Diamond McClintock

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Young Scholars Program ’04 | The Pingry School ’10 | Dickinson College ’14 | Talent Acquisition, Warner Music Group

“So many people have been pivotal to my personal and professional development. People who had no obligation to me have invested time and money in my life, long before I cared about it myself. I would not feel right leaving New Jersey SEEDS behind after it has helped mold me.”

Diamond McClintock was a member of New Jersey SEEDS’ very first class of Young Scholars, which was launched in 2002 and designed to mirror the Scholars Program, but with younger students. “I think that when I applied to SEEDS as a 4th grader, I was too young to want it for myself. I was fortunate enough to witness my older brother Jamil (Scholars ’00) successfully complete SEEDS and enjoy his time at Pingry. My family wanted that same experience for me. Looking back now, I recall school being too easy, and I know that SEEDS was the best option given my public school curriculum was not conducive for my intellectual growth. New Jersey SEEDS is about opportunity. And it is an opportunity for more than just the student. It is an opportunity to change the lives of families, shift classroom settings, and broaden experiences.”

Diamond’s teachers at SEEDS were personal and supportive, and SEEDS created an environment where Diamond felt encouraged to share ideas and ask questions. Her willingness to express herself and her thoughts in the classroom continued while at Pingry and later, at Dickinson. “But the biggest lesson I learned from SEEDS was that everyone has distinct differences. The first YSP class was a mix of 5th graders from different parts of New Jersey. We had varied interests and skill sets given our differing neighborhoods and school curriculum; we had different family upbringings and situations. Many of my classmates were first generation Americans. It made me sympathetic at a very young age to the unique circumstances of individuals.”

Today, her SEEDS experience continues. “After graduating from YSP, SEEDS provided summer enrichment programs; college tours; the Precious Passdowns Boutique; summer internships; and employment, networking and volunteer opportunities. I love being a mentor, conducting mock interviews, helping out at the school fairs and offering internship opportunities to alumni as a corporate partner. Whether they are trustees, alumni, current scholars or eager families trying to get into SEEDS, everyone has a common interest – the best education. Who wouldn’t want to help with that?”

As an involved member of SEEDS’ Alumni Association, Diamond’s advice to current students and fellow graduates is to make sure they remain connected to SEEDS. “The NJ SEEDS network is unbelievably fruitful. You are sure to find a mentor or pick up a new interest just by building relationships with people associated with the organization. The more you know, the more you grow. SEEDS has done so much for you and will continue to do so as long as you allow it to.”