Headed to Bucknell University in the fall, Revere High School graduate Melaina Polan has been awarded Posse Foundation full-tuition Leadership Scholarship.
The Posse Foundation is an American nonprofit organization that recruits student leaders from public high schools across the country to form diverse groups called “Posses.” Each “Posse,” consisting of about 10 Posse Scholars then undergoes an intensive Pre-Collegiate Training Process that prepares them for any challenges they may face during their first couples years of college.
Each Posse Scholar is awarded a full-tuition merit scholarship and acceptance into a top tier university, ranging from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee to Cornell University in New York.
The Posse Foundation realizes that the transition from high school to college is a difficult one, especially when students decide to attend a college far from home. By creating “Posses,” a group of students who would otherwise be facing this challenge alone, are able to go through it together and support one another in becoming active members of their campus communities.
Before a student is awarded this opportunity however, they must undergo a series of interviews that Posse calls the Dynamic Assessment Process (DAP). Unlike traditional admissions criteria, DAP is a holistic evaluation method that uses large-group and individual interviews to select young leaders who will excel at selective universities nationwide.
“It was the first time I was ever interviewed one-on-one like that,” said Melaina Polan. “It can be very intimidating at first because it’s such a big scholarship, but in the end, you don’t know unless you try,” she continued.
Posse Scholars from Boston can decide between six noted universities, including Bryn Mawr College, Centre College, Denison University, Union College, and Bucknell University.
“I was doing research on all five schools and Bucknell just jumped out at me,” said Polan. “As soon as I did one of the visual tours on their website, I knew I could picture myself there.”
Always having an interest in science, she hopes to major in chemistry or biochemistry, although she is currently undecided in the College of Arts and Sciences. Taking both AP chemistry and AP environmental science as well as a general organic and biochemistry class at Salem State University, Polan is familiar with college-style courses and eager to begin her next chapter.
“As nerdy as it sounds, I’m really excited for college classes,” said Polan. “The style of learning is so much different than high school,” she continued.
Captain of the Revere High School cheerleading team for the past three seasons, Polan will also be continuing her cheerleading career at Bucknell.
Dedicating itself to recruiting outstanding leaders like Melaina Polan, the Posse Foundation gives many students who could otherwise be overlooked by prestigious colleges a unique opportunity to succeed.
“See this as a chance to advocate for yourself and your learning,” said Polan when discussing any advice she would give to future students competing for the scholarship.