Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) is founded in 1963 by investment banking consultant Michael Osheowitz as a mentoring program to help underserved students gain admission to what were then largely-white private colleges and universities. He recruits executives at top firms in law, finance, advertising and industry to work one-on-one with students to help get them into colleges such as Harvard, Dartmouth, Williams, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Columbia and Brown as well as SUNY and CUNY schools.
U.S. Department of Education research shows that “A” work in low-income schools equals “C” work in affluent schools. SEO’s founding program is transformed from a mentor-centered experience to a rigorous out-of-school academic program–SEO Scholars–that begins in the 9th grade and continues through college graduation.
Grand opening of new headquarters in the heart of the financial district in New York City.
SEO Scholars is independently recommended to donors as a high-performing organization in the College Access and Success field by Root Cause.
SEO Scholars expands to San Francisco.
The College Board recognizes SEO Scholars as one of the recipients of the 2011 CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Awards. The $5,000 grant helps sustain the program, recognizing our “innovation and demonstrated efficacy in increasing the percentage of low-income students who are ready for, get into or get through college successfully.”
Over 1,000 New York City 9th graders apply for 127 spots in SEO Scholars.
SEO is selected as one of the top-performing nonprofits in the country by Social Impact Exchange’s new giving platform, S&I 100. Each of the 100 organizations included is rigorously screened for proof of impact and ability to expand.
A record $6.4 million is raised at SEO’s 50th Anniversary Awards Dinner.
SEO Scholars is recognized by The New York Times, The New York Post, PBS American Graduate Day, USA Today, NBC Latino, MundoFOX and others.
Charity Navigator, America’s premier charity evaluator, awards SEO a coveted four-star rating for its sound fiscal management, the fourth time SEO earns this distinction.
Henry Kravis named chairman of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity.
Charity Navigator, America’s premier charity evaluator, awards SEO its fifth four-star rating.
SEO Scholars doubles its impact in NYC by welcoming its largest class of 9th grade public high school students ever.
SEO Scholars San Francisco sends its first class of graduating 12th graders off to college.
The Opportunity Makers, The First Half-Century of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity is published Charles Rutheiser.