Youth Development

Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, Inc.

aka SEO

New York, NY


The SEO Mission:  To prepare young people to lead by example in their families, communities and careers

Ruling Year


President & CEO

Mr. William A. Goodloe

Main Address

55 Exchange Place

New York, NY 10005 USA


Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, SEO, diversity, minority, college preparation, college admission, career development, youth development, after school education, closing achievement gap





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

SEO Scholars

SEO Career

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Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

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What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

SEO aims to:

1.Effectively close the achievement gap on the SAT between low-income urban students and their higher income suburban peers, across race and ethnicity.

2. Ensure that low-income students from New York City public high schools matriculate at competitive colleges.

3. Ensure that its low-income public high school students are not only admitted to college, but also will graduate on-time and are optimally positioned for strong entry into a career or graduate school.

A recent analysis conducted by Root Cause estimated that annually 10,500 New York City public school 9th graders fit SEO's target profile based on academics and socioeconomic status. SEO's long range goal is to serve at least 10% of that population by the end of the decade if we can secure the funding.

Goal One Strategy: In the Out of School Time (OST) environment, The SEO Scholars program provides 9th through 12th grade public high school students with a curriculum - chiefly in English and math - that offers the academic rigor lacking in their regular school day. Students participate in classes three Saturdays per month in addition to two hours after school each week and a four week Summer Academy for rising 10th and 11th graders. During the high school years, the SEO Scholars program will provide students with more than 720 additional hours of rigorous instruction in critical reading, critical writing, vocabulary, grammar and math. Students participate in an in-depth math and ELA curriculum review as well as SAT preparation classes during the spring.
Goal Two Strategy: Students participate in staff and volunteer led college visits beginning in 9th grade. Staff and mentors work with students to apply for scholarships programs and under the guidance of the college admission manager students will identify and apply to colleges.
Goal Three Strategy: SEO provides on-going psychosocial, academic and career guidance during the college years. Services are provided by LMSW and Master's level program managers and graduates in field placements from Columbia University and Fordham University.

SEO participated in the 2011 Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge. We worked with a team of outstanding Morgan Stanley employees that helped as strategic advisors. The team provided high impact strategic analysis and advice on critical program expansion models aimed to enhance our mission. From this eight week process evolved the business model for growth and expansion of the SEO Scholars program in New York and eventually for other selected cities in the future.

Opportunities for Investment:
Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) is seeking investment to help sustain and expand SEO Scholars. Though 800-1,000 students in New York city apply to the program each year, SEO Scholars currently accepts just 125. The goal is to accept 250 9th grade students in New York City per year starting in 2015. In order to increase the number of students served, SEO is seeking investment to expand various organizational and programmatic components such as staff, classroom space and technology.

SEO Core Assets:
SEO has built and maintains a strong performance measurement system and culture. The organization's commitment to performance measurement is evident in the systems and procedures throughout the organization linking individual staff performance with outcomes for participants. Data is fully integrated into the program's operations and decision-making processes; and staff members at all levels exhibit dedication to data and performance measurement. This commitment helps ensure that the program remains focused and achieves excellent outcomes.

SEO continues to cultivate relationships with higher education institutions like Baruch College and New York University. Both of these institutions provide low cost space for the Saturday academy of the SEO Scholars and for events of the College Scholars such as the Winter Retreat. SEO continues to broaden and strengthen our partnerships.

The alumni network of SEO is over 7,000 strong in the United States of which 3,000 are in the tri-state area of NY/NJ and CT. From this network SEO draws a large contingent of the mentors and professional involved in career development and mentoring of the high school and college students.

SEO staffing is high quality. The College Scholars program uses only LSW counselors and the best practices honed by the hands-on experience and research based proven strategies and tools.

The Board of Directors are highly engaged in the SEO planning and execution. They have detailed understanding of how the programs effect change and have networks that allow them to reach others that want to help grow SEO.

SEO has over 50 years of recruiting knowledge and capacity to reach into the school communities across New York City to engage the low income students that will benefit from the program.

High School Scholars Target Metrics:
1. Program Attendance and Homework Completion rates of 90% or greater.
2. To continue to close the Achievement Gap as measured by the College Board. The average total SAT scores of SEO seniors will be equal to or exceed the SAT scores of all college bound seniors without regard to race or ethnicity.
3. 100% of high school Scholars will be admitted to four year colleges
4. 60% of students will be admitted to top two Barron’s tiers (Most, and Highly Competitive) , and at least 80% will be admitted to top three Barron’s tiers ( Most, Highly and very Competitive).

College Scholars Target Metrics:
1. At least 90% of graduating SEO high school seniors will continue their affiliation with SEO by participating in the SEO Scholars college program.
2. 80% of SEO Scholars participating in the College Scholars program will graduate from college within four years of matriculation, and 95 percent of SEO Scholars participating in the College Scholars program will graduate from college within six years of matriculation.
3. The average GPA of first year SEO College Scholars will be at least 2.8; that of all SEO College Scholars will be at least 3.0.
4. 95% of SEO College Scholars will receive psychosocial support via retreats, workshops and 1:1 counseling.

These targets are evidence based. Changes are made only when consistent data over time demonstrate the need.

Nationwide, low-income students typically score 150-300 points less on the SAT than other students do. In fact, research from The Education Trust finds that students of color and from disadvantaged backgrounds, on average, don’t do as well on the SAT as their peers from wealthier families–even when those students start out as high-achievers. In 2014, Policy Studies Associates conducted a study of SEO Scholars entitled: Comparison of SEO Scholars and National Test-Takers’ SAT Scores, 2009-2013. The study shows that for the past five years, our Black and Hispanic Scholars outscored all national test-takers on the SAT. This holds true even when comparing SAT scores by grade point average. SEO Scholars who have an A average scored 1697 compared to all students nationally who scored a 1669. In addition, SEO Black and Hispanic Scholars who have an A average scored 1685 on the SATS compared to all Black & Hispanic students who scored a 1479. SEO Scholars who earn a B average also outperform their peers.
In light of a previous study conducted by Policy Studies Associates that found that SEO Scholars outperformed a matched comparison group on various educational outcomes, these results further suggest that the additional classroom instruction and support SEO provides participants helps address gaps in academic performance between underserved populations and their college-bound peers.
Program Outcome Data: 100% of the graduating high school class of 2014 were accepted to four-year colleges.
94% of students were accepted to a college ranked Most, Highly or Very Competitive by Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges - the top three ranked tiers - including Barnard College, Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, Trinity College and Vassar College.
Scholars won more than $1.8 million in scholarships and grants for their first year of college. From a Historical Perspective: The four year college graduation rate for SEO College Scholars students is 80%. This rate is based on the number of Scholars who graduated college within four years of enrollment. This rate is s based on college classes of 2010,2011, 2012 and 2013. The six year graduation rate of 95% is based on the college classes of 2010, 2011,and 2012.SEO has closed the education gap as proven by SAT scores and college acceptance rates. In addition we have proven that greater numbers of low income students can graduate if given effective and timely counseling, guidance, opportunities to broaden their experience and skills to navigate the college environment and academic demands. The SEO culture of high performance and quality is for both students and staff. This is one of the major strengths of the organization that needs to be maintained in our curriculum and staff as we grow and expand the programs to more students. SEO continues to examine our processes for developing staff and recruiting the best staff possible because we believe that our staff is one of our strongest assets.

External Reviews

Awards & Accreditations

Charity Navigator



Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, Inc.

Fiscal year: Sep 01 - Aug 31

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Race & Ethnicity

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan