The Posse Journey
By Marilyn Gonzalez
12th grade student
I was honored to be nominated for the Posse scholarship. Posse is a full-ride scholarship to one of the 10 schools Posse is partnered with. It is a scholarship designed to benefit urban high school students who have shown academic promise. There are three rounds to this scholarship. The first round was a group interview, which is more to measure the candidate’s character and leadership qualities. The second round is considered the semi-finalist round, in which the nominated students who made the first cut had the opportunity interview with two other judges. The third round is the finalist round, where the nominee gets to decide whether to go to the school that wants him or her, or not.
Other students from Roberto Clemente Community Academy and I had the privilege to attend the semi-finalist round. When I found out I had been chosen for the second round, I read the email in disbelief. I remember leaving the first round thinking I could have done a better job, but fortunately for me, the judges thought otherwise. When we were notified we had made it to the semi-finalist round, Gear Up held a small meeting, handing out papers with questions they might ask on the second round. We practiced our answers in mock interviews. My One Goal teacher Mr. Landaverde encouraged me to talk to Mr. Oakes because he had personal experience with the Posse scholarship process.
After days of getting prepared and doing research, the day of the second round interviews had finally arrived. I made sure I had my high school transcript, progress report, and my little notebook with the college research of all ten Posse schools. As I arrived at the Posse office, I was greeted with a huge sign that read, “Welcome Posse Semi-Finalists” on a big chalkboard wall. It did not take long before they called me in. There were two women in the room with me. They asked me questions about myself as if it were a job interview, just like we practiced. They made me feel welcomed, positive, and comfortable. I have not yet received an email from them, but I am aware that a student from Roberto Clemente did make it to the finalist round. Congratulations, Kyle Rodriguez, for your hard work and dedication!