I knew SEO would give me the best chance

in the long term, but in the short term, I had work to do. I spend my days in school and my weekends at SEO. Every other moment is spent sorting bottles. I don’t have time for sports, TV or just being a teenager. But with SEO, it feels like I have a way out. I'm not looking for charity, just opportunity. That’s what SEO has given to me.  
-Dillon, Haverford '21

The Challenge

Large achievement gaps by race, gender, and income continue to endure in K-12 education in the United States. Despite being the largest and most diverse city in the U.S., New York City students from low-income backgrounds continue to face the same challenges reflected in our national achievement gap.

Fewer than half of students who graduate from NYC public high schools graduate “college ready”, with the lowest levels in the Bronx and Brooklyn, where students are disproportionately Black and Latinx. (source)

A 2017 study found significant gaps in achievement among different ethnic groups in Math and Reading standardized test scores, as early as 3rd grade. By 8th grade the gaps widened, with a significant decline in performance for Black and Latinx students in both subjects.  (source)

Schools that serve predominantly Black and Latinx students have less qualified teachers than schools that serve predominantly White students.  (source)

Yet we know that students assigned to “high value-added” teachers not only increase their test scores, but are more likely to attend college, earn higher salaries, live in neighborhoods with better resources and have higher retirement savings.  (source)

100%

of scholars have an acceptance rate to four-year colleges.

When I first heard of SEO I had zero interest,

but my friends all applied. And though, at 13, I was unmoved by the promise of opportunity, I did succumb to positive peer pressure. And SEO changed my life. SEO believed in me more than I believed in myself. 
-Julio, Stanford '22

SEO empowers individuals to move from high school to college by focusing on college graduation.

  • 100% of Scholars complete and submit the FAFSA.
    NY Scholars apply for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program and receive one-on-one support to complete the CSS Profile for institutional aid.
  • Scholars regularly win competitive national scholarships including: QuestBridge National College Match, The Posse Foundation Scholarship, The New York Times College Scholarship Program, and Horatio Alger Scholarships.
  • The SEO Scholars high school class of 2018 accepted more than $4 million in scholarships for their first year of college alone

Donate to SEO Scholars New York

SEO Scholars would not be able to impact the lives of students without the generous support of our donors. Your gift, no matter how big or small, goes a long way in helping us continue to propel human potential.

There are many ways to get involved with SEO Scholars. Find out how you can help.

Get to know the dedicated individuals who collectively support our Scholars in New York.