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Students Graduate From SEEDS Scholars Programs

The 2012 Commencement Ceremony was held at Montclair State University.


New Jersey SEEDS is pleased to announce that 104 students graduated from its Scholars and Young Scholars Programs this past weekend in a commencement ceremony at Montclair State University.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, staff and faculty of New Jersey SEEDS, I want to congratulate our students on their tremendous accomplishments,” says Ronni Denes, President of New Jersey SEEDS. “For the past 14 months, they have dedicated themselves to expanding their knowledge and skills at an extraordinary rate, and we’re confident that they have the intellectual and emotional strength to excel at the independent schools they will enter this fall.”

“I am so proud of the Class of 2012,” says Marcy Lopez, Dean of Programs at New Jersey SEEDS. “The growth that I’ve seen from the time they were admitted to SEEDS through their graduation is exceptional. It’s fair to say these students truly inspire me.”

Students accepted into the Scholars Program participate in three-week residencies during the summers before and after their eighth grade year. During the eighth grade school year, students continue with Saturday classes, sharpening their skills in mathematics and language arts, as well as engaging in cultural enrichment activities and human behavior workshops.

Young Scholars participate in a five-week summer session before entering the fifth and sixth grades. In the fall, classes continue each Saturday, with students honing their skills in writing and language arts, while developing new ways to perceive the world and communicate individual perspectives through the arts. Students conclude the program with a second five-week summer session.

“For the past 20 years, our placement team has worked closely with more than 200 admissions officers at independent schools across the country to ensure educational access for our students,” continues Denes. “The success our scholars will achieve in their new schools is a testament to the motivation of the students we accept to the SEEDS program and the quality of education they receive during their 14 months with us. This year, the independent school community contributed more than $3.3 million in financial aid to allow our Scholars to enroll in their schools. We are enormously grateful to the independent school community for its continued partnership and support of tomorrow’s leaders.”

More than 600 family members and friends joined New Jersey SEEDS for the 2012 Commencement Ceremony at Montclair State University on Saturday. 

The New Jersey SEEDS Young Scholars Program Class of 2012: 

Gerardson Alexandre, Far Brook School

Toni Allen, Chatham Day School

Eniyah Baptiste, St. Philip’s Academy

Zion Bolognese, Chatham Day School

Abednego Chase, CFS, The School at Church Farm

Arthur Cirino, St. Philip’s Academy

Joao Honorio, Peck School

Abisola Lawal, Rectory School

Kayla Levine, Chatham Day School

Victoria Lima, Peck School

Anthony Maldonado, Newark Academy

Makeda McNeal

Sundia Nwadiozor, Morristown-Beard School

Jennifer Pillaga, Chatham Day School

Luiz Reis, Chatham Day School

Charlese Reynolds, Gill St. Bernard’s School

Rafael Rivera, Eaglebrook School

Hope Sanders, Fay School

The New Jersey SEEDS Scholars Program Class of 2012:

Zohaib Ahmad, Delbarton School

Vonn Kerzch Alabado, Seton Hall Prep

Sarah Alibrahimi, Westminster School

Jephte Alphonse, Morristown-Beard School

Isaiah Alston, Solebury School

Christine Antoine, St. Paul’s School

Pamela Armas, Taft School

Akua Asante, Episcopal High School

Jonnathan Baquero, The Pingry School

Kaitlin Barkley, Concrod Academy

Brandon Beckford, The Pingry School

Ahmed Beizaeipour, Princeton Day School

Ariel Bonneau, Solebury School

Darius Borges, White Mountain School

Candace Bruyning, Oak Knoll School

Krista Cabrera, Thacher School

Stephanie Cajamarca, George School

Duane Ralph Cardino, CFS, The School at Church Farm

Windia Cassy, The Hill School

Tyree Chapman, Seton Hall Prep

Chisom Chigozie-Nwosu, St. Paul’s School

AnaGabriella Coe, Buxton School

Abraham Duncan, Kiski School

Chelsea Espinosa, Cheshire Academy

Freddy Espitia, Hotchkiss School

Harry Flores, Dublin School

Llarsania Galloza, Asheville School

Azalyn Gonzalez, Madeira School

Casandra Gonzalez, Salem Academy

James Grant, Gill St. Bernard’s School

Daniel Green, St. Mark’s School

Harley Guzman, Stuart Country Day School

Moniesha Hayles, Storm King School

Jocelyn Hernandez, Lawrenceville School

Timothy Jones, Phillips Exeter Academy

Rafid Kabir, George school

Monique Kalu, Kent Place School

Prabhlean Kaur, Episcopal High School

Armani King, Stuart Country Day School

Michael Liapin, Governor’s Academy

Blanca Lopez, Western Reserve Academy

Marcos Lopez, Western Reserve Academy

Melissa Marquez, Groton School

Clariley Martinez, White Mountain School

Jordan McGriff, Hun School of Princeton

Jennifer Montejo, Gill St. Bernard’s School

Gabriela Montes, Moorestown Friends School

Miguel Montoya, Westtown School

Daniela Moreira, Kent Place School

Arielmy Morel, Middlesex School

David Mustafa, Loomis Chaffee School

Jasmine Nazaire, Oak Knoll School

Aubin Niragira, Putney School

Naomi Nivar, Masters School

Brittany Once, Knox School

Laurah Onkendi, Dana Hall School

Gabriel Orange, East Orange Stem Academy

Estefania Pagan, West Nottingham Academy

Anny Perez, Peddie School

Viviana Perez, The Hudson School

Luis Pina-Rodriguez, Elizabeth High School

Jenee Potts, Newark Collegiate Academy

Julia Potts, Newark Collegiate Academy

Scott Price, Phillips Exeter Academy

Hamzah Qureshi, CFS, The School at Church Farm

Maria Rios, Cate School

Michelle Rowicki, Dwight-Englewood School

Jason Sackey, Episcopal High School

Abdur Sajid, Wardlaw-Hartridge School

Salwa Sheikh, Passaic County Technical Institute

Donovan Simpson, St. Andrew’s School (DE)

Jasandeep Singh, Masters School

Amy Sorto, Elizabeth High School – Lower Academy

Nevien Swailmyeen, Dwight-Englewood School

Sayem Talukdar, Concrod Academy

Ruth Tekestse, Garrison Forest School

Monai Thompson, West Nottingham Academy

Christina Trinidad, Mt. St. Dominic Academy

Samantha Uy, Kent Place School

Dave Velasco, Pennington School

Serena Velazquez, Westover School

Vanessa Velez, Dwight-Englewood School

Ashley Villarreal, Kent Place School

Erik Wilson, Brooks School

Zeeshan Zahid, CFS, The School at Church Farm

Brian Zuniga, Fryeburg Academy

At the commencement ceremony, several students were honored for academic and leadership accomplishments:

  • Rafid Kabir was named the Youngman Family Scholar because of his accomplishments while participating in the New Jersey SEEDS Program at the Dwight-Englewood School.
  • Monique Kalu was presented with the Dean’s Award for overall achievement, strong leadership and citizenship.
  • Abisola Lawal was named the Amy Ziebarth Scholar for demonstrating a passion for social justice and a strong commitment to New Jersey SEEDS.
  • Jennifer Montejo was named the Dwight L. Wilson Scholar for most embodying the qualities of the first Executive Director of New Jersey SEEDS—Dwight L. Wilson—including a sense of personal ethics, honesty and integrity and a love of education and a willingness to work hard at succeeding.
  • Michelle Rowicki was named the Blair MacInnes Scholar for outstanding academic achievement and dedication to education.
  • Hope Sanders was named the Edward & Barbara Becker Scholar for her outstanding academic achievement and exemplary work done while in the New Jersey SEEDS Young Scholars Program.
  • Samantha Uy was named the Francis David Scholar for her outstanding academic achievements.

About New Jersey SEEDS

Since its inception 20 years ago, NJ SEEDS has provided educational access to exceptional 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. For more information, visit www.njseeds.org.

EVON SIMPSON December 07, 2012 at 03:15 PM
My experience with NJ SEEDs has been life changing for my son and myself. He graduated from the SCP at MSU Campus Theatre this summer. Donovan Simpson went off to St. Andrew’s School (DE) and never looked back. He is academically being challenged at his new high school and is athletically enriched to make the whole experience so much more rewarding. Below is an article from the athletic news bulletin board in Delaware: SAS Football Rips George School 54-26 on Alumni Day (Boys Varsity ...Oct 13, 2012 ... Freshman Donovan Simpson scored the games final touchdown late in the 4th quarter on a nifty 71 yard run for the Saints. St. Andrew's heads ... www.standrews-de.org/news/detail.aspx?linkid=1503&moduleid... "NJ SEEDS has provided educational access to exceptional 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." This is not just a statement taken from your article of the SCP graduation. It's now our life now and we are really excited about what the future holds for us as a family.

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