Why We're Here

A new way forward after the collapse of urban Catholic education.


Despite their well-established “brand name” and demonstrated success building the knowledge, skills, and character of children in America’s most underserved neighborhoods for more than a century, Catholic schools have seen enrollment plummet by more than 50 percent over the last four decades. Since 2006, more than 1,500 Catholic schools have been closed or consolidated, accelerating a school closure rate of about 1,000 per decade since 1960. Most of these were elementary schools in our inner cities, serving large numbers of Hispanic and African American children. If this trend continues over the next two decades, most of the remaining 3,000 urban Catholic schools will cease to exist, leaving over 900,000 children with few if any options beyond the failing public schools in their neighborhoods (and providing district schools with substantially less competition). 

Declining enrollment and rising operating costs are the main causes for this extraordinary collapse of urban Catholic education—a character-building, Americanizing, opportunity-equalizing force.

Seton Education Partners is a national effort to strategically infuse creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, talented leadership, and public dollars to find a new way forward for urban Catholic education. If you also care about saving this national treasure, please join our community of supporters and prayer warriors.

Our History

Seton Education Partners is a national, 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization founded by lay Catholics and inspired by the life of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Seton was founded at the height of the Great Recession in 2009 by KIPP Foundation pioneer Scott W. Hamilton and Teach for America alumna Stephanie Saroki de García. With a focus on results, Seton is committed to ensuring that children in underserved communities develop the knowledge, skills, and character traits necessary to both earn a college degree and pursue lives of value, faith, and integrity.

Since our founding, Seton has pioneered and grown two initiatives and three programs in service of our mission. Learn more in What We Do.



Seton is founded by Scott W. Hamilton and Stephanie Saroki de García

Seton launches nation’s first robust blended learning Catholic school in San Francisco, the first partner in our Catholic Blended Learning Network



Seton launches the Charter School Initiative, with Brilla College Prep Charter School and El Camino after school program, in The Bronx

Seton launches Seton Teaching Fellows, a program serving El Camino and Brilla in The Bronx



Seton launches two more campuses of Brilla and El Camino in The Bronx​

Seton adds its thirteenth and final blended learning Catholic school in Cleveland, part of a network serving more than 3,300 children in nine cities nationwide

The Church baptizes its 119th El Camino disciple



Seton launches new initiative and flagship school, Romero Academy, in Cincinnati under the authority of Archbishop Dennis Schnurr

Seton launches two more campuses of Brilla and El Camino​

Seton hires its fortieth employee!

Cardinal Dolan grants his imprimatur for El Camino’s curriculum

Seton distributes $400,000 worth of food, supplies, rental assistance, and more to families suffering as a result of COVID-19

The fifth Seton Teaching Fellow enters religious life!

Brillante Academy receives its charter in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, the first school in a new geography for Seton’s Charter School Initiative since launching Brilla in The Bronx

See how we've transformed lives.