports Recruitment Efforts

Parents of SEEDS alumni and Parents Committee members continue to support New Jersey SEEDS in recruiting the next class of students. Parent volunteers work closely with SEEDS staff to share their stories with potential SEEDS families. If you're interested in volunteering your time, please contact Jamie McClintock, Development Officer, Parent and Community Engagement, at 862.227.9146.
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