Educational Institutions

NEW JERSEY SEEDS INC

  • Newark, NJ
  • www.njseeds.org

Mission Statement

New Jersey SEEDS changes the lives of motivated, high-achieving students from low-income families by transforming their educational opportunities. We ensure that our students have the knowledge, skills, access and support to thrive at the nation's finest schools and colleges.

Main Programs

  1. Scholars Prgram
  2. Young Scholars Program
  3. Guidance Program
  4. Parents Program
  5. College Scholars Program
Service Areas

Self-reported

New Jersey

SEEDS works with motivated, high-achieving students from low-income families in northern and central New Jersey.

ruling year

1992

Executive Director

Self-reported

Mr. John F. Castano

Keywords

Self-reported

education, educational access, educational opportunity, access

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Also Known As

NJ SEEDS

EIN

22-3181507

 Number

0448819786

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Student Services and Organizations (B80)

Secondary/High School (B25)

Undergraduate College (4-year) (B42)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Since SEEDS' founding in 1992, nearly 2,300 high-achieving, low-income students have graduated from its Scholars, Young Scholars or College Preparatory Programs. Once students complete their SEEDS program, they can expect to be placed in selective schools or colleges with substantial (between 90-100%) financial aid. Since 2006, SEEDS has leveraged more than $175 million in financial aid directly from the selective schools where Scholars and Young Scholars are placed. 99% of reporting high school seniors enrolled in college in the 2016-2017 academic year; more than 84% of them are attending most, highly or very competitive institutions as ranked by Barron's.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Scholars Prgram

The Scholars Program is New Jersey SEEDS' oldest program and its largest. The 14-month program for 8th graders is composed of two three-week residential sessions (The Hill School, Pottstown, Pa.) and Saturdays during the academic year (Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, NJ; The Pingry School, Basking Ridge, NJ; Seton Hall Prep, West Orange, NJ). SEEDS' rigorous, advanced coursework sharpens students' skills in mathematics and language arts, builds test taking skills to prepare for the SSAT, and introduces concepts in human behavior to encourage self-awareness and confidence in new social situations. After the program concludes, SEEDS places its Scholars at selective day and boarding schools across the country with robust financial aid packages.

Category

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Other Named Groups

Budget

Program 2

Young Scholars Program

The Young Scholars Program (YSP) provides academic preparation and leadership development to 5th and 6th graders in Greater Newark. The program consists of two, five-week summer sessions (Delbarton School, Morristown, NJ) and classes each Saturday throughout the academic year (Newark Academy, Livingston, NJ). Students participate in workshops on essay writing and interviewing skills, take test preparation for the SSAT, participate in peer book clubs, are exposed to the arts, and engage in academic classes. After completion of the program, Young Scholars are placed in day and junior boarding schools with robust financial aid packages.

Category

Educational Programs

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Other Named Groups

Budget

Program 3

Guidance Program

SEEDS' Guidance team works with students in their placement schools, helping scholars to navigate the academic, social, cultural, emotional and family challenges that often arise during the transition to to a new environment. Guidance works with graduates of our Scholars and Young Scholars Programs through their high school graduation. Guidance also works with College Preparatory Program graduates while in college. Guidance team members visit students in their placement schools and colleges annually; host several college tours each year; organize a College Fair with representatives from colleges and universities across the country; help students and families navigate the financial aid process; and assist in placing students in internships and opportunities.

Category

Educational Programs

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Other Named Groups

Budget

Program 4

Parents Program

SEEDS parents and families play a critical role in the success of SEEDS scholars. The Parents Program sets the organization apart from almost every other educational access organization. The program aims to address the well-being of the family and provides support as students move into new environments.

Category

Educational Programs

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Other Named Groups

None

Budget

Program 5

College Scholars Program

THE COLLEGE SCHOLARS PROGRAM IS A 17-MONTH IMMERSION EXPERIENCE FOR TOP-PERFORMING STUDENTS FROM PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS WITHIN 25 MILES OF NEWARK. STUDENTS SPEND SATURDAYS DURING THE SPRING OF THEIR JUNIOR YEAR AND ALL OF THEIR SENIOR YEAR WITH SEEDS, IN ADDITION TO A THREE-WEEK RESIDENTIAL SESSION PRIOR TO THE 12TH GRADE. STUDENTS ARE THEN PLACED IN SELECTIVE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The overarching goal of NJ SEEDS is to transform the educational opportunities of high-achieving, low-income students throughout New Jersey. Each of our three academic programs (Scholars, Young Scholars and College Scholars) provide the necessary academic and social preparation for our students to enroll in selective schools and colleges.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Our strategy for reaching our goal relies on the following six pillars.
    1. An extremely thorough and selective admissions process.
    2. A rigorous and intensive academic program.
    3. A curriculum that includes enriching cultural experiences and emotional and social development.
    4. One-on-one placement assistance and advocacy.
    5. Professional guidance services provided to all SEEDS alumni through their placement school years.
    6. A unique Parents Program that sustains the families of our students throughout the SEEDS process.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Since 1992, NJ SEEDS has established an extraordinary record of accomplishment in its areas of expertise:

    - Identifying students in low-income areas who have the ability to succeed in the most challenging academic environments,
    - Providing targeted and highly effective academic coursework to supplement the school curriculum and rapidly advance student achievement,
    - Motivating students to perform at exceptionally high levels among a community of peers,
    - Developing leadership and social skills that are crucial to success at competitive institutions,
    - Placing students at carefully selected and appropriately matched schools and colleges, and
    - Ensuring long-term success through systematic guidance.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    The indicators of our success include our placement rates and the amount of financial aid offered to our scholars.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Since SEEDS founding in 1992, 2,296 students have graduated from its Scholars, Young Scholars and College Preparatory Programs. More than 1,800 alumni are continuing their educations in colleges or graduate schools or contributing their talents to the workforce. More than 850 students are served annually by SEEDS' education and guidance programs.
Service Areas

Self-reported

New Jersey

SEEDS works with motivated, high-achieving students from low-income families in northern and central New Jersey.

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

NEW JERSEY SEEDS INC
Fiscal year: Sep 01-Aug 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

NEW JERSEY SEEDS INC

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Mr. John F. Castano

BIO

John F. Castano joined NJ SEEDS in 2008, bringing experience in prep school and college education, as well as business and nonprofit management and consulting. John holds a BA in English from Villanova University, and an MA in Strategic Communication from Seton Hall University. In addition to his leadership at NJ SEEDS, John is an adjunct professor in the Communication Studies department at Montclair State University, and has taught English, communications and a leadership course at Seton Hall Preparatory School. He has also served as a consultant to the Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance at Rutgers University. He is the Past President of the Jersey Cares board; a past Executive Director of the Griffin Bridges Program Advisory Committee at Seton Hall Prep, where he has also served as a mentor; and a representative on his town's Senior Concerns Committee. John was honored by NJ SEEDS in 2001 for his “ongoing commitment to developing future leaders through education… by providing opportunities for highly motivated, academically qualified, economically disadvantaged students." He has been the recipient of Seton Hall University's Humanitarian Award, The Salvatore N. Caprio Award, and the St. Andrew's College Seminary Humanitarian Award. John and his wife Kristi are the proud parents of Bridget and Kara.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Lee Shavel

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?