For young people to successfully pursue higher education, they need support. Whether it is financial support, social support, or a mentor to encourage them, help for our aspiring youth may mean the difference between receiving a college degree, or never getting the chance.
Zunera Mirza, who had attended a Community Transformation Course as an Emory University student, knew that college doesn’t even seem possible for many Clarkston students. She knew of an organization— The Posse Foundation, Inc.—that funds and supports students from all backgrounds to attend and graduate college.
Zunera contacted CDF staff who, together with a group of partner organizations and the Posse Foundation, hosted an orientation session on Tuesday, April 9, from 1-4 p.m., for students from the Clarkston at the Clarkston Community Center.
Partners in the effort include: Refugee Family Services (RFS), the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD), the Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS), Because We Care, the K.D. Moore Community Development Center, the Clarkston Youth Initiative (CYI), and the Little Red Resource House.
Posse Foundation representatives and a panel of former Posse scholars spoke to them about the full-ride scholarships and the support programs they offer. Justin Swartzwelder, program specialist at CPACS, said this orientation is part of a collective effort by these organizations to encourage and support area youth who want to attend college.
“We are trying to push for students in the Clarkston area to be aware of higher education, which will hopefully lead to better careers,” he said.
Posse scholars, when selected, will receive full ride scholarships to one of the six universities partnered with Posse Atlanta. These schools include Bard College, Boston University, Brandeis University, the College of Wooster, Syracuse University, and Texas A & M University. Ten students are chosen for each University and grouped into a “Posse” that will meet regularly and provide support for each other through their four years of study.
CDF will serve as the nominating agency for students, who then go through a unique evaluation system called DAP—a dynamic assessment process—to determine which students will receive scholarships. DAP uses interactive activities to identify students with social skills and leadership qualities that would go unnoticed by traditional scores-based assessments. The DAP evaluation process will extend from September through December.
Partner universities to the Posse Foundation have awarded $486 million in leadership scholarships to young people since its founding in 1989. Posse scholars have historically had a 90 percent graduation rate. The program is highly competitive—only 60 of an estimated 1000 Posse Atlanta applicants will be selected to receive scholarships.
For more information about the Posse scholarship program, contact Sumaya Karimi at firstname.lastname@example.org, or attend the orientation session on Tuesday, April 9, from 1:00- 4:00 at the East Room of the Clarkston Community Center.
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