Six School for Advanced Studies students were awarded the Posse Foundation scholarship, which covers full tuition for up to four years at any of the program’s six partner schools.
The organization, which measures leadership and teamwork, received more than 1,250 applicants for the Posse Miami Scholarship. The list was narrowed to 60 winners.
“The Posse Foundation is dedicated to connecting youth to competitive colleges and universities that might otherwise be out of reach,” said Nadine Dalrymple, the director of Posse Miami since 2011, “and then giving them the tools and supports they need to succeed and lead on campus and in the world.”
The recipients are Ashley Jimenez and Skyler Odin of Wolfson Campus who will attend Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. Homestead Campus students Camille Molas and Jeffrey Rodriguez will attend Pomona College in California, and Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania, respectively. Kendall Campus student Carlos Vegas will attend Davidson College in North Carolina and Shantelle Willock, who also attends Kendall Campus will transfer to Syracuse University in New York.
The awardees, who applied as high school juniors, will transfer to their desired institutions in the fall and will arrive with sophomore college status.
The School for Advanced Studies, located at the Wolfson, North, Kendall, West and Homestead campuses, offers a rigorous curriculum for high school students in their last two years of high school. Students take four advanced placement courses and four college courses per semester. When they graduate with a high school diploma, they have accumulated enough college credits to also obtain an associate’s degree.
“We build resilience through the SAS program,” said Omar Monteagudo, the principal of SAS. “We’re giving the students the platform they need to grow on their own.”
Monteagudo believes the Posse Foundation serves as “socioemotional support for the students because it allows them to become part of a group so they can acclimate to succeed in the colleges they go to.”
Camille Molas, an 18-year-old double major in astrophysics and public policy analysis, said she knew that when she received the acceptance to Pomona College, she also received the Posse scholarship. And that made it doubly emotional.
“I was eating dinner trying to calm down and it was 9:20 p.m., and at 9:28 p.m. my phone started ringing and it was the dean of student affairs at Pomona. She told me, ‘Congratulations, you’re part of the 2021 class of Pomona College!’’ recalled Molas. “I cried so much and my mom did too.”
The Posse Foundation offers different resources for their awardees, who they call scholars, through networking opportunities, mentoring programs and workshops to help them with the transferring process.
Opened in 1989, the Posse Foundation received its name for its unique style of having students interact with each other in a group that will all transfer to the same school. Another word for posse is a group, pack or herd. These groups or “posses” are made up of 10 students and meet weekly in the Posse Miami office, located in Brickell.
Students are nominated by school counselors or previous Posse scholars.
“The Foundation gives us a safe space to interact and become friends with other students who will be transferring to our same school,” said Carlos Vegas, a 17-year-old biology major. “It’s cool because we’re all from different backgrounds and ethnicities, but we all have some things in common like ambition, teamwork and that we all want to succeed.”
Vegas will study orthopedics at Davidson College.
Applicants choose their transfer institution based on what the institution can offer in their field of study, the school size and location.
“I picked Davidson College because it’s the closest one to Miami where research is very common and that to me is very important for me going to medical school,” Vegas said, who attends Kendall Campus.
Others like Molas, chose to go a greater distance.
“California’s far away, and I’m leaving my family,” said Molas, who is an SAS student at Homestead Campus. “So knowing I have my posse and the Foundation puts me at ease and brings me peace in the transfer process.”
Her Pomona College move-in day is Aug. 19.
“Not only am I proud of their accomplishments, but given their academic track record at SAS, there’s no doubt in my mind they’ll succeed,” Monteagudo said.