NEWARK, NJ, November 1, 2021 – SEEDS – Access Changes Everything, a nonprofit access organization dedicated to providing transformative educational opportunities to high-achieving students from low-income households proudly marked its 30th anniversary today.
“Thirty years ago, the intelligence, hard work, and passion of low-income students in New Jersey began to meet the vision, resources, and network of the SEEDS founders and supporters,” said John F. Castano, President + CEO of SEEDS. “The result has been 30 years of success for more than 3,000 alumni who currently make the top independent schools and colleges across the country better; who have advanced to become MDAs MDs, JDs, and PhDs; who launch startups, rise quickly up the corporate ladder, and have landmark success in the arts, investing and even the Olympics.”
Founded in 1992 to combat disparities in educational access and opportunity faced by students from low-income backgrounds, the organization identifies top-performing students, provides them with supplemental education, and helps place them into highly selective independent schools and colleges with substantial financial and tuition aid to ensure their success.
To date, 3,038 students have graduated from SEEDS programs, with 559 of those students currently receiving transitional support through SEEDS’ Guidance Program. Ninety-nine percent of SEEDS graduates have matriculated into college – compared to just 29% of low-income students, nationwide. Since its founding, SEEDS has leveraged more than $143.5 million in student aid and/or scholarships directly from the schools in which students attend.
SEEDS’ programs include the Young Scholars Program (YSP) for 6th and 7th graders, the Scholars Program (SP) for 9th graders, and the College Scholars Program (CSP) for 12th graders. Students participate in weekly classes during summers and on Saturdays during the academic year and partake in rigorous coursework, workshops, and extracurricular activities designed to further their knowledge, encourage leadership, and promote time-management
This year, 132 students graduated from SEEDS programs. The CSP Class of 2021, comprising 40 high school seniors, received more than 100 acceptances from nearly 50 colleges and universities, including several prestigious and Ivy League institutions. Ninety-two middle schoolers part of YSP and SP enrolled in 62 selective independent schools across 14 states, collectively receiving more than $4.8 million in financial aid directly from the schools they are attending.
Students eligible for participation in SEEDS programming come from households whose annual family incomes, on average, do not exceed $33,800. The organization invests $17,000 to educate each student – an investment that often yields more than $450,000 in overall tuition assistance directly from the schools in which students attend. SEEDS programs are cost-free for students and families.
For more information about SEEDS – Access Changes Everything, please visit www.seedsaccess.org.
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.