New Jersey SEEDS Program: Where Opportunity Meets Potential

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
New Jersey SEEDS, Inc.
City & State:
New Jersey
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

New Jersey SEEDS (Scholars, Educators, Excellence, Dedication, Success) provides educational opportunities for motivated, high-achieving students of modest means. SEEDS programs include advanced academic classes, cultural enrichment opportunities and leadership training to help students gain admission to top schools and thereby realize their full potential. We encourage our alumni to be leaders who give back to the community. Founded in 1992, NJ SEEDS is a privately-funded, statewide, nonprofit organization.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

“We may not live in America’s greatest towns, or sport brand name clothing on our backs, but we do contain what you see in us, potential. We are scholars who come to school every day, like our peers, dedicated to receive the education that we are being given, to rise from our surroundings and not only reach for the stars but grasp them in our possession.” Calvin, SEEDS Class of 2008

For the past sixteen years, New Jersey SEEDS has prepared high-achieving, low-income students like Calvin for admission to private schools and colleges across the country. In our three main programs, we serve over 150 students a year. Each of our programs provides a demanding course of study designed to stimulate the intellectual ambition and leadership potential of our students to prepare them for long-term success. We strive to ensure that they receive full financial aid from prep schools, boarding schools and colleges. At NJ SEEDS, we strongly believe socio-economic background should not determine the quality of education a person receives.

To qualify for our programs, students must demonstrate financial needs (the income cap is $59,000 for a household of four). Through our flagship program, the Scholars Program, a select group of New Jersey eighth grade students—students with limited financial means but high potential for academic success—are invited to embark on a journey of intellectual challenge and social opportunity known as the NJ SEEDS Scholars Program. These students spend twelve months attending academically rigorous Saturday and summer classes designed to enrich their understanding of the world, sharpen their analytical skills and spur their creativity. With the help and support of SEEDS, they then are able to matriculate (with full financial aid) at competitive day and boarding schools, such as Miss Porter’s School, Peddie School and Phillips Academy. By the time these students have graduated high school, they are among the nation’s best educated and best prepared for life-long success despite being born into poverty.


In 2007, NJ SEEDS launched the College Preparatory Program. The College Preparatory Program works with students in Orange, NJ and Englewood, NJ to provide programming similar to that of our Scholars Program, but with a focus on college access. Students in College Preparatory Program remain in their public high schools throughout the four years of high school while attending SEEDS enrichment courses. The program includes 188 full days of supplemental academic coursework (on Saturdays and during the summer) over a four-year period.

The aim for the College Preparatory Program is to leverage the enhanced academic experiences of our dedicated students into scholarships at prestigious universities. Over two dozen institutions of higher learning have signed on as members of our Higher Education Advisory Committee. These institutions include Harvard, Brown, Williams, the University of Chicago and USC.

Since our founding in 1992, our 1,300 graduates have gone on to attend top schools throughout the country. SEEDS is a leader in the field, with a proven track record in: identifying talented students in low-income areas, providing effective academic enrichment to supplement regular classes, motivating students to perform their best, eliciting leadership skills, placing students at respected schools and ensuring their long-term success through systematic advising. Through our programming, the upward social mobility of our students increases dramatically. We are proud to count among our alumni a Rhodes Scholar and to have been honored with the Mutual of America Community Partnership Award for being one of the best nonprofit organizations in the country.


New Jersey SEEDS & Microsoft

Over the past two years, we have increased the number of students we serve by almost ten percent. PowerPoint allows us to create visually engaging presentations which our recruiters use to inspire students from low-income areas. Microsoft Publisher makes it possible for staff members to create dynamic and appealing brochures, without incurring the costs of graphic design services.

Use of the Microsoft Office has also allowed us to manage efficiently our donor and alumni databases. NJ SEEDS utilizes the Microsoft Office to update members of the SEEDS community about upcoming events, fundraising campaigns and alumni news. The use of Microsoft programs has broadened our reach, and we hope to continue to collaborate with TechSoup in the future.

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Optimize Mission Delivery
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