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The Persistence of Posse Scholars

Simone McMullen
Seniors Amarachi Ajie (left) and Julissa Rodriguez (right).

Culver City High School seniors Amarachi Ajie and Julissa Rodriguez have been chosen to receive full-tuition college scholarships from The Posse Foundation.


Each year, the Posse Foundation gives scholarships to twelve thousand deserving students throughout the US. However, that is just the start. Posse provides support and mentorship to scholars during all 4 years of college, as there is a Posse representative at every partnered school. Even after those four years, Posse continues to provide students with support by connecting them with internships and work opportunities. Furthermore, these chosen students go to college with a “posse”, consisting of about 10 people.


“You are going to be with other people that are very similar to you, you won’t be by yourself,” said Rodriguez. “That was what made it so appealing to me.” 


In order to be given this prestigious honor, students go through a lengthy process. Teachers and counselors nominate students for exceptional work and for showing leadership qualities. “It doesn’t have to be conventional leadership; it can be helping your parents with rent. That is a form of leadership because Posse really highlights diversity,” said Ajie. 


After a nomination, seniors go through three interviews. The first one consists of 100 students in a room, while administrators observe the students doing a series of bonding activities and collaborative work. The next is a one-on-one interview with two Posse staff where they discuss grades, extracurriculars and activities that the students partake in outside of school. Lastly, the final interview is with 20 students who are all selected for the same university. In this stage, activities are detail oriented to a specific school and students are evaluated by their solutions to scenarios. While it is time consuming, Rodriguez advises students not to be discouraged but “to stick with it because it is very rewarding.”


Rodriguez will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is planning on majoring in Nursing. She wants to make sure that she continues volunteering at hospitals and stays involved with the Posse alumni, as the foundation has many connections to professionals in the medical field.


Ajie will be attending Hobart and William Smith College, a private liberal arts school in New York. She plans to major in law, with the hopes of going into politics. She believes the Posse Alumni group will be very beneficial to her future career, as it will help her work her way up faster. Since many politicians are Posse alumni, she hopes to work and learn from them as she becomes an upcoming leader.


Both recipients recommend and encourage all students to give this scholarship a try. “In today’s world, we think that for scholarships, it is necessary to have a 4.0 GPA and be president of every club in your school,” Ajie said. “It’s nice, but that’s not what Posse is all about. It focuses more on you as a person and your qualities, so Posse is a good way for students who are overlooked in their school to win and succeed.”


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About the Contributors
Emaan Sheik, Staff Writer
Simone McMullen
Simone McMullen, Staff Photographer
Hi! My name is Simone McMullen and I am currently a Junior at Culver City High School. As of now, I am the publicist for the school’s Track & Field team, Junior Class Council, and now the Journalism Club.
I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and dogs. I hope to produce amazing content for journalism as the year progresses!

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