Posse Foundation students from Boston enjoying life at Centre
RELEASED: Jan. 11, 2007
DANVILLE, KY—Nine first-year students from Boston are settling in to life at Centre as a result of the College's new partnership with the Posse Foundation of New York City. Among the students is a violinist whose parents are from Puerto Rico, a Haitian immigrant who wants to become a doctor, and a soccer and baseball player originally from Honduras.
"One unexpected and impressive aspect of Posse is how many immigrants or first-generation Americans are among them," says Beau Weston, N.E.H. Professor of Sociology and faculty mentor to Centre's first Posse group of students. "These students make a positive contribution to the diversity of our campus."
Although not all of the Posse students are recent immigrants, most still face a bit of cultural adjustment. Annie O'Brien '10 defines herself as quintessential Boston Irish, but says she's growing used to certain habits exclusive to Kentuckians.
"Before I left for college, I was a city girl, through and through," she says. "After three months in a state I never thought I'd step foot in, I've started to see the magic of it and understand why people who lived here and left can't wait to come back again."
"What we get out of this is, first, a group of leaders," Weston says. "Second, we get a quite diverse group of students from a part of the country that any national college needs to draw students from."
Cynthia Estremera, a Posse student from Wilmington, Mass., a small town 15 miles north of Boston, also has adjusted to small cultural differences.
"It was a surprise to see how friendly just about everyone is here," Estremera says. "Centre students seem to help each other out and are willing to form study groups and such."
Since coming to Centre last fall, Estremera has taken advantage of the many extracurricular opportunities on Centre's campus.
"I'm a member of the Diversity Student Union and International Student Alliance," she says. "I volunteer as an ESL [English as a Second Language] tutor at Danville High School, and I play the violin in the Centre Orchestra."
Founded in 1989, the Posse Foundation recruits and spends a year preparing a small group—or posse—of inner city students for placement at one of its 26 partner colleges. (This group includes some of the nation's most prestigious institutions: Bryn Mawr College, Carleton College, Grinnell College, Middlebury College and Oberlin College, for example.) The students receive full four-year scholarships from the school. A new group of Posse students will start at Centre each fall for at least the next three years.
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