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113 Scholars and Young Scholars in New Jersey SEEDS Graduate From Programs

NEWARK, NJ--(Marketwired - August 11, 2014) - One hundred thirteen rising sixth, seventh, and ninth graders enrolled in New Jersey SEEDS' Scholars and Young Scholars Programs celebrated their commencement on August 2. New Jersey SEEDS is a nonprofit organization that transforms the educational opportunities of motivated, high-achieving students from low-income families. Students participating in SEEDS' Scholars and Young Scholars Programs complete 14 months of advanced academic coursework before being placed in selective schools across the country.

The Scholars Program is a tuition-free academic program designed to prepare eighth-grade students in New Jersey for success in academically rigorous selective schools with substantial financial aid packages. The Young Scholars Program works with children in fifth and sixth grades in Greater Newark. Students enrolled in the tuition-free program engage in academic classes before placement in day or junior boarding schools, also with significant financial aid. Competition for both programs is intense; nearly 650 students applied last year for just 150 spots.

"Our students have worked incredibly hard over the past 14 months to advance their educations, and we are so proud of all that they have accomplished," says SEEDS President Ronni Denes. "In addition to attending classes with SEEDS over two summers and every Saturday in between, our scholars maintained exceptional grades and demonstrated leadership and engagement in extracurricular activities ranging from athletics to the arts. These are remarkably dedicated students, well on their way to achieving great academic successes."

On Saturday, August 2, family members and friends joined SEEDS staff, faculty, student advisors, board members and donors at Summit High School to celebrate the accomplishments of these scholars. Leah Pagan (Scholars '14, St. Paul's School '18) and Emmanuel Lawal (Young Scholars '14, Church Farm School '20) represented their classmates by serving as the event's student speakers.

"SEEDS Scholars and Young Scholars in the Class of 2014 have a great deal to be proud of," explains Imani Gilliam, Dean of Scholars Programs. "Because of their hard work, they'll enter selective schools across the country, and will receive approximately $3,000,000 in financial aid directly from the schools they will attend."

At the ceremony, several students were honored for academic and leadership accomplishments:

  • Christian Flores was named the Amy Ziebarth Scholar for his passion for social justice and strong commitment to SEEDS while enrolled in the Scholars Program.
  • Dhwani Bharvad was named the Blair MacInnes Scholar for her outstanding academic achievement and dedication to education while enrolled in the New Jersey SEEDS Scholars Program.
  • Maria Marin was the recipient of the Cavalier Scholarship, which helps to underwrite tuition at an independent school for a high-achieving student. The scholarship is generously awarded by the F&P DeRosa Memorial Fund.
  • Sahibdip Saini was presented with the Dean's Award for his overall accomplishments, strong leadership, citizenship, exceptional academic qualities and great personality while enrolled in the Scholars Program.
  • Michael Montenegro was named the Dwight L. Wilson Scholar for his personal and work ethics, honesty, integrity, and love of education while enrolled in the New Jersey SEEDS Scholars Program.
  • Rebeka Zambrano was named the Edward and Barbara Becker Scholar for her outstanding academic achievement and exemplary work while in the Young Scholars Program.
  • Bao Pham was named the John S. Scurci Scholar, for being an exceptional SEEDS student who will be attending The Pingry School.

Congratulations to the New Jersey SEEDS' graduates! 

Young Scholars Class of 2014                           
Revival Afolabi   Jason Jean Baptiste  Daniela Rivera  
Elizabeth Agyei   Emmanuel Lawal       Evelyn Stewart  
Michelle Carneiro Ian Lozano           Erick Tapia     
Miguel Castellano Afia Oduro-Manu      Joseph Townsend 
Tony Fajardo      Cindy Padilla        Patrick Uket    
Abel Guzman       Medina Purefoy-Craig Natalia West    
Dafne Hernandez   Izabo Ramos          Jahnathan White 
Jaden James       Ajune' Richardson    Rebeka Zambrano 
Scholars Class of 2014                                 
Wafiq Abdullah    Jibril Hammond       Zain Mughal     
Nathan Antwi      Ahmad Higazy         Christian Oberst
Dhwani Bharvad    Tyreese James        Fawaz Okoya     
Nathalie Bonilla  Tania Jaramillo      Kimberly Osorio 
Gabrielle Bonneau Phito Jean-Louis     Andres Padilla  
Akeya Brown       Aneela Kanhai        Leah Pagan      
Hailie Cadeau     Harleen Kaur         Misa Patel      
Maria Cartagena   Daiden Kent          Bao Pham        
Wellington Cedeno Basson Kollock       Jeaneville Quaye
Ovidio Chavez     Collethea Lambert    Ratsimbazafy    
                                       Nicholas Rengifo
Jacques Clovis    Olubukola Lana                       
                                       Vanessa Saenz   
Erin Crowder      Anne Marie Langan                    
                                       Sahibdip Saini  
Luz Estrella Cruz Mary Le                              
                                       Emily Sanchez   
Kaliyah Dorsey    Michael Le                           
                                       Kiana Shell     
Tristan Edwards   Tiffany Le                           
                                       Jasjeet Singh   
Mekkah El-Amin    Danny Lin            Kandola         
                  Kalel Lopez          Tanveer Singh   
Katherine Erazo                                        
                  Damara Lowery        Joshua Smith    
Ciara Escobar                                          
                  Luis Magana-ContrerasAlexander Sukach
Cindy Espinosa                                         
                  Maria Marin          Anmol Surpur    
Imanuel Familia                                        
                  Ivana Mejia          Ryan Torres     
Jessica Fertig                                         
                  Valeria Mendoza      Yahaira Torres  
Christian Flores                                       
                  Lauren Menjivar      Sunjana Uddin   
Daniel Flores                                          
Nicholas FranciscoSebastian Meza       Sara Vargas     
Cindy Funes       Yves-Myriam Millien  John Vergara    
Giselle Garcia    Stanley Mo           Audrey Vu       
Dianna Georges    Michael Montenegro   Weatherington   
Kayle Gomez       Roberto Montesdeoca  Tyler White     
Lance Grant       Dambite Morency      Yassmeen Youssef
Sarah Guirgis     Yesenia Mozo                         

New Jersey SEEDS would like to thank the following partner schools for offering admission and substantial financial aid packages to SEEDS students this year:

All Saints Episcopal      Groton School            Pennington School        
  Day School              The Hill School          Perkiomen School         
Berkshire School          Hotchkiss School         Phillips Academy -       
Blair Academy             The Hudson School        Phillips Exeter Academy  
Buxton School             Hun School of Princeton  The Pingry School        
Cambridge School          Kent Place School        Portsmouth Abbey School  
  of Weston               Kent School              Rectory School           
Canterbury School         Kimball Union Academy    Saddle River Day School  
Cate School               Kiski School             Salem Academy            
Christ the King Prep      Lawrenceville School     Seton Hall               
Christchurch School       Madeira School             Preparatory School     
Christian Brothers        Masters School           Shattuck-St. Mary's      
Academy                                            School                   
Church Farm School        McCallie School          St. Andrew's School (DE) 
Concord Academy           Mercersburg Academy      St. George's School      
Dana Hall School          Middlesex School         St. Mark's School        
Deerfield Academy         Montclair Cooperative    St. Mary School          
Delbarton School            School                 St. Paul's School        
Dublin School             Montclair Kimberley      Stoneleigh Burnham School
Dwight-Englewood School     Academy                Tabor Academy            
Ethel Walker School       Moorestown Friends       Taft School              
Far Brook School          Morristown-Beard School  Thacher School           
Fryeburg Academy          Oak Knoll School         Trinity School           
George School             Oratory Prep             Wardlaw-Hartridge School 
Gill St. Bernard's School Peck School              West Nottingham Academy  
Governor's Academy        Peddie School            White Mountain School    

Photos from the event are now available. To receive high-resolution images, please contact Theresa Murray at [email protected].

About New Jersey SEEDS

Since its inception in 1992, 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. To date, 2,000 scholars have benefited from its programs. For more information, visit www.njseeds.org.

New Jersey SEEDS is grateful to the following corporations and foundations for supporting the Scholars and Young Scholars Programs this year: Anonymous; Charles E. and Edna T. Brundage Foundation; COACH; Colgate-Palmolive Company; Curtis W. McGraw Foundation; David Mathey Foundation; Esther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund, Inc.; Goldman Sachs; Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation; Investors Bank Foundation; J. Seward Johnson, Sr. Charitable Trust; Jockey Hollow Foundation; John S. Scurci Foundation; Lillian P. Schenk Fund; Lucy and Eleanor S. Upton Charitable Foundation; NASDAQ OMX Group Educational Foundation; Norman & Bettina Roberts Foundation; Page & Otto Marx, Jr. Foundation; PNC Foundation; Ralph M. Cestone Foundation; Rivendell Foundation; and Victoria Foundation.

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