NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) hosted its 13th Annual Awards Dinner on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan. SEO was pleased to welcome almost 1000 guests to raise funds for our key programs.
The evening showcased SEO’s founding program, SEO Scholars, our eight year academic program that gets underserved public high school students to and through college. Six Scholars were invited to the stage to share their stories as representatives of the program. SEO also honored three leaders in the fields of banking, education and public service: Robert J. McCann, Chairman Americas at UBS, Congresswoman and SEO Career Alumna Terri A. Sewell, and Arne Duncan, Former U.S. Secretary of Education. The dinner chair was Kenneth B. Mehlman, Member, KKR.
In addition to SEO Scholars, SEO is comprised of two other distinct programs – SEO Career and SEO Alternative Investments. Both aim to achieve greater diversity and inclusion in the workforce by providing access to careers in high-level business sectors for those who have been traditionally underrepresented.
“The goal of SEO remains what it’s always been since its inception in 1963 - to demonstrate that ethnic background and socio-economic status do not pre-determine a young person’s future,” said William Goodloe, President and CEO of SEO.
“SEO doesn’t just reduce the achievement gap. It eliminates it entirely. SEO identifies and stimulates the talents, power and tools that reside in each SEO student, teaching them there are no limits to their achievement,” said Kenneth Mehlman, Member, KKR, and Chairman of the Awards Dinner.
“Since becoming Chairman of SEO’s Board of Directors, I’ve continued to be inspired by the determination of the young people we serve. Having several SEO alumni at KKR, I know firsthand the power of this great organization and the tremendous talent that SEO unleashes,” said Henry R. Kravis, Founding Partner KKR “Our institutions benefit when SEO alumni join our ranks and as a result, our organizations – and ultimately society – are stronger and more successful.”
"As a first-generation college graduate, I know that my education set me on the right path to reaching my goals, so UBS's partnership with SEO is a source of great pride for me," said Bob McCann, Chairman UBS Americas. "Through UBS NextGen Leaders, our organizations are working together to provide support and access that will help today's students achieve lifelong success. Similarly, through SEO Career, we are helping undergrads as they make the leap from academic studies to professional careers, all while strengthening UBS by bringing talented people with diverse perspectives into our firm."
“I still look forward to a time when ambition and intelligence alone will determine who succeeds in America,” said SEO Founder & Chairman Emeritus Michael Osheowitz. “Until then, I trust that SEO will continue to open doors for deserving young people, and that those whose lives have been touched by SEO will light a pathway of success for others.”
Since 1963, SEO has provided educational and career opportunities to over 11,000 young people from underserved and underrepresented communities, breaking barriers both in higher education and the corporate world.
About Sponsors for Educational Opportunity
SEO 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 three programs: SEO Scholars is an eight-year academic program that gets low-income public high school students to and through college—with a 95% college graduation rate; SEO Career is a summer internship and professional development program targeting talented Black, Hispanic, and Native American undergrads and pre-law school candidates—with over 85% of 2015 interns receiving full-time job offers; SEO Alternative Investments provides education, exposure, training and mentoring opportunities to talented professionals traditionally underrepresented in the alternative investments sector. 90% of AI Fellows have secured jobs in the alternative investments sector. For more information, visit www.seo-usa.org.
We are happy to coordinate interviews with our honorees, members of SEO’s executive team. For media inquiries or media passes to this event, please contact Julian Johnson at SEO.