shift_ed is excited to announce the addition of the SEO Scholars program to its services aimed at boldly accelerating student potential. Giselle Mansi will lead the program launch as shift_ed Director of SEO Recruitment.

SEO Scholars is a free, eight-year program designed to close the academic and opportunity gap for motivated Guilford County Schools (GCS) high school students. The program begins in 9th grade with rigorous academic instruction, quality mentorship, and individualized advising to ensure SEO Scholars are admitted to competitive colleges and experience a rich and rewarding college education. Programs in New York and San Francisco have a 90% college graduation rate.

An SEO and Guilford County partnership is a bold way to tip the scales in the direction of equity says shift_ed CEO Wendy Poteat. “By creating opportunities for education and career exploration, students see what they can do and who they can be. Their potential grows with every new experience, and their success accelerates success for our whole community.”

Mansi brings her experience as a teacher, college success coach and Director of the YWCA Latino Family Center to shift_ed. “Extra academic support, mentorship, and positive peer pressure provide a lifelong network for shift_ed SEO Scholars.  We are equipping them with tools and knowledge to find success greater than they even dreamed.” 

“Since 1963, SEO has been preparing and propelling hard-working students to get to and through college.  Talent is everywhere and opportunity is not,” said William Goodloe, President and CEO of SEO.  “We are excited to join shifted_ed in bringing SEO programs to Guilford County students.”

The SEO Scholars Guilford County Program includes:

  • virtual academic programming held three Saturdays per month during the academic year–experienced SEO instructors deliver a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum of ELA and math. Classes are discussion-based, seminar-style courses. 
  • five-week Summer Academy featuring four weeks of Monday – Friday day-long virtual academic coursework and a week of in-person community-building programming
  • SAT Virtual Strategy Course. Saturday Academy continues throughout the 11th grade, concluding in an SAT strategy course in the spring. 
  • mentoring. Scholars work one-on-one with volunteer mentors. 

Shift_ed plans to open SEO Scholars registration on September 1. Candidate interviews will occur in January 2023, and the 9th grade cohort officially begins programming in late February.

“Program expansion and continuous improvement have historically been a part of the SEO Scholars Program, when we felt ready to reach and support more young people,” said Jordan McFarlane-Beau, Head of Expansion for SEO Scholars. “Given our strong outcomes in New York City and San Francisco, expansion into Guilford County, North Carolina provides us with the opportunity to broaden our reach so that talented students get the education and opportunities they deserve.”  

“We want our students to know that anything is possible,” says Poteat. “With bold collaboration like this– it truly is.”

shift_ed partners with GCS to provide thousands of hours of tutoring, college prep and financial aid workshops, and career counseling to students. Thanks to generous community support, shift_ed has awarded more than $12.6 million to GCS graduates since 2016. Scholarship registration is open October 1-June 1.  

shift_ed boldly accelerates student potential