How did you feel after finding out you were going to be a finalist for the Posse scholarships?
Excited, very, very, excited. The whole process was a huge ego boost, as I got chosen again and again out of many other candidates through the first and second interviews. Being a finalist was like an extra ego boost because you’re one of the special selected 20 out of the 3,000 something that applied. Plus, you have the opportunity of going to an elite school, like Vanderbilt, tuition free for four whole years, so, yes, I was absolutely ecstatic.
What made you apply to the Posse?
My guidance counselor, Ms. Terraferma, is the one who told me about Posse and encouraged me to apply. I thought I should listen to her and try it out to see where Posse would take me. Now I have a full-tuition scholarship to Vanderbilt!
How did you feel about the interviews? What was the process like?
Besides the obvious nerves that come with the territory, I’d say I felt pretty good about the interviews. The first one didn’t even feel like an interview at all. It was basically all of us applicants together in a room with chairs, not the traditional interview environment. The second one was more professional and lasted about 15 minutes. Making it passed the second round gives you a spot as a finalist. They email you a month later telling you to confirm your spot, and by confirming your spot as a finalist, you accept their Early Decision Binding Agreement. The third round was made up of 25 finalist. This interview was definitely the heaviest I’d say as they asked a lot more personal questions about my life that caused me to share personal details.
How does it feel being the Vanderbilt Posse winner, accomplishing something so prestigious?
It felt like I was dreaming, I guess that’s the only way to explain it. I was switching back and forth between nerves and excitement. This was the first time I was able to get something I really wanted in my life, and it just ended my whole year on a good note, the best note I could ever want. This is the best moment of my entire life that I won’t forget.
In going to Vanderbilt, what are you most excited about?
I’m most excited for the classes. I know they’re going to be a lot harder, as Vanderbilt is such an elite school, but at the same time, I’ll have a lot more independence academically. I know it might sound stupid, but, I’m really excited for waking myself up in the morning to go to class (even though I already do). I’m excited for living with a roommate, doing my own laundry, juggling between and balancing all my academics and studying, as well as studying at the various libraries at Vanderbilt. I can’t wait to stay up writing essays, meet new people and just fully experiencing college life in general. But so far, I’m mainly excited for experiencing some real independence and handling my responsibilities. The posse support group that will also be there is quite comforting to me. I look forward to seeing Posse help me throughout my four years at Vanderbilt.
How was the Posse Process?
I fell in love with Posse. Through the interviews and info sessions in between, Posse was really supportive and helped me with the whole college application process, which I had not really known much about. The process made me realize that I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about college. No one in my family had ever really gone before me, so no one had the experience to help me out. I’d be the first in my family to go. That’s why I know that college is going to be hard for me. I’m not expecting a walk in the park. There’s going to be a huge culture shock (as Vanderbilt is in Tennessee) on top of everything else like the hard course work, finding a new friend group, all the little things that I know are going to get to me the most. That’s also why the support group that Posse provides is going to be the most important thing to me. Posse is also a network. Outside of the group of the other Posse Vanderbilt winners Posse sends you up to Vanderbilt with, they also want to network you with other businesses and people to help you ultimately become a leader. I realized that the support never really stops as they’re not just giving you money and wishing you luck but they’re also going with you on your college journey, helping you along your way as you mature into an adult who makes changes in society. That’s what I love about it.