NEWARK, NJ--(Marketwired - August 11, 2016) - On Saturday, August 6, New Jersey SEEDS, a nonprofit providing education access to high-achieving, low-income students, celebrated the accomplishments of 104 students completing its Scholars and Young Scholars Programs. Ninety-nine percent of this year's Scholars and Young Scholars graduates were placed in a selective school with enough financial aid to matriculate. In fact, next fall, students will receive nearly $4.5 million in financial aid directly from these institutions.
"I want to congratulate each and every member of the Class of 2016," says John F. Castano, Executive Director of New Jersey SEEDS. "Students -- with the support of their families -- have worked extremely hard as they prepare for the transition to selective schools. SEEDS is proud of all you have accomplished, and we look forward to your continued success in the future. I also want to thank the schools that partner with SEEDS each year to provide access to these opportunities for our scholars. We're incredibly grateful for your continued support and the incredible education you provide for SEEDS students."
Eighty-one rising ninth graders graduated from SEEDS' Scholars Program and 23 rising sixth and seventh graders completed the Young Scholars Program. Both are free, 14-month programs designed to provide rigorous academic classes over the course of two summers and the Saturdays in between to accepted students. In addition to test preparation and advanced math, English and history classes, Scholars and Young Scholars work closely with SEEDS to apply to the nation's top day, boarding and junior boarding schools.
More than 400 family members, friends, SEEDS faculty and supporters joined students at the commencement at Summit High School. In addition to keynote remarks from SEEDS alumna Diamond McClintock (Young Scholars Program '04, The Pingry School '10, Dickinson College '14), guests heard from student speakers Mark Johnson (Scholars Program '16, Moorestown Friends School '20) and Maria Vieira (Young Scholars Program '16, Peck School '18).
Before the presentation of diplomas, several students were honored for their academic and community achievements over their 14 months with SEEDS.
- Salma Abdurahman (Fryeburg Academy '20) was named the Dwight L. Wilson Scholar for her personal and work ethics, honesty, integrity, and love of education while enrolled in the New Jersey SEEDS Scholars Program.
- Afran Ali (Groton School '20) was named the Blair MacInnes Scholar for her outstanding academic achievement and dedication to education while enrolled in the New Jersey SEEDS Scholars Program.
- Katrina Bergen (Oak Knoll School '20) was the recipient of The Angela Shankar Foundation Award which is presented to a student with a strong community focus.
- Courtney Crowder (Kent Place School '23) was named the Alumni Scholar for representing the ideal SEEDS graduate while enrolled in one of SEEDS' Scholars Programs.
- Natalia Jaramillo (Saddle River Day School '20) was the recipient of the Cavalier Scholarship, which helps to underwrite tuition at independent schools for high-achieving students. The scholarship is generously awarded by the F&P DeRosa Memorial Fund.
- James Langan (Thacher School '20) was named the Amy Ziebarth Scholar for his passion for social justice and strong commitment to SEEDS.
- Joel Moya (Brooks School '20) was the recipient of this year's Dean's Award for his overall achievement, strong leadership, citizenship, exceptional academic qualities and great personality while enrolled in the Scholars Program.
- Maria Vieira (Peck School '18) was named the Edward & Barbara Becker Scholar for her outstanding academic achievement and exemplary work while in the Young Scholars Program.
"Our students should be very proud of themselves," explains Imani K. Gilliam, Dean of Programs at New Jersey SEEDS. "From the time they joined us last summer, these students have worked hard to achieve success in their SEEDS classes, complete the application process to selective schools across the country, maintain their academic performance at their home schools, and participate in extracurricular activities. Along with the Programs staff, I want to congratulate our students and their families on all they have achieved, and wish them the best of luck at their placement schools."
Congratulations to the SEEDS Scholars and Young Scholars in the Class of 2016!
Young Scholars Program:
Ikenna Amadi: Delbarton School
Akasha Baranello: Far Brook School
Dwayne Bazil: The Pingry School
Kaitlin Blount: Morristown-Beard School
Olivia Chima-Anyanka: Rectory School
Courtney Crowder: Kent Place School
Elani Dwyer: Montclair Cooperative School
Anthony Granger II: All Saints Episcopal Day School
Al-Divine Gravesande: Fay School
Jasmine Guayllasaca: Willow School
Joshua Jamurath: Newark Academy
Ean Miller: Chatham Day School
Damar Newcombe: Chatham Day School
Dumebi Okonkwo: Morristown-Beard School
Egbefe Omonzane: Morristown-Beard School
Oluwatoni Oshuntolu: Newark Academy
Amado Rosendo: Willow School
Paris Smith: Princeton Day School
Oluwaseyi Somorin: Chatham Day School
Angel Stevenson: Gill St. Bernard's School
Evelyn Umezinwa: Morristown-Beard School
Maria Vieira: Peck School
Devin Walcott: Eaglebrook School
Salma Abdurahman: Fryeburg Academy
Raffay Ahmed: Princeton International School of Mathematics & Science
Afran Ali: Groton School
Lomesia Allen: Miss Hall's School
Kezia Almonte: Concord Academy
Zoha Ashraf: Princeton International School of Mathematics & Science
Jasmine Barco: Lawrenceville School
Khalid Bashir: Middlesex School
Katrina Bergen: Oak Knoll School
Melvin Bermudez: Kiski School
Judah Borges: The White Mountain School
Callum Casey: Cate School
Raymond Chen: Nutley High School
Miranda Clemente: Cambridge School of Weston
Derick Cortes: High Tech High School
Ty Cross: Oratory Preparatory School
Aamishq Dhir: Episcopal High School
Marvin Dominguez: Lawrenceville School
Nina Douge: Middlesex School
Ayanna Dukes: The White Mountain School
Dereck Elmera: Dublin School
Sarah Escamilla: Union County Vocational-Technical Schools
Melanie Gamboa: St. Andrew's School
Kacey Gleaton: West Orange High School
Shameek Hargrave: Northfield Mount Hermon School
Brandon Henry: Lawrenceville School
Bryan Hernandez: Lawrenceville School
Jalen Holmes: Cambridge School of Weston
Imani Hussain: Milton Academy
Ira Hysi: Stoneleigh-Burnham School
Lina Infante: Cate School
Shayla James: Princeton International School of Mathematics & Science
Natalia Jaramillo: Saddle River Day School
Mark Johnson: Moorestown Friends School
Ivana Karcelova: Rutgers Preparatory School
Ramneet Kaur: Garrison Forest School
Cara Khalifeh: Westover School
Harshdeep Komal: Wardlaw-Hartridge School
James Langan: Thacher School
Vincent Langan: Thacher School
Denisa Lata: Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School
Johanna Martinez: Phillips Exeter Academy
Bryanna Mendez: Peddie School
Leandra Mendez: Science Park High School
Gabriela Montero: Pennington School
Angel Morataya: Delbarton School
Joel Moya: Brooks School
Tashana Noel: Morristown-Beard School
Valentina Ochoa Saldarriaga: Deerfield Academy
Jonathan Osma: Gill St. Bernard's School
Suhani Patel: Trinity School
Zah'kyiah Pennington: Ranney School
Luis Perez: St. Mark's School
Gabriela Quintero: Dublin School
Amira Rady: Salem Academy
Matthew Rendon: Choate Rosemary Hall
Christian Reyes: Church Farm School
Rheana Riego: The Hudson School
Alizah Rizvi: Newark Academy
Christofer Robles: St. Paul's School
Emmanuel Roldan: Berkshire School
Carlos Rosario: Cate School
Helen Sileshi: Hackley School
Gurleen Sindhar: Wardlaw-Hartridge School
Roshni Surpur: Choate Rosemary Hall
Nazir Surratt: Newark Academy
Andrew Tarnowski: Bergen County Academies
Sergio Torres: Dwight-Englewood School
Navien Turner: Concord Academy
Taj'hanna Tyson: Stuart Country Day School
Ariel Ugoretz: St. Timothy's School
Ronald Valencia: Church Farm School
Rebeca Vargas: Peddie School
Ana Villada: Western Reserve Academy
Kishan Vyas: Peddie School
Alanceiah Waiters: Fryeburg Academy
Chyra Williams: St. George's School
Andre Williams: Seton Hall Preparatory School
Erika Wilson: Cushing Academy
Lajayzia Wright: Hotchkiss School
Nicole Zajac: Union County Magnet School
To receive high-resolution photos of the event, please contact Theresa Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to the following corporations and foundations for supporting the Scholars and/or Young Scholars Programs this year: Achelis & Bodman Foundations; an anonymous corporation; Bank of America; Capital Group Companies; Charles E. and Edna T. Brundage Foundation; Ralph M. Cestone Foundation; Coach; Colgate-Palmolive Company; Edison Properties Newark Foundation; The Fairbairn Family Foundation; The Heckscher Foundation for Children; Investors Bank Foundation; Clara Louella Day Jeffrey Charitable Residuary Trust; Jockey Hollow Foundation; F.M. Kirby Foundation; Esther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund, Inc.; M&T Bank Foundation; Page & Otto Marx, Jr. Foundation; David Mathey Foundation; Curtis W. McGraw Foundation; Neuberger Berman; New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company; The George A. Ohl Jr. Foundation; PNC Foundation; Norman & Bettina Roberts Foundation; Sanofi/Aventis; Lillian P. Schenck Fund; Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation; Henry S. & Agnes M. Truzack Foundation; Lucy and Eleanor S. Upton Charitable Foundation; and Victoria Foundation.