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

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 Ronni Denes with SEEDS Scholar Anne Marie Langanare 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 New Jersey SEEDS’ graduates!

Young Scholars Class of 2014

Revival Afolabi
Elizabeth Agyei
Michelle Carneiro
Miguel Castellano
Tony Fajardo
Abel Guzman
Dafne Hernandez
Jaden James
Jason Jean Baptiste
Emmanuel Lawal
Ian Lozano
Afia Oduro-Manu
Cindy Padilla
Medina Purefoy-Craig
Izabo Ramos
Ajune’ Richardson
Daniela Rivera
Evelyn Stewart
Erick Tapia
Joseph Townsend
Patrick Uket
Natalia West
Jahnathan White
Rebeka Zambrano

Scholars Class of 2014

Wafiq Abdullah
Nathan Antwi
Dhwani Bharvad
Nathalie Bonilla
Gabrielle Bonneau
Akeya Brown
Hailie Cadeau
Maria Cartagena
Wellington Cedeno
Ovidio Chavez
Jacques Clovis
Erin Crowder
Luz Estrella Cruz
Kaliyah Dorsey
Tristan Edwards
Mekkah El-Amin
Katherine Erazo
Ciara Escobar
Cindy Espinosa
Imanuel Familia
Jessica Fertig
Christian Flores
Daniel Flores
Nicholas Francisco
Cindy Funes
Giselle Garcia
Dianna Georges
Kayle Gomez
Lance Grant
Sarah Guirgis
Jibril Hammond
Ahmad Higazy
Tyreese James
Tania Jaramillo
Phito Jean-Louis
Aneela Kanhai
Harleen Kaur
Daiden Kent
Basson Kollock
Collethea Lambert
Olubukola Lana
Anne Marie Langan
Mary Le
Michael Le
Tiffany Le
Danny Lin
Kalel Lopez
Damara Lowery
Luis Magana-Contreras
Maria Marin
Ivana Mejia
Valeria Mendoza
Lauren Menjivar
Sebastian Meza
Yves-Myriam Millien
Stanley Mo
Michael Montenegro
Roberto Montesdeoca
Dambite Morency
Yesenia Mozo
Zain Mughal
Christian Oberst
Fawaz Okoya
Kimberly Osorio
Andres Padilla
Leah Pagan
Misa Patel
Bao Pham
Jeaneville Quaye
Michael Ratsimbazafy
Nicholas Rengifo
Vanessa Saenz
Sahibdip Saini
Emily Sanchez
Kiana Shell
Jasjeet Singh Kandola
Tanveer Singh
Joshua Smith
Alexander Sukach
Anmol Surpur
Ryan Torres
Yahaira Torres
Sunjana Uddin
Sara Vargas
John Vergara
Audrey Vu
Shania Weatherington
Tyler White
Yassmeen Youssef

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