In this issue: a student spotlight on alumna Morgan Fletcher - this year's Golf & Tennis Classic keynote speaker, the highlights of SEEDS' Scholars and Young Scholars Graduation, and a look back at SEEDS' summer programs.
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August 2015
SEEDS' All Stars
SEEDS All Star Spotlight
Morgan Fletcher
Scholars '00 |
Phillips Exeter Academy '04 |

Johns Hopkins University '08 | Rutgers School of Law
 
At our 21st Annual Golf & Tennis Classic, Morgan Fletcher shared her SEEDS story with guests. A lawyer with the Community Health Law Project and a mentor for College Preparatory Program (CPP) students, Morgan told attendees that the lessons she learned with SEEDS are still part of her everyday life.

Can you share a portion of your Golf & Tennis keynote?
"I am still using all of the skills SEEDS taught me years ago... Most importantly, I am able to do all of this with courage and con-fidence. I remember my 13 year-old-self boarding the SEEDS bus not knowing exactly what to expect, but taking on the challenge anyway. Taking on the challenge has become my mantra, and it's how I try to approach every day." 

What has been your proudest accomplishment to date? 
My biggest accomplishments have to be my graduation from law school and passing the bar exam. Both were extremely difficult challenges, but I faced them head on and succeeded!
 
Why did you want to become a CPP mentor? 
I became a CPP mentor because I remember all of the struggles associated with the college search and application process. I think it is important for CPP participants to feel that someone is truly concerned about their future and success.
 
Why was it important for you to stay connected with SEEDS? 
I have loved SEEDS from the very beginning. It was important for me to stay connected to SEEDS because I wanted to remain integral to the continuation of the programs and success of the students.
 
What advice would you give to current SEEDS students about their educational journey and their SEEDS experience?  
I would let them know that all of their efforts will not be in vain. The extra time studying, doing assignments outside of school, and traveling to visit new schools will be more than worth it in the end.
 
If you could tell a potential donor one reason to support SEEDS, what would
it be?
 
SEEDS has been developing and implementing successful programs for a long time, and they know exactly what they are doing! The proof is apparent. Students are attending amazing schools, making connections with other like-minded peers, and continuing on to make great career choices. SEEDS is an organization that keeps on giving!
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275 Guests Attend SEEDS' Summer Spectacular

On Sunday, July 26, SEEDS alumni and families met at the Forest Lodge (Warren, NJ) for the Summer Spectacular, an event designed to give the SEEDS community an opportunity to reconnect and enjoy each other's company. Held in a marvelous facility with a pool, games, food and lots of fun, it was a great opportunity to catch up and meet new friends. Photos from the event are now available.
Know a high-achieving student who would benefit from SEEDS' academic programs?

SEEDS is looking for motivated 4th, 5th and 7th graders who are interested in attending selective middle and high schools. Online applications open September 22. Complete an inquiry today to receive your application!

SEEDS is also accepting nominations for public high school students who wish to enroll in our College Scholars Program. To learn more about eligibility requirements or how you can be nominated, visit our Admissions page.
More Than 100 Students in Scholars and Young Scholars Programs Graduate from SEEDS
 
On August 1, SEEDS celebrated the graduations of 108 Scholars and Young Scholars (view photos). These rising sixth, seventh and ninth graders have completed 14 months of academic classes with SEEDS, and are heading off to selective middle and high schools across the country this fall. Our Scholars and Young Scholars received acceptances from 96 schools in 18 states. Together, these partner schools offered SEEDS Scholars and Young Scholars more than $5.5 million in financial aid. For a complete list of the schools SEEDS graduates will head off to in the fall, please visit our website.

This year's student speakers were Gillian Allou (Scholars '15, Phillips Exeter Academy '19) and Leah Paul (Young Scholars '15, Peck School '18). The more than 500 guests in attendance also heard from Aamira Garba, a SEEDS alumna. Aamira (Scholars '99, Kent Place School '03 and Temple University '07) advised graduates to never let fear stand in their way.

In addition to the presentation of diplomas, several students were honored for their academic and leadership accomplishments while enrolled in SEEDS:
  • Gillian Allou was named the Amy Ziebarth Scholar for her passion for social justice and strong commitment to SEEDS while enrolled in the Scholars Program.
  • Stewart DeLeon was named the Dwight L. Wilson Scholar for his personal and work ethics, honesty, integrity, and love of education while enrolled in the New Jersey SEEDS Scholars Program.
  • Syeda Islam, Boluwatife Oshuntolu and Santiago Vargas were the recipients of Cavalier Scholarships, which are awarded by the F&P DeRosa Memorial Fund.
  • Qingying Li was named the Blair MacInnes Scholar for her outstanding academic achievement and dedication to education while enrolled in the New Jersey SEEDS Scholars Program.
  • Leah Paul was named the Alumni Scholar, an award supported by SEEDS alumni, for representing the ideal SEEDS graduate while enrolled in one of SEEDS’ Scholars Programs.
  • Kaylynn Wilson was named the Edward and Barbara Becker Scholar for her outstanding academic achievement and exemplary work while in the Young Scholars Program.
  • Christy Zheng was presented with the Dean’s Award for her overall accomplishments, strong leadership, citizenship, exceptional academic qualities and great personality while enrolled in the Scholars Program.
Congratulations to all of the Class of 2015 graduates!
SEEDS Golf & Tennis Classic Raises More than $250,000 to Support SEEDS Scholars

Due to the generosity of the 170 golfers, tennis players and guests who joined New Jersey SEEDS at the 21st Annual Golf & Tennis Classic, 15 more deserving students 
will now be able to complete one of SEEDS' education programs. SEEDS would like to warmly thank the major event supporters who made this event so successful: Frank and Pat Russo (Golf Sponsor), Bleakley Financial Group (Presenting Sponsor) and The Schlesinger Family Foundation (Hole-in-One Sponsor). Also thanks to this year's keynote speaker - Morgan Fletcher (see SEEDS All Star Spotlight) . 

View all photos from the event.
Program Recaps
Young Scholars in the Classes of 2015 and 2016 spent five weeks in academic classes at Delbarton School with SEEDS. From June 29 - July 31, the 43 students enrolled in Steps 1 or 3 of YSP participated in mathematics, language arts, and history classes, engaged in art projects, prepared for their transition to new schools or began working on their selective school applications. Young Scholars also visited the Liberty Science Center and welcomed their families to campus for the first annual Parent Picnic. (View photos from the Young Scholars' summer.) In addition, Young Scholars enjoyed a day with Goldman Sachs employees through its Community TeamWorks program (photos now available). Many thanks to Trustee Theo Lubke, Trustee and alum Emmanuel Bello (Scholars '00, Blair Academy '04, University of North Carolina '08) and alumna Natalia Torres (Scholars '97, Montclair Kimberley Academy '01, Pace University '05), all of Goldman Sachs, who coordinated a day of fun activities for Young Scholars that included a “Shark Tank” activity where they developed and shared plans for businesses. Following lunch, students and volunteers from Goldman Sachs completed an arts activity in which students focused on purpose and grit, and created pieces of art that reflected “why they do what they do.” 

Scholars in the Summer Challenge Program (SCP) headed to The Hill School for the final phase in the admissions process on June 21. For the next three weeks, students took classes in language arts, mathematics and history. Scholars participated in sports and electives, and also began their applications for selective schools. On Saturday, July 4, parents and family members traveled to The Hill School to tour the campus and learn more about students' experiences at SEEDS' Annual Parent Day. Following the completion of SCP on July 10, 95 students were invited to continue on with SEEDS Scholars Academy Saturdays, sponsored by The Coach Foundation. These students took part in a Leadership Retreat at Princeton-Blairstown Center from August 16 to August 18. During the three-day event, Scholars participated in a variety of outdoor teambuilding activities, including dam rappelling, canoeing, high rope walking, and more.

Scholars finishing up their SEEDS experience set our for their second, three-week residency - The Capstone Experience - at The Hill School on July 12. Students participated in one of four tracks to learn more about potential career fields: Arts & Culture, the Nasdaq Business & Finance Track, Law & Society and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) . In addition to an in-depth class period in their core subject area, students engaged in discussions with professionals in a field within their track. Thank you to all of the volunteers who spent time speaking with SEEDS scholars about their career journeys. 
Fifty-three rising juniors and seniors in the College Preparatory Program (CPP) spent two weeks at Hobart and William Smith Colleges taking part in the CPP Summer Collegiate Experience. Students participated in a variety of academic classes, including English, mathematics, science and art, and began preparing their college applications. They were also introduced to a new College 101 class that focused on navigating the college admissions process, negotiating financial aid packages and identifying scholarships. In addition to their time in class, students explored the HWS campus, took part in a field day, and enjoyed a celebratory awards dinner.
SEEDS' Guidance department put together a full schedule of events to prepare SEEDS graduates for the next step in their educations and for future careers. This summer, Guidance offered an SAT preparation class with faculty from Summit Prep. Enrolled students committed to a six week course that met twice a week at the SEEDS office. In early August, the Guidance department hosted a two-day college tour. Students visited four schools in Maryland and Pennsylvania - Goucher College, Johns Hopkins University, Villanova University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Thanks to a generous grant from Barclays, for the first time this summer, the Guidance department ran a SEEDS of Immediacy Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. From July 21 - 23, students selected for this highly competitive honor visited museums, toured Capitol Hill, and met with current leaders in U.S. education and politics. 

A number of graduates also took advantage of the internships and other opportunities made available by the Guidance department. These included: The Alumni Alliance has been busy planning for the fall. On August 15, members of the Alliance met for their annual fall retreat to set goals for the next year. This summer, the Alumni Alliance met its biggest fundraising goal - sponsoring one student through a SEEDS program. An award was presented at this year's graduation in recognition of their contribution. The honor was given to a scholar who has shown tremendous growth during her 14 months with SEEDS. The winning scholar developed her critical-thinking and problem-solving abilities, is curious, believes in integrity and self-advocacy, has the courage to take risks and make decisions, and possesses the ability to fail and continue moving forward with no loss of determination. In essence, this student has come to represent the attributes of the ideal SEEDS graduate. The inaugural Alumni Scholar is Leah Paul (YSP '15, Peck School '18).
 
Nearly 200 Shoppers Visit SEEDS' Annual Precious Passdowns Boutique

On Saturday, August 15, nearly 200 members of the SEEDS family visited the annual Precious Passdowns Boutique to shop for new and gently-used clothing. Thanks to the generous donations of our friends, SEEDS scholars and alumni are ready to begin the new school year in style.
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