Posse Foundation

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The Posse Foundation
Founded 1989; 29 years ago (1989)
Founder Deborah Bial
Type Education
Area served
United States
Method Identifies, recruits and trains student leaders to pursue their academics and to help promote cross-cultural communication on campus.
Key people
Jeffrey Ubben, Former Board Chairman
Deborah Bial, President & Founder
Revenue (2016)
Expenses (2016) $22,479,487[1]
Website www.possefoundation.org
2016 Posse Foundation Annual Report

The Posse Foundation is an American nonprofit organization that identifies, recruits, and trains student leaders from high schools to form multicultural teams called "Posses" of 10 Posse Scholars. 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, help promote cross-cultural communication and become leaders on college campuses. Each Posse Scholar is awarded a full-tuition scholarship.[2]


Posse has three goals designed to address some critical issues of importance to institutions of higher education in the United States today:

  1. To expand the pool from which top colleges and universities can recruit outstanding young leaders from diverse backgrounds.
  2. To help these institutions build more interactive campus environments so that they can become more welcoming institutions for people from all backgrounds.
  3. To ensure that Posse Scholars persist in their academic studies and graduate so they can take on leadership positions in the workforce.

(From the Posse Foundation Web site.)

Posse Scholars Pre-Collegiate Training Program

For eight months before they begin their college career, Posse Scholars attend a weekly Pre-Collegiate Training Program. The goal of this training program is to prepare Posse Scholars for as many as possible of the academic, social, and personal challenges they may face in their college career.

Program overview and history

While the program began as a partnership with a single school (Vanderbilt University[3]), Posse has grown to partner with 56 colleges and universities;[4][5] as of 2018 Posse has matched over 8,400 students with full-tuition college scholarships.[6]

In 2007, it was among over 530 New York City arts and social service institutions to receive part of a $20 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, which was made possible through a donation by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.[7]

The Posse Foundation's founder, Deborah Bial, received the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2007, honoring her work with Posse to address the challenges of college access for underrepresented populations.[8][9]

In March 2010, President Barack Obama donated a portion of his $1.4 million Nobel Peace Prize award money to The Posse Foundation. The Posse Foundation was one of ten organizations to receive this honor.[10][11]

Posse Veterans Program

In 2013, The Posse Foundation implemented a program with a new recruitment strategy to choose veterans who they feel have a potential for academic excellence at selective four-year institutions of higher education.[12] By applying the core Posse principle to group 10 Scholars per university, they prepare veterans for the college experience and support them through to graduation.[13]

The Posse Veterans Program [14] began in partnership with Vassar College[15] and now also counts Wesleyan University,[16] Dartmouth College,[17] the University of Virginia[18] and the University of Chicago[19] as partners. Former Vassar President Catharine Bond Hill said of the original idea, "I think it adds to the education on campus to have students with different experiences."[20] Vassar, Wesleyan, UVA, UChicago and Dartmouth supplement available G.I. Bill and Yellow Ribbon funding to guarantee full tuition support for every veteran student selected.

Posse STEM Program

Posse began recruiting STEM-specific Posses in collaboration with Brandeis University in 2008.[21] The program notably expanded to 10 partner schools in 2014,[22] announced at a White House summit[23] on higher education.[24][25]

PossePlus Retreat

The PossePlus Retreat (PPR) is a collaborative, focused group discussion on a contemporary issue which Posse Scholars and invited college community members conduct each year in a retreat setting.[26]

In 2008, "Social Responsibility" was chosen as the first PossePlus Retreat theme. Following years' PPR themes have been "Education" (2009), "Do we still need to talk about race?" (2010), "The Millenials" (2011),[27] "Born This Way? Gender and Sexuality in the 21st Century" (2012),[28] "What's Your Worth? Class, Power and Privilege in America" (2013),[29] "Revolt? Rethink? Reform?" (2014),[30] "Crime and Punishment" (2015),[31][32] "Sticks and Stones: Language and Speech in a Diverse Society" (2016),[33][34] "Us Vs. Them" (2017)[35][36] and "Hope, Hate and Race in the United States" (2018).[37][38][39]

Notable Posse alumni


As of 2016 the Posse Foundation had assets of $83,256,943.[1]

Funding details


  1. ^ a b c d "The Posse Foundation" (PDF). The Posse Foundation. 31 December 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  2. ^ "The Nomination Process". Possefoundation.org. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  3. ^ "History". Vanderbilt.edu. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Diversity Inventory - University of Wisconsin-Madison". dip.diversity.wisc.edu. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  5. ^ "College & University Partners". Possefoundation.org. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Ideas We Should Steal: The Posse Foundation - The Philadelphia Citizen". Thephiladelphiacitizen.org. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  7. ^ Roberts, Sam (July 6, 2005). "New York Times: City Groups Get Bloomberg Gift of $20 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010. Retrieved on August 29, 2007
  8. ^ "MacArthur Foundation". Macfound.org. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Alum Awarded MacArthur Fellowship". Harvard Graduate School of Education. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Obama Donates Portion of Nobel Peace Prize Money to Posse". Retrieved on March 12, 2010
  11. ^ "How Obama spent his $1.4 million Nobel Peace Prize". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 11 March 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  12. ^ "The Posse Foundation Selects First Cohort of Veterans for College Success Program". Obamawhitehouse.archives.gov. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  13. ^ "When veterans enroll at elite schools, they're not just students". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  14. ^ "The Posse Veterans Program". Possefoundation.org. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  15. ^ Voght, Kara. "The Liberal Arts Are Helping Veterans Thrive". Theatlantic.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  16. ^ MEGAN, KATHLEEN. "Wesleyan Brings 'Posse' Of Vets To Campus". Courant.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Ten Posse Veterans to Join Class of 2020 - Dartmouth News". news.dartmouth.edu. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  18. ^ "U.Va. to admit 10 veterans from the Posse Foundation". Cavalierdaily.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  19. ^ https://news.uchicago.edu/story/uchicago-launches-test-optional-admissions-process-expanded-financial-aid-scholarships
  20. ^ "Posse Foundation, Vassar College to enroll more veterans". Insidehighered.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  21. ^ "Our Story - About - Science Posse - Brandeis University". Brandeis.edu. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  22. ^ "Smith College Joining Posse Foundation STEM Initiative to Support High-Promise Students in Science and Engineering « - Smith College Grécourt Gate Smith College Grécourt Gate". Smith.edu. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  23. ^ "The President and First Lady's Call to Action on College Opportunity". Obamawhitehouse.archives.gov. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  24. ^ "Middlebury to Expand Posse Partnership with STEM Scholars". Middlebury.edu. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  25. ^ cmaadmin (23 April 2014). "Momentum Continues to Build for Posse Foundation's STEM Program". Diverseeducation.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  26. ^ "PossePlus Retreats". Possefoundation.org. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  27. ^ "Posse Plus Retreat focuses on "Gen-Y" -". Thesandb.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  28. ^ "Posse plus retreat explores gender and sexuality - The Lawrentian". Lawrentian.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  29. ^ "Posse Scholars strive to promote multiculturalism, humanize campus through organizations". Denisonian.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  30. ^ "Revolt? Reform? Rethink? · Voices · Lafayette College". voices.lafayette.edu. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  31. ^ "Posse retreat fosters discussion on crime and punishment - Cornell Chronicle". news.cornell.edu. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  32. ^ "Union students talk crime, punishment". Timesunion.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  33. ^ "Posse Plus Retreat Focuses On The Power Of Words ‹ Pepperdine Graphic". pepperdine-graphic.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  34. ^ '19, Kristina Rodriguez. "Words Take Center Stage at Annual Posse Plus Retreat". Thedickinsonian.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  35. ^ "Posse Plus Retreat 2017: Us vs. Them - News - Hamilton College". Hamilton.edu. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  36. ^ "Posse Plus Retreat challenges barriers through "Us vs Them"". Thesewaneepurple.org. 1 March 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  37. ^ "Posse Retreat Addresses "Hope, Hate, and Race" - News - Hamilton College". Hamilton.edu. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  38. ^ "Posse Plus Retreat: Hope, Hate, and Race - Paola's Banter Blog". Salas.blogs.brynmawr.edu. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  39. ^ "PossePlus Retreat raises conversations about "hope, hate and race" - The Wooster Voice". Thewoostervoice.spaces.wooster.edu. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  40. ^ "Rana Abdelhamid – Amnesty International USA". Amestyusa.org. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  41. ^ "Middlebury grad teaches Muslim empowerment". Burlingtonfreepress.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  42. ^ Weiss, Suzannah. "How This 22-Year-Old Is Helping Muslim Women". Bustle.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  43. ^ Rigas, Andrew. "From Midd to Cleveland, Koby Altman '05 Rises to GM of Cavs". Middleburycampus.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  44. ^ Cohen, Ben (23 August 2017). "The GM Behind the Biggest Trade of the NBA Season". Wsj.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  45. ^ "At Ithaca College, a President Focused on Diversity". Nytimes.com. 7 June 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  46. ^ Worthington, Elizabeth. "First Muslim chaplain welcomed, diversity efforts bolstered - The Bucknellian". bucknellian.net. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  47. ^ "Bucknell Welcomes First Chaplain for the Muslim Community". Bucknell.edu. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  48. ^ "In the news: Gabrielle Farrell - The Bay State Banner". Baystatebanner.com. 4 January 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  49. ^ "Penn Senior Adrian Lievano to Tackle Water Security in Kenya - Penn Today". Penn Today. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  50. ^ Alfaro, Lyanne (14 October 2016). "How one young entrepreneur will use a $75 invention to boost access to clean water". Cnbc.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.

External links

  • Official website
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