Beginning her senior year, Angelica Peña had no idea where she wanted to go to college. During a phone interview on April 23, Peña said, “I did not have any schools in mind on where I wanted to go, but I was considering going to an East-Coast school like around Pennsylvania or New York.” Peña wanted to experience what it was like “going away to college and visit[ing] new cities” like Philadelphia or New York. However, Peña’s college process would change when she was interviewed to be a part of Chicago Scholars.
According to their mission statement on their website, Chicago Scholars “uniquely select, train, and mentor academically ambitious students from under-resourced communities to complete college and become the next generation of leaders who will transform their neighborhoods and our city.”
“Being a part of Chicago Scholars gave me lots of opportunities like meeting college admissions and recommending me to the Posse Foundation,” Peña said during the phone interview.
According to their website, the Posse Foundation “identifies, recruits, and trains individuals with extraordinary leadership potential. Posse Scholars receive full-tuition leadership scholarships from Posse’s partner colleges and universities.” Peña and 12 other Pritzker students were interviewed to try and receive a Posse Scholarship; however, only three students at Pritzker were able to get it. “There were three rounds of interviews and I was so nervous for each one because I really wanted to get this scholarship,” Peña said. When Peña was matched with St. Olaf College, she was excited because it was in her top 5 college choices. “I am grateful for being a part of this amazing program and getting to continue my education,” Peña said. Peña will be studying at St. Olaf college in the fall with Maria Ramirez, another Posse Scholar.
While being a Posse scholar, Peña will join other students who got matched to St. Olaf and experience college together. “I am glad that I am able to have some friends to come with me to college because I will not feel so alone,” Peña said. Since Peña will be going to St. Olaf with people in her group, she is able to create “[a] sense of community” and be “more comfortable with transitions to college”.
“One of the main things that [made e excited] about going to St. Olaf was how easy it is to study abroad,” Peña said. “Studying abroad is one of the main things I want to do when I am in college because I want to see the world and experience what it is like to love in other places around the world,” Peña said.