SEO Honors Champions of Opportunities at the 2018 SEO Annual Awards Dinner

New York, NY –April 20, 2018— On Wednesday, April 18, 2018, SEO honored three champions of educational and career opportunities at the SEO Annual Awards Dinner at The New York Hilton Midtown, New York City. The evening took place in the Grand Ballroom where approximately 1,200 guests gathered to raise over $7 million for SEO’s programs, which benefit underserved and underrepresented youth in New York City and San Francisco.

The evening shined a light on SEO’s flagship program, SEO Scholars, a free eight-year academic program that gets underserved public high school students to and through college – with a 90% college graduation rate. Six SEO Scholars took the stage to share their stories of overcoming adversity in their personal lives on their journey to and through college.


Honorees are leaders in business, education and philanthropy who have demonstrated their commitment to educational and career opportunities for young people from underrepresented backgrounds. This year, SEO was pleased to honor: Roger C. Altman, Founder and Senior Chairman, Evercore; Jeff T. Blau, CEO, Related Companies; and Joseph Y. Bae, Co-President and Co-COO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., SEO Career Alumnus ’93. This year, Frank Bisignano, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, First Data Corporation, served as Chairman of the Annual Awards Dinner.

SEO Chairman Henry R. Kravis, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., and Gayle King, co-anchor of CBS This Morning and editor-at-large for O, The Oprah Magazine, participated in the evening’s program.

In addition to SEO Scholars, SEO is comprised of three other distinct programs – SEO Career, SEO Law, and SEO Alternative Investments. These programs aim to achieve greater diversity and inclusion in the workforce by providing access across all sectors of business, law, and politics for those who have been traditionally underrepresented.

“There is one common thread that runs through all our programs,” says Henry Kravis, Chairman of SEO. “That is helping underserved and underrepresented young people meet and surpass the existing standards, whether for admission to and graduation from top tier colleges, or entry into some of the most coveted industries in our global economy. SEO provides opportunities to move young people forward, to the benefit of themselves, their families, their communities, and our nation.”

Since 1963, SEO has provided educational and career opportunities to over 13,000 young people from underserved and underrepresented communities, breaking barriers both in higher education and the corporate world.