CCHS Student Wins Full-Tuition Scholarship to Northwestern University


Jonathan Kim, Copy Editor

One Culver City High School student was announced as a recipient of a full-tuition, four-year scholarship to Northwestern University through the Posse Foundation. 

The prestigious scholarship is based on the idea of a “Posse” — these are small, diverse groups consisting of ten students each. The belief is that through these tight-knit groups, students can support each other throughout their time in college and work to “serve as a catalyst for individual and community development,” according to the Posse Foundation. 

CCHS senior Eric Smith is one of the recipients of the full-tuition Posse scholarship in the Los Angeles area. “I’m very thankful for Mrs. Cordell, Coach Salter, and Mrs. Valverde for helping me get through this process of nominating and selecting me,” Smith said. 

Smith is 1 of 90 Angeleno recipients of the scholarship from the Posse Foundation, which recruits thousands of students across the country from specific cities, each of which is partnered with a select number of colleges. The Posse program in Los Angeles partners with nine different colleges — they individually accommodate a group of 10 Posse students — and includes Tulane University, Northwestern University, and Middlebury College. 

Once students are recruited and later officially selected through a unique, multi-stage interview process, which values students’ leadership and effective team-working abilities, they engage in an eight-month training process known as Pre-Collegiate Training (PCT). Here, Posse scholars like Smith meet in two-hour sessions with their fellow Posse members and program trainers. This training allows students to continue to build their leadership and cooperative skills through important dialogue conversations surrounding social issues. “It’s really about preparing us for the next step to not only go to college, but to thrive in college and take on leadership roles,” Smith said. 

And since Smith will be heading off to Northwestern with his nine other Posse peers following this period of training, this scholarship truly does allow students to see the significance of having a supportive foundation once arriving in college. “This shared experience of going through the Pre-Collegiate Training in the Posse program is going to allow us to integrate into the campus better,” Smith said. “It’s going to give us the opportunity to hit the ground running and allow ourselves to leave a mark on the campus.”

Despite Smith’s anticipation of achieving an education that will allow him to “make a difference” at Northwestern, he mentions at least one aspect of high school that he will definitely miss. “I’m definitely going to miss Culver City’s environment in terms of diversity because I do think we have a very unique experience at Culver that you don’t get in a lot of other places,” Smith said.

To those currently still attending CCHS and aspiring to achieve their own future college dreams, Smith has an important message to share. “The best thing that you can do is to not be afraid to put yourself out there or be vulnerable to be that person who stands out,” he said.