This is the second summer in a row that the NJ SEEDS program has taken place on the HWS campus. For two weeks, rising high school first years, sophomores, and juniors lived, learned and worked on campus. The most notable addition to this year’s program was work study. Each morning the SEEDS (Scholars, Educators, Excellence, Dedication and Success) students participated in work study in one of 15 campus offices. Each student had the opportunity to work in two offices, one each week.
“The addition of work study is the highlight of my year. It gives students an even fuller college experience than they had last summer,” said Tarah Greenridge, director of the college preparatory program at SEEDS.
Symone Smith is a rising junior at Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, N.J. During the first week she worked in the Office of Admissions, where she learned that “there’s a lot to do as far as getting accepted into colleges.” While working for Information Technology during the second week, she learned to “appreciate computers more.”
Khalil Sertima is a rising junior at the Academies of Englewood in Englewood, N.Y. He gained work study experience at both Alumni House and Information Technology. As a whole, Sertima believes that the work study program was “very helpful and insightful.”
Students enjoyed being able to stay in dorms and meet college students and faculty. One of Smith’s favorite parts of the program was having “the opportunity to visit different colleges and to get a taste of college life.”
Sertima said, “The best part of the NJ SEEDS program has to be that we’re like a big family.”
This is the second year in the SEEDS program for most of the rising juniors. He also enjoyed having the opportunity to participate in leadership programs. The juniors had leadership responsibilities on campus during the summer program, acting as role models for the younger students. During the school year, NJ SEEDS students take extra college-prep classes on Saturdays and this past year all of the students took a field trip to Princeton, N.J., where they developed leadership skills at a ropes course for three days.
When asked if she could see herself attending a college such as William Smith College, Smith said yes. “It’s not too big, not too small, and it’s really pretty.” Sertima could also see himself attending a college like Hobart because of its laid-back environment. “I like that the campus is by the lake. You can just go there and read a book.”
When asked why she got involved with the SEEDS program, Greenridge replied, “I don’t think somebody’s economic background should dictate how far in life you get.” Her ultimate goal for the program is to “have the students get a feel for college life…and to earn acceptance into amazing colleges and universities.”
This article was written by Max Gouin and Flore Dorcelian as a part of their work study at the Office of Communications