New Jersey SEEDS Raises More Than $750,000 at Leading Change Benefit

May 11, 2018 – Newark, NJ –New Jersey SEEDS, a nonprofit that provides educational access to high-achieving, low-income students, announced that its 2018 Leading Change Benefit raised more than $750,000 in support of the organization and its scholars.

The event, held at The Park Savoy on Thursday, April 12, 2018, was an opportunity for guests to learn about the life-changing educational opportunities SEEDS provides. Following a lively strolling dinner, guests heard from five Leading Change Alumni Ambassadors who told their own stories. Parent Afia Bosompem then took the stage to share her daughters’ experiences with SEEDS.

“Our alums are really the proof and inspiration,” John F. Castano, New Jersey SEEDS’ Executive Director, said at the event. “What was once a journey in faith in what could be has come to fruition in each and every one of you. Congratulations on your success and thank you for always keeping SEEDS close.”

SEEDS also presented Leading Change Awards to William V. Engel, Esq. and Neha Pathak, M.D. (SEEDS ’94). Each year, New Jersey SEEDS honors individuals whose initiative and commitment have enhanced the educational opportunities of young people throughout New Jersey through its Leading Change Awards.

William V. Engel, Esq. is a Trustee Emeritus of New Jersey SEEDS and a Partner at Engel & Devlin, P.C. Bill graduated from The Pingry School and Princeton University with an A.B. with honors in History and a concentration in African American Studies. He graduated from the University of Virginia Law School, and has received an Honorary Degree from St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey. Bill’s combined service as a Trustee of private foundations and charitable trusts collectively totals over 200 years, in addition to his combined 90 years plus of service as a Trustee for numerous nonprofit organizations.

Neha Pathak, M.D., is a SEEDS alumna who graduated from SEEDS’ first class in 1994. Board-certified in internal medicine, Neha is currently a medical editor at WebMD, where she works to develop content and ensure the accuracy of health information. After graduating from The Pingry School, Neha obtained a B.A. in Psychology and Biology from Harvard University and completed her M.D. with honors in Community Service from Weill Cornell Medicine. Neha went on to complete her primary care and internal medicine residency at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and then participated in the VA Quality Scholar Fellowship Program.

For high resolution photos or video from the event, please contact Theresa Murray at [email protected] or at 862.227.9145.

About New Jersey SEEDS
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, nearly 2,500 scholars have graduated from its programs. For more information, visit