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Posse Foundation

The Posse Foundation identifies, recruits and trains student leaders from public high schools to form multicultural teams called ‘Posses.’ These teams are then prepared, through an intensive eight-month Pre-Collegiate Training Program, for enrollment at top-tier universities nationwide to pursue their academics and to help promote cross-cultural communication on campus.

The Posse Program has exhibited great success over the past 17 years placing 1,521 students into colleges and universities. These students have won over $142 million in scholarships from Posse partner universities and are persisting and graduating at 90 percent-a rate higher than the national averages at institutions of higher education. Posse currently has sites in five major cities across the United States: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C.

The concept of a Posse works for both students and college campuses, and is rooted in the belief that a small, diverse group of talented students — a Posse — carefully selected and trained, can serve as a catalyst for increased individual and community development. As the United States becomes an increasingly multicultural society, Posse believes that the leaders of this new century should reflect the country’s rich demographic mix, and that the key to a promising future for our nation rests on the ability of strong leaders from diverse backgrounds to develop consensus solutions to complex social problems. One of the primary aims of the Posse Program is to train these leaders of tomorrow.

For eight months Posses meet weekly for two-hour workshops to prepare for the role they will play on campus and for the high level of academic standards they will encounter at college. The 8-month program consists of a series of focused and structured workshops designed to train the carefully selected Posse Scholars to be both successful college students and strong leaders. The training program also endeavors to create powerful teams so that the Posse Scholars may work together to address issues of diversity on the university campus. Over the course of eight months, Posse Scholars participate in workshops which address four different areas: 1) team building and group support; 2) cross-cultural communication; 3) leadership; and 4) academic excellence.

The Posse training program is also designed to help the Scholars address many of the personal challenges they will face at college, including time and financial management, managing their own group interactions, and adapting to college life. Occasionally, the Scholars themselves are called upon to lead meetings. By the end of the 8-month program, the Scholars have learned the structure and tone of the workshops so that they can easily translate the formula to their work with student groups on campus. At the end of training, Posse Scholars attend a weekend retreat outside of the city intended to address individual and group issues; it is an important time to solidify the group’s cohesion.

Resource Link: www.possefoundation.org

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