SEO Honors Champions of Opportunities at the 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, CoPresident
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
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.
SEO (Sponsors for Educational Opportunity) was founded in 1963 with a mission to provide
talented and motivated young people from underserved and underrepresented communities
with access to superior educational and career opportunities. Today, SEO runs four programs:
SEO Scholars is a free, eight-year academic program that gets low-income public high school
students to and through college—with a 90% college graduation rate; SEO Career is the
nation’s premier pre-professional development and internship program providing Black,
Hispanic/Latinx, and Native American undergrads with coaching, training, and access to
internships across multiple lines of business; SEO Law is an academic, career development,
and internship program for Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and Native American incoming law school
students providing intensive academic prep, all before students start their first year at law
school; SEO Alternative Investments provides education, exposure, training and mentoring
opportunities to talented professionals and students from backgrounds traditionally
underrepresented in the sector. Nearly 90% of AI Fellows have secured jobs in the alternative
We are happy to coordinate interviews with our honorees, members of SEO’s executive team,
and SEO Scholars. To coordinate interviews and photo opportunities, please contact Karmen
Royall at 646-435-9559 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information: