In this issue: a student spotlight on James Garcia, a feature on SEEDS' placement process and an update on SEEDS scholars heading back to school.
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October 2015
SEEDS' All Stars
SEEDS All Star Spotlight
James Garcia
Scholars '11 |
Cambridge School of Weston '15 |

Swarthmore College '19
This summer, James Garcia was one of eight alumni who completed an internship program with Automated Data Processing (ADP) through NJ SEEDS. This fall, he began his first year at Swarthmore College.

Can you briefly describe your experience at ADP?
My summer with ADP was a rotational internship where I learned about the many branches of an international company. I learned new skills in management, marketing, finance and technological innovation. I also learned the importance and advantages of working in a team.  I realized that I am interested in innovation, that nothing stays the same, and that creativity is key. I formed great bonds with the other SEEDS alumni who were part of this rotational program.

What skills did you learn during your internship that you've brought with you to Swarthmore?
I learned a lot about personal finance and personal loans, which is helpful. However, the most important thing that I learned was how creative minds are fostered to generate innovative ideas. No one wants to stay the same and be stagnant. It is those who push the limits, challenge processes and inspire visions who are considered leaders. I consider myself to be like that. Going into Swarthmore College, I was able find my own routine knowing that I am my own leader. I have also been pushed toward the sciences, specifically computer science, in combination with the arts. I have less fear and less anxiety about being in college because I know I am not distracted; I am just creative.
How did you find out about this internship? How did SEEDS prepare you for your time at ADP?
I found out about the internship through Johulin Zuluaga, a SEEDS Guidance officer. She encouraged me and helped me clean up my resume. SEEDS has actually been preparing me for this internship since the eighth grade. SEEDS has always told us about networking, putting your best foot forward, using interview strategies, and promoting self advocacy. I have been prepared for a long time. It's like SEEDS knew this was coming. 

What are your goals for the future? How has SEEDS set you up to reach those goals?
My goals for the future consist of being happy and being very successful. SEEDS has already put me on an equal playing field where I would not have been if I had not gone through the Scholars Program. I feel energized and eager to take on the world because I know I have supporters, and SEEDS is one of the major ones. 

What does NJ SEEDS mean to you?
NJ SEEDS is honestly my gem. I am so happy that I found it. SEEDS gave me my best friends, great mentors, and the best opportunity to attend the best high school. It has filled the achievement gap; it made me equal. SEEDS is justice for the students who have the ability to learn and grow but do not have the opportunity to do so. SEEDS gives us representation, opportunity, and justice. 
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SEEDS is Now Accepting Applications for the Scholars and Young Scholars Programs!

Motivated 4th and 5th grade students living in the Greater Newark area and 7th graders across New Jersey are encouraged to request an application for New Jersey SEEDS (view eligibility requirements). To apply for SEEDS' Early Decision deadline, all application materials must be received by Friday, December 11. Interested in learning more? Visit SEEDS at an upcoming information session in your area.
SEEDS' Placement Team Prepares Scholars for Enrollment in Selective Schools and Colleges
For more than two decades, SEEDS has assisted students in furthering their educations. One of the most important pieces of this journey is placement in selective middle or high schools, or colleges and universities. Although the fall semester has just started, SEEDS' team is already hard at work, ensuring scholars and their families are prepared for the admissions process to selective schools or colleges that will take place over the next few months.

Scholars and Young Scholars have spent the last six weeks researching the various day and boarding schools that each student will consider. On September 12, nearly 100 selective schools from across the country attended SEEDS' Placement School Fair at Dwight-Englewood School. In addition to meeting representatives from the schools that came to recruit, scholars and their families participated in several workshops to prepare them for the next step of their journey.

To familiarize Scholars and their families with a range of options, they also had the opportunity to visit a boarding school campus, traveling to either Blair Academy or Westminster School in early September. Working closely with the SEEDS team to finalize their applications, Scholars and Young Scholars in the Class of 2016 will apply to nearly 120 schools throughout the country before the completion of admissions season.

Meanwhile, CPP seniors are in the process of applying to colleges and universities. Working closely with the SEEDS team and their SEEDS mentor, each student will apply to nine to 12 institutions. Seniors - along with CPP juniors - also have the opportunity to meet with college representatives each Saturday during class. Thanks to the representatives from the following schools who have come out to meet scholars so far this year: Allegheny CollegeDavidson College, Gettysburg College, Hobart and William Smith CollegesLehigh University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Rutgers UniversityUniversity of Richmond, and Vassar College.
NJ SEEDS Alumni Association is Holding Events Near You this Fall!

Earlier this fall, SEEDS Alumni Alliance was officially rebranded as the New Jersey SEEDS Alumni Association. The Alumni Association is the official alumni organization for SEEDS’ graduates in college and beyond. The next meeting for the Alumni Association will be held on Monday, October 19 at the SEEDS office. Alumni are invited to attend to learn about upcoming opportunities to network with other graduates and give back to SEEDS.

The Alumni Association is also hosting several regional events this fall:
  • Washington, D.C.: Alumni gathered at Nando's Restaurant on October 1. For information on future events, please contact Katie Apolinario (Scholars '05) or Elvin Merlo (Scholars '04).
  • Philadelphia: Join alumni on Saturday, October 17 at Lucky Strike. Contact Da'Vion Louis (Scholars '08) or Chatara Benson (Scholars '00) for additional information.
  • Boston: Meet with Boston-area alumni on Sunday, October 18 at Tavern in the Square Allston. Contact Steven Hanton (Scholars '01) or Lauren Mullins (Scholars '06) for more information.
  • NYC/NJ: A Financial Literacy Workshop will be held on Saturday, October 24 to provide the necessary skills to avoid debt, build assets and reach financial goals. Reserve your space here.
For additional information on how you can get more involved in the Alumni Association, please contact Patricia Rodrigues.
Program Recaps
Young Scholars headed back to class at Newark Academy on Saturday, September 19. The 24 students in Step 2 of the Young Scholars Program began classes in English and mathematics, in addition to preparing their applications for school placement. Young Scholars also took part in mock interviews on Wednesday, October 14 to prepare for meeting admissions representatives at selective schools in the coming weeks.

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is currently displaying artwork from the YSP Class of 2015. Completed over the course of nine sessions during the last academic year, the art was inspired by exhibits at the Arts Center. Visit by Sunday, November 1 to see students' artwork in person!

Scholars also continued to prepare for placement. Since beginning class on September 5 at The Pingry School, students have been preparing for the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) and participating in mock interviews. Thanks to the volunteers who joined SEEDS during the week of October 5 to interview Scholars and their families (view photos here). 

The 53 juniors and seniors in the College Preparatory Program (CPP) began classes at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) on Saturday, September 19. CPP scholars have been taking advanced coursework in English and logic. Seniors are also working closely with their mentors to complete college applications.

Candidates for SEEDS' newest program - the College Scholars Program - are currently in the final stages of the admissions process. Selected scholars will begin class with SEEDS in February 2016.
SEEDS' Guidance department has started visiting scholar alumni at their placement schools across the country; team members have already visited students on nearly 20 campuses. The Guidance team has also recently hosted workshops for alumni in public high schools, meeting with a dozen students and their families to discuss SEEDS services. On Monday, November 23, Guidance will host a one-day college tour for alumni in high school. Additional information to follow.
The SEEDS Parents Committee is Looking for Volunteers

New Jersey SEEDS' Parents Committee provides invaluable support to all SEEDS families. The Parents Committee is looking for additional volunteers to assist in this year's recruitment efforts. To learn more about how you can help bring in the next class of SEEDS students, please contact Jamie McClintock. Additional information on volunteer recruitment efforts will be discussed at the next Parents Committee Meeting on Friday, October 30. 
Help Kick Off Another Great Year with Friends of SEEDS!

Join the Friends of SEEDS on Tuesday, October 20 at 6:00 p.m. at the Boxcar Bar and Grill (25 Chatham Road, Short Hills) to kick off another year of volunteer and fundraising events. Friends of SEEDS is a group of dedicated volunteers whose activities support and enhance many of the social, cultural and academic experiences that NJ SEEDS makes available to students. 

To learn more about Friends of SEEDS, or to RSVP for this event, please contact Jamie McClintock at 862.227.9146.
Meet the Newest Members of the SEEDS Team
by checking out our NEW website

SEEDS' Vice President, Admissions and Placement, Presents at SSATB Conference

Andy Hoge joined a panel of colleagues from the National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA), Lawrenceville School and Suffield Academy at the SSATB Conference in September. Panelists discussed how to use data to better represent underrepresented students, increase efforts in diversity, encourage conversations between schools and programs, and support successful outcomes for students.
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