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New Jersey SEEDS Scholars and Young Scholars Graduates Head off to the Nation's Top Selective Middle and High Schools


New Jersey SEEDS Scholars and Young Scholars Graduates Head off to the Nation's Top Selective Middle and High Schools

PR Newswire

NEWARK, N.J., Aug. 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- One hundred and eighteen rising sixth-, seventh- and ninth-graders celebrated their New Jersey SEEDS graduations earlier this month. These students, all members of SEEDS' Young Scholars Program and Scholars Program, respectively, completed 14 months of rigorous academic coursework with SEEDS over the course of two summers and the Saturdays in between.

New Jersey SEEDS (PRNewsfoto/New Jersey SEEDS)

Both Programs are free 14-month initiatives for high-achieving, low-income students. The Scholars Program serves students across the state during their eighth-grade year, providing additional coursework and application assistance for selective high schools. The Young Scholars Program works with students in the Greater Newark area in the fifth and sixth grades. In addition to academic classes, SEEDS helps students and their families with applications to selective day and junior boarding schools. 

Ninety-eight percent of Scholars and Young Scholars have been placed in selective middle schools and high schools with enough financial aid to allow them to matriculate, attending schools in New Jersey and 13 additional states across the country. Enrolling students will receive more than $5 million from these partner institutions.

"Congratulations to our Scholars and Young Scholars in the Class of 2018!" says John F. Castano, Executive Director of NJ SEEDS. "I am proud of all that these talented students have accomplished in the past 14 months with SEEDS. Not only did they attend two summer sessions and class each Saturday during the school year with us, but they maintained high grades in their home schools and continued with all of their extracurricular activities and leadership positions. They are dedicated to their educations and to ensuring that they are making the most of the opportunities now accessible to them because of their time with SEEDS."

More than 600 family members, friends, faculty and SEEDS supporters attended the commencement at Summit High School to celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2018 on Saturday, August 4, 2018.

Graduates and guests heard from keynote speaker and SEEDS alum Mel Sarkor-Clinton (SEEDS '97, Seton Hall Preparatory School '01, Pratt Institute '06, Architect and Founder of Gesture Ink Architecture), as well as Idaliza Perez (Scholars '18, Princeton Day School '22) and Abdiel Perde (Young Scholars '18, Delbarton School '24).

Special awards were presented to members of the Scholars and Young Scholars Programs and graduation certificates were awarded. For a complete list of graduates and special awards, visit our website. High-resolution photos are also available for publication.

For more than 25 years, 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. Since SEEDS' founding in 1992, more than 2,500 scholars have graduated from its programs. For more information, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Theresa Murray, 862.227.9145,

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