Success from start to finish: first `Posse' to graduateReleased on May 07, 2002
Contact: Dennis Nealon (781) 736-4205
Commencement is May 26
Now they are graduating. The first Posse Scholars arrived on the Brandeis campus from New York City four years ago--talented, articulate, ambitious, creative students with varied backgrounds--chosen through a rigorous process that focuses on leadership potential.
Talk about competitive. Brandeis gets its Posse Scholars from New York City, and this year in New York City alone there were 1,400 nominations for 90 scholarship slots. Candidates go through large group and individual interviews over three months, enduring a process of elimination. When Brandeis finally picks its 10 posse scholars, it's a very special honor.
That honor was bestowed on these Posse Scholars who are graduating this May: Priscilla Araya, Jenelle S. Clarke, Sophia Moon, Natalee N. Graham, Marco Barreto, Kenroy G. Granville, Kate Trambitskaya, and Abbas Qureshi. Created by Posse President and Founder Deborah Bial '87, in the past 13 years the Posse Program has placed 531 students into top colleges and universities.
These students have won over $44 million in scholarships from Posse partner universities and are persisting and graduating at 90 percent, a rate higher than the national averages at institutions of higher education. This year there were 172 Posse scholars chosen nationally in Boston, Chicago and New York City.
Posses arrive on campus armed with extensive preparation. Students go through 34 weeks of training, meeting every week for a two-hour workshop after school during their senior year in high school to make them not only academically prepared, but also psychologically prepared. They bond with Posse peers who make the leap into college together. And when they get there, they each have a mentor who meets with them on campus. Who are these students? Energetic, vocal, focused, a disciplinarian with a sense of humor, warm, confident Posse Scholar Priscilla Araya '02 has a contagious laugh. A time manager who sets priorities, one of four girls whose parents came here from Costa Rica, Araya majored in sociology, and minored in Spanish and Latin American studies.
"Posse made Brandeis so much easier--I could discuss social, personal, and academic things with them," she says. A McNair Scholar junior year, working with abused teenage girls as a counselor part-time senior year, Araya is planning to work in New York and then go to graduate school for a masters, possibly in counseling.
Jenelle Clarke '02, a deliberate, thoughtful, ambitious perfectionist ("I'm really driven--if I set my mind on something I can't quit, I've got to do it.") holds her faith in God as her anchor and cherishes the values her parents have instilled in her. She describes herself as a cautious introvert, who yet enjoys spending time and having fun with her friends. Clarke majored in psychology and sociology, and minored in African and Afro-American studies. Accepted by the University of Michigan doctoral joint program in social work and social science, she credits Posse with "easy access to an awesome group of people I have grown so familiar with. My fellow Posse Scholars are a part of my family, and this is especially important to me as an only child."
Talk to all of the Posse Scholars, and the message is clear: Posse works.