Students’ Dreams Started with SEED

Author: Helios Education Foundation

July 19, 2021

All graduation ceremonies are special, but one that took place June 12 was exceptionally so. Having overcome financial challenges, construction delays, and a global pandemic, SEED School of Miami recently hosted the school’s inaugural graduation ceremony conferring high school diplomas to nineteen graduating seniors, a number of them from the original cohort of SEED students – those who enrolled as 6th graders in Fall 2014.  

Too often a student’s zip code determines his socioeconomic status, educational attainment, and career trajectory. SEED School of Miami, chartered in 2014 as a public boarding school, intended to change that reality for students from some of Miami’s low-income neighborhoods by providing wrap-around supports aimed at high school and college graduation.  “Positive staff/student, staff/family, and staff/staff relationships are the foundation of our work at SEED. These relationships are the fuel that propel students, families and staff to persevere through adversity, to seek excellence, and ultimately to materialize our mission,” said Kara Locke, Ed.D., Head of School, SEED Miami. 

Students who attend SEED live on campus Sunday evening through Friday afternoon and benefit not only from academic instruction, but also from healthy adult relationships that encourage students to envision and prepare for a thriving and successful future. Providing students stability and a comfortable sense of place are new dormitories which opened in October 2020. 

Ensuring all students, regardless of zip code, receive a high-quality education is foundational to ensuring educational equity. “Helios’ vision is for every individual in both Arizona and Florida to have the opportunity to attend and be prepare to succeed in postsecondary education,” said Paul J. Luna. “The academic, social, and emotional supports provided by SEED’s staff is essential to the fulfillment of that vision.”    

SEED School of Miami is not only life-impacting for the student, it is also transformational for families as many SEED students are the first in their families to graduate high school. “This year's class reminds us of the power and possibility of resilience in our youth. Despite a pandemic this year, and facing hurricanes, relocations, etc. in the past, our graduates persevered and kept the goal of college enrollment in the forefront of their mind,” said Ms. Locke. All SEED graduates will continue their education by enrolling in either a 2- or 4-year college or university. Graduates will attend a variety of schools, including Spelman College, Wake Forest, and Howard University, among others. “My son is a generational curse breaker” wrote a mother whose son was the first male in their family to graduate high school. “It has been an honor, and a privilege to have partnered with you and the SEED staff in the grooming, molding, and nurturing of my prize.”

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