Plant more “SEEDS”- Actress urges Parents

By Kofi Ayim

More than 300 people filled the spacious Newark Club to celebrate the Annual Parents Luncheon of New Jersey SEEDS March 23. “SEEDS is the acronym for Scholars Educators Excellence Dedication Success.  In a brief welcome address Jamie McClintock, NJSEEDS Development Officer, Parents Program profusely thanked parents for their involvement in the program and paid special tribute to the Parents Committee for their invaluable services. The President of NJ SEEDS Ronni Denes, visibly ecstatic, praised her staff, board of trustees, parents and all who have sustained the aspirations and goals of the august non-profit organization.

The keynote speaker Suzzanne Douglas Cobb, speaking under the theme “We make the Difference” thanked parents of NJSEEDS for building bridges and alliances between the SEEDS organization, councilors, and students of NJSEEDS. “If you help build SEEDS you’ve sprouted out a nation” she proclaimed philosophically.  The acclaimed actress who has helped shape  the landscape of African American cinematography quoted emphatically from the Bible and poetically challenged parents to “plant more seeds in this fertile environment. We owe them (children) our best so they can render their best for the SEEDS to yield mighty harvest”   

Founded in 1992 as private a non-profit organization, NJSEEDS seeks to help academically brilliant but financially-challenged students to achieve their educational goals by placing them in competitive private schools, some with full scholarships. NJSEEDS currently has three programs: the Young Scholars (4th and 5th graders). Scholars (7th graders) and the College Preparatory Program (9th graders).

Almost 2000 students have graduated from NJSEEDS with 99 percent college enrolment. About five percent of alumni identify themselves as Africans.  Parents of this year’s recruitment class are from about 75 countries out of which eight percent originates from Africa. Recruitment for various programs occur primarily at the school level through presentations to students and  recommendations from guidance counselors.  School visit recruitments account for about 40 percent. Other recruitment tools are by word of mouth, enrollees, alumni/parents and the web. Some school districts such as Elizabeth, Irvington, Kearney and Hoboken do not allow NJSEEDS recruitments in their schools. Critics believe such schools are being disingenuous to talented students by keeping them in relatively unchallenged environments for parochial interests to boost up overall academic performance of their districts.

This year’s luncheon was sponsored in part by Panasonic Corporation of North America, NJ SEEDS Board of Trustees, Jack and Jill of America, Suzzanne Douglas Cobb, Lora Hersh, Harry Prott – The Newark Club and the NJ SEEDS Parents Committee.

For further details visit or call 973 642-6422 or e-mail

Posted by on Apr 13 2013. Filed under Community News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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