Andy Hoge

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Vice President, Admissions and Placement | New Jersey SEEDS

“Above all else, New Jersey SEEDS is about opportunity. Not just the opportunity of access to incredible educational experiences, but opportunity for me – and all the SEEDS staff – to be a part of that journey.”

Andy Hoge has been part of that journey for the 2,000 students that have graduated from SEEDS’ education programs since he joined SEEDS in 2001 as the Alumni Affairs Officer. “My first interview for a job with SEEDS took place on the Peddie School campus during the old Phase 1, now called the Scholars Summer Challenge Program. My favorite part of the day was observing classes and eating lunch with a few of the Scholars. I had taught at a private school for six years and had never experienced the passion I witnessed that day. I was hooked. Fifteen years later, and I’m still inspired by the kids. I draw energy from them. I am truly amazed at their maturity, focus, determination and passion. They represent the best of all of us.”

Today, Andy oversees SEEDS’ efforts to recruit and admit students to SEEDS, as well as the placement of SEEDS students into competitive schools. Last year, SEEDS students were welcomed 90 different schools and colleges across the country. “In my early days, I used to spend a couple of weeks on the road introducing SEEDS to schools. I would tell them about these amazing kids from New Jersey who were just looking for a break. One of my favorite memories is getting a call from an admissions representative after having met one of our kids, who simply said, ‘Andy, we have to work with SEEDS!’ For every incredible SEEDS student, there are people working with them at our partner schools who have passion and a focus on making our world more equitable. I find that the people who take on this work are some of the most compassionate individuals I know. They understand the candidate behind the numbers, the personal story beyond the socioeconomic situation. SEEDS scholars bring diversity of all kinds to our partner schools. Diversity of skin color, yes, but the diversity of things like thought, belief and experience are what truly makes these schools better places to learn and grow thanks to SEEDS scholars.”

Andy’s favorite part of SEEDS is the day after families get their acceptance letters from their schools. That’s the beginning of the next step of the journey for SEEDS scholars. “I was visiting some SEEDS students at their private school, a school that breaks early every Wednesday afternoon to go to a nearby mountain for skiing and snowboarding. They invited me along. I stood there watching SEEDS alumna snowboard down the mountain with their classmates. I watched in complete awe. Two years before, they had been a couple of really bright kids from inner cities in New Jersey. It reminded me that beyond the great education offered by these schools, doors are also opened to incredible experiences and new friendships that often last long beyond graduation.”