By Mireya Aguilar ’16 and Katia Gomez ’17
Seven Pritzker seniors found the amazing news that they were chosen to receive the Posse scholarship. This was an opportunity for the seniors to attend a four year college with a free tuition.
Jennifer Figueroa and Jasmine Torres received the scholarship to attend Agnes Scott College. Jonathan Martinez and Mireya Sierra were also offered the Posse Scholarship to attend Middlebury College. Graciela Valencia received the news that she got accepted into Trinity College. Ana Reyes-Rosado also heard she was accepted into Connecticut College. Also, Fatima Escalera was filled with joy to know she can attend Oberlin College with the Posse scholarship.
The day that they received the news was the moment they knew everything they have done has been for a reason such as staying up long nights to study for tests to receiving countless ACT practices in every class. The Posse scholarship allowed these Pritzker seniors to receive a once in a lifetime opportunity, to have the chance to attend college, who may have been overlooked from colleges.
Since 1989, students, who have been overlooked in college selection processes, have received four year, full tuition scholarships with the help of the Posse Foundation. At first, in 1989, Vanderbilt University was the only partner of Posse. They took in five students from New York. Those five students later graduated four years later with honors and accolades. Now, Posse has opened their doors for students all over the United States. Posse recruits students from all over the country in cities such as Chicago, Boston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Washington, D.C.
Over the past 26 years, 6,725 public high school students, who have shown academic and leadership potential, have been recruited to become Posse Scholars. With the help of colleges and universities, Posse has awarded over $806 million in leadership scholarships to students with extraordinary potential. The foundation has also succeeded in creating a 90 percent graduation rate, which is much higher than the national average.
The Posse Foundation strives to help the high school students achieve personal and academic greatness. Posse wants to accomplish three goals. First, to expand the diverse background of the students chosen by universities and colleges. Second, help create the colleges’ and universities’ environment into a welcoming campus for all backgrounds. Third, make sure Posse Scholars continue in their academic courses, so they can graduate and take on strong positions in the workforce. The foundation also helps students after college. They are offered tools such as internships and jobs through the Career Program, who plan on creating students leaders in the workforce also.
This year, 20 Pritzker seniors were named Posse Scholarship Semi-finalists, which is more from last year with 11. Also, three seniors, who graduated last year, were able to attend college with the Posse Scholarship. This year, seven seniors received the scholarship.
Graciela Valencia, a senior, was selected to apply for the Posse scholarship. Valencia got accepted into Trinity College, highly selective, private liberal arts school. The school is located in Hartford, Connecticut. Valencia stated, “I was chosen to apply for the Posse Scholarship because I was nominated by Ms. Edwards. I was chosen because of grades, leadership, and many other factors like income.” The Posse scholarship focused around the students’ grades, income, and any extra curricular activities one gets into. When she got the news, she was excited because she got accepted for the Posse scholarship to the college of her dreams. She continues on topic of the process, “If you are one of the 10, they call you to tell you. My interview was Dec. 4, a Friday, and they called me on Monday. Their call to tell me I was a future Bantam, Trinity’s Mascot, was one of the best calls of my life. I just could not believe it! After the three difficult, rigorous rounds, I made it!” a phone call was Valencia’s and along with the other seniors’ ticket into a new future.