SEEDS – Access Changes Everything’s Leading Change Benefit Raises More Than $900,000 to Support Low-Income Students

SEEDS – Access Changes Everything’s Leading Change Benefit Raises More Than $900,000 to Support Low-Income Students

Funds from the Benefit support academic programming for high-achieving students from low-income households.

NEWARK, NJ, July 20, 2021 – SEEDS – Access Changes Everything (SEEDS) held its annual Leading Change Benefit on Wednesday, July 14, raising more than $900,000 in support of the organization’s mission of educating and providing educational access and opportunity to high-achieving students from low-income households.

“On behalf of the SEEDS staff, Board of Trustees, our scholars, and alumni, I would like to express my greatest thanks to all our dedicated supporters who made the 2021 Leading Change Benefit such an incredible success,” said SEEDS President and CEO John F. Castano. “Every contribution made to SEEDS changes the lives of deserving individuals, their families, communities, the schools they attend, the workplaces they influence, and the organizations and businesses they lead.”

More than 225 guests attended the event at the Park Savoy Estate in Florham Park where they participated in a silent auction and a scholarship paddle raise – both of which played an integral role in raising the critical funds needed to continue educating and supporting promising students in need.

The evening included special recognition of three honorees: Verisk Analytics, represented by Verisk Chairman, President, and CEO Scott G. Stephenson; SEEDS alum Michael S. Fletcher II ’95, Vice President at Marion P. Thomas Charter School Foundation; and SEEDS alum Patrick Rametti ’00, Director of College Completion at Uncommon Schools. SEEDS presents the Leading Change Award annually to those whose initiatives and commitments enhance the educational opportunities of young people.

The evening also introduced guests to several SEEDS alumni as well as a SEEDS parent, all of whom shared compassionate stories of SEEDS’ impact on their lives, educational achievements, and professional aspirations and successes.

Held annually, the SEEDS – Access Changes Everything Leading Change Benefit serves as an opportunity to celebrate the organization’s successes, introduce guests to the students and families whose lives are positively impacted by SEEDS, and raise the funds necessary to support academic programming.


For high-resolution photos from the SEEDS – Access Changes Everything 2021 Leading Change Benefit, please contact Jasmine Guerra at


About SEEDS – Access Changes Everything
Founded in 1992, SEEDS – Access Changes Everything is a nonprofit organization that provides motivated, high-achieving, low-income students with access to top-tier education that would have otherwise been unattainable due to socioeconomic status. Through three challenging academic programs, SEEDS aims to prepare students of various grade levels for eventual placement into competitive private schools and colleges across the country.

SEEDS has been recognized locally and nationally by leading organizations including the Althea Gibson Foundation, Bank of America, Jersey Cares, Mutual of America, Oprah’s Angel Network, the Partnership in Philanthropy, and Rutgers University. In addition, Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of the financial health and efficiency of nonprofit organizations, has awarded SEEDS four consecutive 4-star ratings, its highest rating.