Last updated: Friday, January 6, 2017 at 6:53AM
Boston, MA - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - Today, thirteen Boston Public Schools (BPS) students, including several who are recent immigrants to the United States, received the prestigious Posse Foundation Scholarship at a ceremony at the Fairmont Copley Plaza. Founded in 1989, Posse identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes.
Of the more than 17,000 students from across the country who were nominated for the Posse Scholarship this year, 740 were selected for this prestigious award. Mayor Martin J. Walsh delivered the keynote address, and Superintendent Tommy Chang was in attendance to congratulate the BPS award recipients.
"I am fortunate to have been able to join the Posse community as a friend and supporter," said Mayor Walsh. "Many Posse alumni serve in my administration, and I am proud of their work in the City of Boston. I look forward to seeing how this Posse corps will develop into Boston's next generation of leaders."
The thirteen BPS students selected for the award are:
- Lila Hernandez of the John D. O'Bryant School of Math and Science - Bryn Mawr College
- Flora Lepeska-True of Boston Latin School - Bryn Mawr College
- Niamh Reilly of Boston Latin School - Bryn Mawr College
- Jenny Wang of Boston Latin Academy - Bryn Mawr College
- Giselle Martinez of Another Course to College - Centre College
- Oladipupo Ogundipe of Boston Latin Academy - Denison University
- Isaac Fung of Another Course to College - Hamilton College
- Melisa Depina of Dearborn STEM Academy - Union College
- Angela Guerra of Boston Latin School - Union College
- Marlie Norbrun of Boston Green Academy - Union College
- Princess Ojukwu of Snowden International High School - Union College
- Thomas Thermidor of Community Academy of Science and Health - Union College
Posse extends to students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams-Posses-of ten students. Posse's 57 partner colleges and universities award Posse Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships. To date, 7,733 Posse Scholars have been awarded more than $1.1 billion in scholarships. Most importantly, Posse Scholars graduate at a rate of 90 percent and are active leaders on their campuses and in the workforce.
Since 1999, Posse Boston Scholars have earned more than $118 million in leadership scholarships. This year, 60 students from the Boston area will be awarded scholarships collectively worth $11.6 million from Bryn Mawr College, Bucknell University, Centre College, Denison University, Hamilton College, and Union College.
"Congratulations to our BPS students for receiving this honor," said Superintendent Tommy Chang. "The Posse Foundation works on behalf of our communities. Our students receive a safety net of support and grow into strong leaders at some of the country's most celebrated institutions. Some students then return to our district and become teachers, administrators, and staff, and continue a strong pipeline of support."
Depina came to the United States from Cape Verde in 2011 and has already completed her fourth college course through a dual-enrollment program. Her guidance counselor, Timothy Likosky, described her as a "hardworking young woman with great determination and passion toward her education." She will be the first in her family to attend college. Depina will be attending Union College in Schenectady, New York.
Thermidor came to the United States from Haiti in 2013 and has since challenged himself in honors and AP coursework at CASH. He is senior class president, a member of the boys varsity soccer team, a participant in the Upward Bound and Summer Search program, as well as an active member of the Build On service learning program. His guidance counselor, Elisabeth Talbot, noted, "Thomas is not a spectator; rather he prefers to participate fully in the life of his school and community." Thermidor will also be attending Union College.
Fung is originally from Kenya. His guidance counselor, Kelly Gallagher, considers him to be "a creative thinker with strong analytical skills who communicates his insights clearly and engages in discussions." Fung will be attending Hamilton College in Clinton, New York.
Martinez will be attending Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. Gallagher noted, "[Martinez] has overcome hardships to maintain a quiet but focused presence in her classes, for which she is always prepared."
"We are thrilled to have talented young leaders from Boston Public Schools recognized with the Posse Scholarship by our outstanding partner colleges and universities," said Posse Boston Director Andrew Gallagher. "I can't wait to see our new scholars thrive academically and as leaders on campus and beyond."
Students were selected for this award due to their tremendous leadership and academic potential. The Posse Foundation is a national initiative with program chapters in Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City and Washington, D.C.
Learn more about The Posse Foundation.