NEWARK, NJ, June 22, 2021 – SEEDS – Access Changes Everything (SEEDS), a nonprofit that provides educational opportunities for high-achieving, students from low-income households, celebrated the graduation of 40 high school seniors as part of its College Scholars Program (CSP) on Saturday, June 12 at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, NJ.
The CSP Class of 2021 comprised 40 students from 23 high schools across 21 cities in New Jersey. All 40 graduates will matriculate into colleges and universities across the country, with 95% of those students attending a school ranked Most or Highly Competitive according to Barron’s. Through SEEDS, the combined amount of grant aid leveraged for all 40 graduates exceeds $2.3 million. The average annual income for a family in the CSP Class of 2021 is $38,541.
The class received 101 acceptances from 49 colleges and universities, nationwide. Schools in which graduates will matriculate into include: Allegheny College, Bard College, Barnard College, Boston University, Brandeis University, Colgate University, College of the Holy Cross, Columbia University, Connecticut College, Dartmouth College, Elon University, Gettysburg College, Harvard University, Lehigh University, Monmouth University, Muhlenberg College, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Princeton University, Rider University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rutgers – The State University of NJ (Camden), Rutgers – The State University of NJ (Newark), Rutgers – The State University of NJ (New Brunswick), Seton Hall University, Skidmore College, Smith College, Stanford University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, Tufts University, Union College, University of California – Berkeley, University of California – Davis, University of California – Santa Cruz, University of Miami, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of Richmond, University of Virginia, Villanova University, Wesleyan University, William Paterson University of New Jersey, and Yale University.
During the ceremony, SEEDS’ President + CEO John F. Castano shared his advice with graduating seniors. “If we limit the movement, the move from not knowing to knowing, and remain only in the world we know, in the room that we know, in the neighborhood that we know, we cease to grow. I ask that each of you firmly implant in your mind that you must constantly move into discomfort to gain even more comfort. Reach farther, stand taller, run faster, read more, listen intently, develop. There is a difference between not knowing and not knowing yet. Don’t be afraid to be as open and needy and aware and energized as a baby. Feed your soul. Grow. And know that your SEEDS family is always proud of you, and we are here to continue support you and celebrate your success!”
In addition to a formal presentation of diplomas, two students received special awards: Noor Hassan (Stanford University ’25) was awarded the Dean’s award in recognition of her overall academic achievement and positive character of leadership and great citizenship; Misha Nair (Harvard University ’25) was awarded the SEEDS Academic Achievement in recognition of her exemplary academic and extracurricular accomplishments while enrolled in the program.
The SEEDS College Scholars Program is a 17-month program designed to prepare top-performing, low-income students from eligible public high schools for admission to competitive colleges with sufficient financial aid to ensure their success. CSP provides students with academic coursework, an in-depth college search, college essay development, test preparation, personal application support, and professional financial aid advocacy and assistance. To qualify for the program, students must be New Jersey residents, attend an eligible high school, be in the top 10 percent of their class, be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and meet SEEDS’ financial requirements.
For more information on SEEDS – Access Changes Everything, visit 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.