Founded in 1963, SEO provides exceptional educational and professional opportunities to talented and motivated young people from underserved and historically excluded communities.

NEW YORK, August 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — SEO Scholars, a free eight-year program designed to bridge the academic and opportunity gap for motivated high school students, announces the launch of a national expansion to bring its acclaimed programming to students beyond its markets traditional New York City and San Francisco.

“Since 1963, SEO has been preparing and propelling hard-working students to go on to college and through. SEO is excited to expand the impact of our Scholars program because while talent is everywhere, unfortunately opportunity is not. is not”, said Guillaume GoodloePresident and CEO of SEO.

In 2022, SEO Scholars hired a new Head of Expansion, Jordan McFarlane Handsome, who earned her doctorate in leadership education last year from the American College of Education and has built a career working with first-generation, low-income, and non-traditional students in high school and college. He shared that expanding the program was a long-term goal of SEO and was working with the first expansion partner, shift_ed, a non-profit organization that creates positive outcomes for students enrolled at North Carolina Guilford County School District, which includes Greensboro.

Watch the SEO Scholar Recruitment Video for Guilford County students here:

To ensure that SEO Scholars are admitted to competitive colleges and benefit from a rich and rewarding academic education, the program begins in the ninth year and includes

  • A rigorous academic education
  • Quality mentorship
  • Individual advice
  • Development of a powerful and permanent network

“Given our good results in New York City and San Franciscoexpanding into North Carolina gives us the opportunity to expand our reach so that talented students get the education and opportunities they deserve,” said McFarlane-Beau.

SEO has a track record of successful results in New York and San Francisco. Nationally, only 60% of college students graduate, while 90% of SEO researchers graduate from college. In 2022, 100% of SEO scholars were accepted to four-year colleges and universities, 80% attended a school ranked in the top 100 in US News and World Report, and 85% are first generation students. There are over 21,000 SEO alumni across the globe and each year the SEO Scholars program serves over 2,100 students.

“SEO has adapted to the pandemic by moving our program online,” Goodloe said. “It has created the opportunity to look at new ways to engage students, partners and school systems beyond New York City and San Francisco. We are thrilled to partner with shift_ed as the first step towards national expansion.”

A referencing and Guilford County partnership is a bold way to tip the scales toward equity, says shift_ed CEO, Wendy Poteat. “By creating opportunities for education and career exploration, students see what they can do and who they can be. Their potential grows with each new experience, and their success accelerates the success of our entire community.”

shift_ed plans to open registration for SEO Scholars at September 1st. Interviews with candidates will take place in January 2023and the ninth grade cohort will officially begin programming in late February.

“We want our students to know that anything is possible,” says Poteat. “With a bold collaboration like this, it really is.”

About SEO

SEO was founded in 1963 with a mission to create a more equitable society by providing exceptional educational and professional opportunities to talented and motivated young people from underserved and historically excluded communities. For 60 years, SEO has been an innovator in education, mentoring, peer support, delivering excellence, and harnessing diverse networks and communities to transform untapped potential into new greatness. Learn more at

About shift_ed

shift_ed associates with Guilford County Schools (GCS) to provide thousands of hours of tutoring, college readiness workshops and financial aid, and career counseling to students. Thanks to the generous support of the community, shift_ed has awarded more than $12.6 million to GCS graduates since 2016. Learn more at

SOURCE Sponsors for Educational Opportunity

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