The 2016 Posse Awards Ceremony took place in Boston in early January, recognizing young leaders who have won the prestigious Posse Scholarship.
Posse is a college-access program for talented high school leaders from underrepresented urban populations. It recruits students starting in their junior year, works with them during their senior year to prepare them for academically challenging college environments, then sends them in groups of 10—by then carefully developed into their own support system called a Posse—to 55 mostly liberal arts colleges throughout the country.
This year, 60 students from Boston were awarded $11.2 million in four-year, full‑tuition leadership scholarships from Bryn Mawr College, Bucknell University, Centre College, Denison University, Hamilton College and Union College. This will be Centre’s eleventh class of Posse Scholars.
Representatives from all six institutions attended the annual ceremony to meet with their new Posse class, which is also the first time that the many Posse groups have an opportunity to meet with one other. Families were also invited to the special day, and this year Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker attended as well as Deborah Bial, the founder of the Posse Program. Bial will also be Centre’s 2016 Commencement keynote speaker, which is especially fitting as Centre’s tenth class of Posse Scholars will graduate in May.
Representatives from Centre included Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Bob Nesmith, Associate Director of Admission Sarah Miller and Assistant Director of Admission Gregory Chery, who said that the program is integral in providing opportunities for the students involved.
“Posse provides a level of comfort and familiarity for the students but also provides an opportunity for mentorship on campus and connects them with other members of the community,” Chery explained.
The students develop strong relationships within their “posse” by meeting every single week prior to August while in high school. Chery said the Boston-Centre connection is very important as college is “a whole new world” and these friendships make the transition much smoother.
The weekend following the event, Chery gave the new Posse members an early introduction to the Centre Experience by inviting the new class and Centre Posse alumni to a dinner.
“It’s the first time we’ve ever done that,” he said. “It seems the new students felt a lot more comfortable after talking to the alums. They were able to look at all of these people who went to Centre and returned to Boston who had a great college experience.”
Pictured above: Centre College’s eleventh class of Posse Scholars at the 2016 Posse Awards Ceremony in Boston with Sarah Miller, Lisa Nesmith, Bob Nesmith (far left, l to r) and Gregory Chery (far right).
by Elise L. Murrell
February 9, 2016