Five Habersham Central High School seniors – Elizabeth Mayo, Savannah Rogers, Alexa Schwartz, Molly Wade, and Janie Beth Webb – have been selected to move to the semifinal rounds of the Posse Leadership Scholarship Program, a four-year, full-tuition opportunity, after competing in two rounds of the elimination process. Over 1400 students participated in the initial screenings and this field has been reduces by more than half.
This opportunity was afforded to these students because Luis Otero, a 2016 HCHS graduate, won the prestigious scholarship last year and is now attending George Washington University. Otero nominated an individual, Savannah Rogers, personally and the school was allowed to nominate other students as well.
The concept of the Posse Leadership Scholarship evolved from an experience a councilor had when completing an exit survey with a young man who was dropping out of a prestigious college even though his grades were excellent. According to the Posse Foundation, Inc. website:
“Posse started in 1989 because of one student who said, ‘I never would have dropped out of college if I had my posse
with me.’ The Posse Foundation identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership
potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes. The Foundation extends to these students the
opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams—Posses—of
10 students. The Foundation’s partner colleges and universities award Posse Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership
Initially the students had to submit an application and academic information. Next they traveled to Atlanta for the next round, which included participating in a round of introductory activities involving hundreds of students and the selection committee, writing a timed essay, and leading a Socratic Seminar. The next round involves a personal interview with the screening committee, and, when the students are selected for the next round, they will meet and be interviews by the Presidents or Deans of Admission for the six colleges that participate with the Atlanta Posse Institute – George Washington University, Boston College, Texas A & M, Brandeis University, The College of Wooster, and Syracuse University.