SEEK (Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge) is a higher education opportunity program at the senior four-year CUNY colleges. The program originally began at The City College of New York in 1965 and was signed into law by the New York State legislature in 1966 as the City University’s higher education opportunity program in the four-year senior colleges. The program was established to provide students who demonstrated academic and financial disadvantages access to a pathway to higher education.
This photo campaign is inspired by “I Too, Am, Harvard” — a project of one student who highlighted the stories and voices of 63 black Harvard students. Similarly, this campaign is a platform for John Jay College SEEK students to voice their stories about negative or stereotypical remarks made against them.
Our voices in our classes go unheard by our professors and our educational ability among non-SEEK students are often times questioned. This campaign represents our voices in standing up and saying we are SEEK and we too are worthy.
Translation* “But SEEK isn’t it for poor people? You’re just begging them for money.” – Friend.
Translation* “The SEEK Program is for students with lower academic standards.” – Friend.
List of honors and activities that featured SEEK students are currently involved in at John Jay College of Criminal Justice
2 = Study Aboard
1 = John Jay College SEEK Alumna
8 = Chi Alpha Epsilon (XAE) National Honor Society
11 = Has either a full-time or part-time job
9 = Involved with one or more clubs at John Jay College
1 = John Jay Vera Fellow
3 = Ronald E. McNair Scholar
$20,000 = Total Amount of Scholarship Money Won
3 = SEEK Peer Mentor
1 = Student Athlete
1 = Student Council Representative
3 = Peer Ambassador
1 = Peer Counselor
2 = Pinkerton Community Fellow
1 = Presidential Intern
3 = Urban Male Initiative Peer Advocate Mentor
16 = Urban Male Initiative Student
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY SEEK Students Breaking Barriers
Special thank you to Professor Sara Whitestone and Dr. Monika Son of John Jay College for their words of encouragement and being my cheerleader throughout this process.