New Jersey SEEDS Celebrates its College Scholars Graduates


    New Jersey SEEDS, a nonprofit that provides educational access to high-achieving, low-income students, celebrated the graduation of its second class of College Scholars on Saturday, June 9, 2018. All 39 high school seniors were admitted to colleges and universities across the country, and 87 percent of these students will enroll in schools ranked as Most, Highly or Very Competitive, according to Barron’s.

    The College Scholars Class of 2018 received more than 100 acceptances from 55 colleges and universities. Twenty-two members of this class were accepted to college through Early Decision, Early Decision II or QuestBridge matches. A complete list of students, high schools and college matriculations can be found online.

    For the past 17 months, students enrolled in the College Scholars Program participated in classes each Saturday during the school year and spent three weeks last summer on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges with SEEDS. Students worked closely with SEEDS on test preparation, personal statement writing, college research, college applications, financial aid literacy, and mastering skills that will make them successful in college and beyond.

    “The zip code you were born into should not define where you’re going in life,” says John F. Castano, New Jersey SEEDS’ Executive Director. “These students exemplify that. Our College Scholars have worked diligently to prepare themselves for what’s next. Now, they are heading off to the nation’s best colleges and universities. I am so proud of all they have accomplished.”

    To be eligible for the College Scholars Program, students must reside in New Jersey, attend an eligible College Scholars high school, be in the top 10 percent of their class, be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and meet SEEDS’ financial requirements. Students in the Class of 2018 represent 19 public high schools from 16 cities within 25 miles of Newark.

    The College Scholars Class of 2018 Graduation Ceremony was held at Montclair State University. There, family members, friends, donors, guests and SEEDS Trustees celebrated the students’ accomplishments. Guests in attendance heard from Michelle Swittenberg, the morning’s Commencement Speaker. Eduardo Vargas (College Scholars ’18, Bound Brook High School ’18, Tufts University ’22) also addressed his classmates and guests. In addition to a formal presentation of SEEDS diplomas, several students also received special awards in recognition of their accomplishments.

    For more information on SEEDS and ways to get involved, please visit our website. For high resolution photos or video from the event, please contact Theresa Murray at 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 .