At SEED, we begin to offer intensive college preparation to our students their junior year of high school. Our students learn how to financially prepare for college, tour colleges and universities across the country, and enroll in a semester-long course focused on ensuring a smooth transition from SEED to college life.
But we know that unexpected challenges that may arise while in college can derail our students’ college dreams. That’s why SEED’s College Transition & Success team is here to help every SEED student throughout the entire college process—from junior year of high school to college graduation.
Monique Matthews (SEED DC ’04) hit a snag her freshman year and began to rethink her college journey. With the support of Vincena Allen, who founded the College Transition & Success program, Monique remained on track and persisted to college completion.
This month, we spoke to Monique to learn more about her college journey and where she is now.
What college or university did you attend?
I attended Southeastern University, where I majored in public health and clinical science.
How was your transition from SEED to college?
My transition from SEED was hard, because I initially chose to attend a college that was not the best fit for me. I thank Ms. Vincena Allen for helping me successfully get through my freshman year. There were many days I wanted to quit because I was unhappy, but she continued to support me and encouraged me to finish the year strong—and I did. By my sophomore year, I was enrolled at Southeastern University—and there I found what “worked” for me. I got into a better rhythm and took full advantage of every opportunity.
Did you stay connected to SEED while in college?
While in college, I participated in many SEED events, including the Alumni Institute [now the SEED Graduate Institute]. I am thankful for the friendships and relationships I built at SEED, because they helped me to navigate the college process and to overcome any obstacles.
What did you do after graduating from Southeastern University?
After graduating from Southeastern University in 2009, I took a year off from school to focus on establishing my career in the federal government. I had a desire to obtain my master’s degree. Ms. Allen was there to support my goal and cheer me along the way, and in 2010 I enrolled at Trinity Washington University and graduated in 2012 with a Master of Public Community Health degree.
I will be celebrating 13 years of working in the federal government this September! I currently serve as a program manager at the US Department of Labor, where I manage the department’s services and programs that help our employees maintain a healthy work-life balance.
How did your experience at SEED impact you?
My experience at SEED has impacted me in more ways than one. I learned that only I am in control of my success and not to compare my success to others around me. This has helped me remain focused on the bigger picture and my long-term goals.
SEED has also provided me with a tremendous support system. Having a dream is great, but having a group of people behind you, pushing you to be a better you with every breath in their bodies—there is no feeling greater.
SEED continues to be a significant part of my life. The relationships I formed at SEED 20 years ago still thrive today. I am the woman I have become today mostly because of SEED. I am proud to say I am a SEED alumna and proud of my experience.