Newark, NJ—August 9, 2013—On Saturday, August 3, 106 students in New Jersey SEEDS’ Scholars and Young Scholars Programs completed their 14-month experiences with the organization and celebrated their graduations.
New Jersey SEEDS is an educational nonprofit that transforms the lives of motivated, high-achieving students from low-income families. The Scholars Program is a tuition-free academic program designed to prepare eighth-grade students in New Jersey for placement in academically rigorous selective schools with substantial financial aid packages. The Young Scholars Program works with children in fifth and sixth grades in Greater Newark. Students enrolled in the tuition-free program engage in academic classes before being placed in day or junior boarding schools with significant financial aid directly from the independent schools.
“We’re incredibly proud of our Scholars and Young Scholars in the Class of 2013 for all they have accomplished during their time with us,” says Ronni Denes, President of New Jersey SEEDS. “In each program, these wonderfully ambitious students spend approximately 400 hours with SEEDS in academic classes. That’s in addition to the time they spend in school, in extracurricular activities and completing their SEEDS homework, which is substantial. These are exceptionally dedicated young people who recognize the opportunities that await them in the future if they continue to excel.”
Nearly 600 family members and friends joined SEEDS graduates, staff, faculty and board members for the 2013 Scholars and Young Scholars Commencement Ceremony at Summit High School in Summit, New Jersey. Kenza Bouanane (Scholars ’13, Brooks School ’17) and Anika Buch (Young Scholars ’13, Morristown-Beard ’20) represented their fellow scholars as Commencement speakers.
In addition, the event’s Commencement Address was given by SEEDS alumna Chisa Hutchinson. A member of the organization’s first graduating class in 1994, Chisa was placed at Kent Place School by SEEDS. Having never seen a play until her time at Kent Place, Chisa went on to earn her B.A. in Dramatic Arts from Vassar College and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. In her speech, Chisa encouraged the next generation of SEEDS scholars to “say yes to everything” when it comes to new experiences and ideas at their independent schools.
Congratulations to New Jersey SEEDS’ graduates!
Young Scholars Class of 2013
|John Barahona||Jordi DeBarros||Ruqaiyyah Lucas-Caldwell|
|Maya Barnes||Joss Eyondi||Elizabeth Morel|
|Rania Benatia||Elijah Green||Taniyyah Payne|
|Lucas Bernui||Jasmine Harris||Emily Ramos|
|Amarie Betancourt||Julia Hatchard||Bernardo Stival|
|Anika Buch||Melian Holland|
Scholars Class of 2013
|Mariam Abdelhaq||Alejandro Garcia||Lauryn Onkendi|
|Alexandrea Agyekum||Willietta Gombeh||Michael Osei|
|Wajdi Ahemed||Nicholas Gomez||Makelsey Page|
|Sabrina Alves||Silvana Gomez||Roshini Panicker|
|Monica Hanna||Satinder Parmar|
|Ruby Bello||Anna Hasson||Riya Patel|
|Aniyah Borges||Mekhi Holley||Cyan Perdue|
|Kenza Bouanane||De’Jah Jennings||Leonardo Pereira|
|Brandon Bustamante||Destiny Johnson||Ancelmo Polanco|
|Charles Cadena||Jereme Johnson||Rafal Promowicz|
|Carnela Cady||Nirav Kinkhabwala||Luan Quispe|
|Noelia Calcano Silvestre||Karandeep Komal||Ashfaquar Rahman|
|Kenan Can||Roselyn Korngor||Israel Ramirez|
|Eldad Cano||Malik Kosanovich||Akshay Rana|
|Richard Chen||Enmanuel Lamadrid||Jamir Reddick|
|Gabriella Clarizio||Amadi Lasenberry||Zishan Sajid|
|Shadimere Coles||Lazarena Lazarova||Victoria Seymour|
|Melissa Cortes||Kyairaa LeRose-Almeida||Johanna Sosa|
|Kaja Darien||Grace Lopez||Chantal Stephenson|
|Shubha Debnath||Nathali Madrid||Jakub Sudol|
|Ymer Dinoshi||Ashley Maldonado||Bianca Swidler|
|Abraham Eafa||Sabrina Marques||Abdul-Nafea Syed|
|Kyara Echeverry||Kinaya McEady||Viviana Torres|
|Ransly Familia||Kerry McGrath||Giovanni Vargas, Jr.|
|Christopher Figueroa||MaSonia McPherson||Bonie Walker|
|Matthew Figueroa||Michelle Mendez-Castro||Roanna Yehia|
|Daphne Flores||Nicole Mora||Amera Youssef|
|Mateo Flores||Natalia Mora||Stanley Zheng|
|Armoni Foster||Patrick Mosquera||Nada Zohayr|
|Margarita Fuentes||Millenah Nascimento||Alejandro Zuleta|
At the ceremony, several students were honored for academic and leadership accomplishments:
New Jersey SEEDS would also like to thank the following partner schools for offering admission and substantial financial aid packages to SEEDS’ scholars this year.
Episcopal Day School
Bergen County AcademiesBerkshire SchoolBlair AcademyBrooks SchoolBuxton SchoolCambridge School of WestonCate SchoolCFS, The School at Church FarmChatham Day SchoolChoate Rosemary HallConcord AcademyDana Hall SchoolDeerfield AcademyDelbarton SchoolDublin SchoolDwight-Englewood SchoolEpiscopal High SchoolFar Brook SchoolFessenden SchoolFoxcroft SchoolFriends SeminaryFryeburg AcademyGeorge SchoolGill St. Bernard’s SchoolGovernor’s AcademyHackley School
Health Sciences Technology High School
The Hill SchoolHudson SchoolKent Place SchoolKiski SchoolLawrenceville SchoolMasters SchoolMercersberg AcademyMiddlesex County Academy for SciencesMiss Porter’s SchoolMontclair Cooperative SchoolMontclair Kimberley Academy
Moorestown Friends School
Morris County School of TechnologyMorristown-Beard SchoolNewark AcademyNorthfield Mount Hermon SchoolOratory Preparatory School
Passaic County Technical Institute
Peck SchoolPeddie SchoolPennington SchoolPerkiomen SchoolPhillips Academy AndoverPhillips Exeter AcademyThe Pingry SchoolPoly Prep Country Day SchoolPomfret SchoolPrinceton Day SchoolPutney School
Saddle River Day School
Salem AcademyScience Park High SchoolSeton Hall Preparatory SchoolSt. Andrew’s SchoolSt. George’s SchoolSt. Margaret’s SchoolSt. Mark’s SchoolSt. Paul’s SchoolSt. Peter’s Preparatory SchoolSt. Timothy’s SchoolStoneleigh-Burnham SchoolStony Brook SchoolStorm King SchoolTabor AcademyTaft SchoolUnion City High School – Academy for Enrichment and AdvancementUnion County Vocational – Technical SchoolsWardlaw-Hartridge SchoolWest Nottingham AcademyWestern Reserve AcademyWestminster SchoolWhite Mountain SchoolXavier High School
About New Jersey SEEDS
Since its inception more than 20 years ago, New Jersey SEEDS has provided educational access for highly motivated, low-income students and created a viable path for them to achieve their full potential. SEEDS strives for a world in which young people’s initiative, creativity and intellect can flourish without regard to socioeconomic status. To date, nearly 1,800 scholars have benefited from its programs. For more information, visit www.njseeds.org.
New Jersey SEEDS is grateful to the many individuals who provide major support for Scholars and Young Scholars Programs. In addition, we thank the following corporations and foundations for their support: Alfred J. Speak Scholarship Fund; Bank of America Charitable Foundation; Barclays; Capital Group Companies; Charles E. and Edna T. Brundage Foundation; Clara Louella Day Jeffery Charitable Residuary Trust; The Coach Foundation; Colgate-Palmolive Company; Curtis McGraw Foundation; D’Olier Foundation; David Mathey Foundation; Esther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund, Inc.; F.M. Kirby Foundation; Fred C. Rummel Foundation; Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation; Henry S. and Agnes M. Truzack Foundation; Hess Corporation; Hillsdale Fund; Hyde and Watson Foundation; J. Seward Johnson, Sr. Charitable Trust; Jockey Hollow Foundation; John S. Scurci Foundation; Lillian P. Schenck Fund; Lucy and Eleanor S. Upton Charitable Foundation; NASDAQ OMX Group Educational Foundation; Norman and Bettina Roberts Foundation; Page and Otto Marx, Jr. Foundation; Page Hill Foundation; Piper Sutton Foundation; PNC Foundation; Rivendell Foundation; Union Foundation; Victoria Foundation; and William E. Simon Foundation.