Centre welcomes eighth group of Posse Scholars to campus

Posted by Centre News in Campus, News 19 Sep 2013

perisic_hariThe class of 2017 is one of Centre’s largest and most diverse, in part because of the continued growth of the Posse Program, which sent its eighth group to Centre this fall.

The Posse Program first partnered with Centre in 2005. The New York-based program recruits outstanding young leaders in urban school systems in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., Miami, Houston and New Orleans, preparing them for entrance into some of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges and universities. Centre’s partnership is with the Boston office.

The Posse Scholars receive full-ride merit scholarships at Centre. As leaders on campus, Posse Scholars are expected to help create an atmosphere that is welcoming for students of all backgrounds. Each new class of Posse Scholars is accompanied by a faculty or staff mentor, and this year’s mentor is Associate Director of Admission Pam Baughman.

“My role is to connect Scholars to valuable resources, push them to excel and motivate them to graduate,” Baughman explains. “My hope is to provide constant support for their academic, social and personal growth.”

Part of this role involves organizing Posse retreats and events that focus and motivate the group while also allowing them to explore their new home.

“We plan to explore Kentucky, particularly the horse industry,” she says, “and also connect with members of the Danville community and immerse ourselves in campus life.”

Hari Perisic, a Montenegran Posse Scholar who grew up in Everett, Mass., notes that Kentucky is actually semi-familiar.

“Centre reminds me of Bosnia, my mother’s homeland, and Montenegro for some odd reason. The people here are exceptionally nice.”

banor_valentinePerisic comes from a diverse family, and wants to impart some of that diversity to the rest of campus.

“Being born in war-torn Yugoslavia (present day Montenegro) forced my parents to leave medical school, seek refuge in America and start a whole new life,” he explains. “Living through my parents’ divorce, watching them remarry, having a Haitian step-dad, a Columbian step-mom and a brother that’s 16 years younger than me is just the surface of the diversity I’ve encountered. Posse gives me the chance to meet with a whole group of diverse people, and together we can share our diverse experiences with everybody we interact with.”

Valentine Banor is another Posse Scholar coming to Centre this year. Hailing from Malden, Mass., Banor became interested in Posse after his brother completed the program.

“The thing that attracted me to Centre was that I heard about how much the teachers care about their students and how they love what they teach,” he says. “My favorite part of being at Centre is the different people I’ve met so far and hearing about where they come from.”

Above all for Baughman, the chance to be a part of these young people’s college experience is an exciting one.

“I feel honored and grateful that I get to spend quality time with such an exceptional group of scholars,” she says. “They inspire me, and I look forward to the day when all 10 Centre Posse 8 Scholars receive their Centre diplomas.”

By Mariel Smith