At a time when the country was grappling with the stain of racial segregation, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) was founded by investment banker Michael Osheowitz as a mentoring program to help underserved students gain admission to largely-white private colleges and universities. He recruited executives at top firms in law, finance, advertising and industry to work one-on-one with Scholars to help get them into colleges such as Harvard, Dartmouth, Williams, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Columbia and Brown as well as SUNY and CUNY schools.
SEO Career launches. This summer internship program brings promising college students of color into businesses that want to increase their racial diversity. Eleven summer interns are placed at five investment banks.
SEO London launches.
SEO finds that Scholars can gain access to top colleges but are not always academically prepared to thrive there. In fact, U.S. Department of Education research shows that “A” work in low-income schools equals “C” work in affluent schools. This sparks a transformation of the founding SEO Scholars program from a mentor-centered experience to a rigorous out-of-school academic program featuring Saturday, after-school and summer classes.
Grand opening of SEO headquarters in the heart of the financial district in New York City.
SEO Career launches in China.
SEO Alternative Investments launches to provide education, exposure, training and mentoring opportunities to talented professionals traditionally under-represented in the alternative investments sector.
SEO Career launches in Vietnam.
SEO Scholars is independently recommended to donors as a high-performing organization in the College Access and Success field by Social Impact Research, an independent research department of 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 rising 9th graders applied for 127 spots in SEO Scholars.
SEO Career places 321 college interns at 55 partner companies and organizations.
SEO is selected as one of the top-performing non-profits in the country by Social Impact Exchange’s new giving platform, S&I 100. Each of the 100 organizations included has been 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 awards SEO a coveted four-star rating for its sound fiscal management, the fourth time SEO earns this distinction.