SEO was built on values of realizing human potential through education, mentorship, and access to opportunity. We are a dynamic team of talented, committed educators and professionals who are as likely to start a book club as we are to collaborate on a new college seminar that will impact generations of Scholars to come. We create a supportive environment that encourages and leverages diversity of thought and experiences. Together, we expand SEO’s ecosystem of excellence.
We Believe That
- education can break the cycle of poverty that has entrapped so many Americans.
- with rigorous out-of-school-time academic support and advising, underserved public school students can attend and excel at America’s top colleges and universities despite their economic circumstances.
- America’s economic future depends on ensuring that students from all walks of life get the education they need to make a substantial contribution to our society.
High School: New York City
Vice President – SEO Scholars, High School
Millie Hau is Vice President, SEO Scholars, High School. She oversees the first four years of the SEO Scholars program from 9th student recruitment through admission to college. Under her leadership, the program has expanded from serving 260 NYC high school students to 1000 students in New York and 80 students in San Francisco.
Prior to joining SEO in 2009, Millie held consulting and product management positions at educational publishing and software companies including Houghton Mifflin, Harcourt, and Kaplan. She visited hundreds of classrooms around the country, developing new tools for teachers and supporting their efforts to improve student outcomes. She began her career as a teacher through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program followed by a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in Korea. She was also a teacher at Public School 124 in New York City.
Millie holds a BA from Bucknell University and an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University.
High School: San Francisco
Executive Director – SEO Scholars, San Francisco
Rachel Bordoli joined SEO in 2016 and is Executive Director, SEO Scholars San Francisco. As Executive Director, Rachel oversees all areas, including program, operations, and development. She manages a team of six full-time staff and works with the San Francisco Advisory Board to ensure the organization is delivering on its mission with excellence and conviction every day. Prior to joining SEO, Rachel worked at Teach For America in national management roles including strategy, recruitment, data/analytics, and technology.
Rachel holds an MBA and Masters of Education from Stanford University and a BA and MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, England. She also spent two years as a Mellon Fellow at Yale University.
Vice President – College Scholars
Catherine Finneran joined SEO in 2019. She is responsible for managing the college support, retention and success components of SEO Scholars including all college programming and advising. With a 25-person team of College Persistence professionals, College Scholars works with 927 students attending 188 colleges around the nation, and achieves a 90% college completion rate.
Prior to joining SEO, she most recently served as the Program Manager of UBS NextGen Leaders, UBS’s multi-year, $10 million initiative focused on expanding college and career success for students who are the first in their families to go to college. The cornerstone of this initiative is UBS’s partnership with SEO where Catherine worked with the team in shepherding the 125 UBS NextGen Leaders students toward college graduation over the last four years.
Throughout her 13-year career, Catherine has worked to unlock opportunity for underrepresented students through multiple sectors including corporate philanthropy, nonprofit leadership, and teaching. Prior to taking on her role at UBS, she was the Program Director of The Posse Foundation’s New York office. Catherine began her professional career teaching high school history in the South Bronx through Teach For America. She holds a BA from the University of Southern California where she graduated summa cum laude.
Catherine lives in Jersey City with her husband, Stephen, and rescue puppy, Hudson.
Aysegul (Ays) Necioglu
Vice President – Clinical Coaching, Training, and Development, College Scholars
Ays Necioglu built from the ground up the highly-successful college support, retention, and success components of SEO Scholars including all college programming and advising.
Ays led the college portion of the SEO Scholars Program from the time she joined SEO in 2006 until 2017. Since 2018, as Vice President – Clinical Coaching, Training, and Development, Ays oversees the clinical advisory curriculum and training of our College Persistence Advisors (CPAs).
Ays is a New York State Licensed Master Social Worker and a Field Instructor for graduate students from Columbia University School of Social Work and Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Prior to joining SEO, she spent a year at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) headquarters researching post-crisis development indicators, held a one-year graduate internship at Planned Parenthood, and worked as a program development consultant at LearnServeEthopia.
Ays holds an M.S. in Social Enterprise Administration from Columbia University, an Advanced Certificate in Clinical Practice with Adolescents from New York University Silver School of Social Work, and a B.A. from Vassar College. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, National Network for Social Work Management, and the International Association for Youth Mental Health.