Meet The Guidance Team

Sharon Zucker – Dean of Guidance

Sharon Zucker joined NJ SEEDS in February 2015 as Dean of Guidance. Sharon previously worked in higher education for eight years as an instructor and administrator at Rutgers University in the Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance and the School of Social Work Center on Violence Against Women and Children. Sharon has conducted trainings for students of all ages on bullying, interpersonal violence, electronic communication, and bystander intervention. She has developed curricula on violence prevention, as well as led new student orientation workshops for incoming students at Rutgers University, Seton Hall University, Caldwell College, Monmouth University, St. Joseph’s University, and more. Sharon received her Master of Public Administration and Certificate in Domestic Violence Studies from the University of Colorado at Denver, and her undergraduate degree in Communication from Rutgers University.

Norda Bennett – Guidance Officer

Nordia is an alumna of the College Preparatory Program Class of 2013. After graduating from SEEDS, Nordia went on to complete her Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a minor in Religion at Denison University. Nordia is thrilled she is given the opportunity to be a part of the organization that had a significant impact on her college process. She looks forward working with the scholars that are preparing to embark on their college journey. Nordia says, “I am so excited that I am able to help guide the students through their college experience. I am happy I will be their confidant and support system enabling them to navigate college challenges and ultimately, graduate.” Nordia is an active member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., and enjoys working out in her downtime.

Rachael Polton – Guidance Officer

Rachael Polton, a proud Montclair native, joined the NJ SEEDS team in June 2015. Rachael’s passion for improving access to higher education brought her to the organization. Prior to working at SEEDS, Rachael served as an Assistant Director of Admissions at her alma mater, Kenyon College. As part of the Admissions team, Rachael interviewed students, evaluated applications, and served on the college’s Admission Committee. Rachael was first introduced to NJ SEEDS while recruiting for Kenyon and was impressed by how strongly the organization supported the students and their families. In keeping with the organization’s mission, Rachael is committed to promoting access and helping students find their best fit for high school and college. Eager to work closely with SEEDS’ talented scholars, Rachael is thrilled to join the SEEDS family as a Guidance Officer.

Solangel Troncoso – Guidance Officer

Solangel Troncoso graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is a first generation college graduate and is deeply appreciative of programs like Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF), Student Support Services (SSS), and the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program for their significant positive impact on her college experience. While at Rutgers, Solangel held multiple leadership and mentoring roles focused on helping first year students successfully navigate their first year in college and plan for the future. After graduation, Solangel served as Parental Outreach Coordinator at New Jersey Law and Education Empowerment Project (NJ LEEP), a college access program in Newark, NJ. Solangel truly believes in the importance of strong support networks and in paying it forward. She is excited to be part of the NJ SEEDS Guidance team and to serve as a resource to students and their families.

Johulin Zuluaga – Guidance Officer

Johulin Zuluaga serves as Guidance Officer at New Jersey SEEDS. Johulin attended Drew University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and French. After graduating from college, she served with an AmeriCorps program, City Year. This national nonprofit organization gave her the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with East Harlem Middle School students serving as an in-classroom tutor and mentor. As a result, she developed a passion for working with youth in the education field. She is extremely excited to be part of the NJ SEEDS team and to work with all the wonderful students. Johulin is our primary liaison to graduates of the Young Scholars Program still in middle school and coordinates our middle and high school summer opportunities programming.


For more information, visit SEEDS’ staff page.