NEWARK, N.J., June 16, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New Jersey SEEDS, a nonprofit that provides educational access to high-achieving, low-income students, recently celebrated the graduation of the first class of its College Scholars Program. All graduates will be enrolling in college this fall. These 22 students have received over 100 acceptances from more than 50 colleges and universities across the country, 75 percent of which are ranked Most, Highly or Very Competitive by Barron's. (Click here to review a complete list of College Scholars, current high schools, and college matriculations.)
The students that comprise this first graduating class come from 11 high schools in nine cities within 25 miles of Newark. Students began academic classes with SEEDS in February of their junior year, and for the past 17 months, have worked closely with New Jersey SEEDS to navigate the college admissions and financial aid processes.
"We could not be prouder of this inaugural class of College Scholars," says John F. Castano, Executive Director of NJ SEEDS. "Their commitment, tenacity and grit led to outcomes far beyond our already high expectations. As we celebrate our 25th year of education access, we are heartened and excited to add the College Scholars Program, and its newly graduated first class, to the portfolio of opportunity that is New Jersey SEEDS. The success of these 22 young people has paved the way for our second class, which is nearly twice the size. The future is indeed bright!"
SEEDS' College Scholars Program launched in 2015 to prepare and place top-performing, low-income students from public high schools in New Jersey into highly selective colleges with sufficient financial aid. The free program consists of academic classes each Saturday during the spring of students' eleventh-grade year and throughout twelfth grade. Students also spend the summer before their senior year of high school completing a three-week residency with SEEDS at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
The College Scholars Class of 2017 Graduation Ceremony was held at Montclair State University on Saturday, June 10. In addition to the morning's Commencement Speaker – Nellie Chapman, Assistant Principal at Union City High School – Joselyn Jaramillo addressed her classmates. Several students also received special awards in recognition of their accomplishments.
About New Jersey SEEDS
For 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 3,000 scholars have graduated from its programs. For more information, visit www.njseeds.org.
Special thanks to our generous donors for their major support of the College Scholars Program this year: Allergen Foundation; Barbara and Edward Becker; and Julia and Robert Greifeld.
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SOURCE New Jersey SEEDS