Two Teens Earn Full Scholarships

| January 14, 2010 | 0 Comments

South River And Old Mill Students Win Free Rides

A South River senior and an Old Mill senior have won a free ride to their first choice colleges courtesy of a full tuition Posse Scholarship by the Posse Foundation.

South River senior Joshua Hirakawa and Old Mill senior Gwendolyn Omolabi recently received word of their awards, sponsored annually by the Posse Foundation and plan to attend Sewanee University of the South and University of Wisconsin-Madison respectively. In addition to the undergraduate free-ride, Joshua also earned a full tuition scholarship to a medical school of his choice.

According to the release sent by the school district (in full below the jump), the 17-year-olds were chosen from a pool of hundreds of applicants from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area who participated in the lengthy selection process that involves several rounds of individual and group interviews. Awardees are selected on the basis of school/community leadership, academic promise, extracurricular accomplishment, and positive attitude.

Among students who are chosen to receive scholarships, groups or “posses” are formed and then prepared, through an intensive eight-month training program, to pursue higher academics and to help promote cross-cultural communication on their respective campuses.

Annually, there are less than 400 scholarships given out by the foundation and it is a testament to the level of education provided in the County that two of them were awarded to County students!

Congrats to Gwendolyn and Joshua (and their parents who are no breathing a sigh of relief)!

A pair of Anne Arundel County Public Schools students have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in prestigious Posse Scholarships this year. South River High School senior Joshua Hirakawa and Old Mill High School senior Gwendolyn Omolabi recently received word of their awards, sponsored annually by the Posse Foundation.

The scholarships are just two of approximately 370 given annually in the Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C. regions to public high school students “with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes.” In its 20 years of existence, the group has awarded more than $265 million in scholarships.

Joshua received a full-tuition scholarship to attend Sewanee University of the South and a medical school of his choosing. He said the news was especially celebrated by his parents, who no longer have the worry of paying for their youngest son’s tuition. Joshua’s older brother, Andrew, was also named a Posse Scholar in 2008 and attends Grinnell College in Iowa on a full-tuition scholarship.

“I got lots of hugs when we found out. This is definitely a burden off their backs,” he said.
Gwendolyn, who also received a full-tuition scholarship, will use her talents as a budding entrepreneur to brighten the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“This is such a blessing. My dream of attending college is now a reality and I’m excited about this opportunity for me and my family,” she said.

With plans to become a doctor, Joshua will pursue a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry as an undergraduate at the liberal arts college located in Tennessee. Gwendolyn wants to have a double major in business and Chinese. Her ultimate goal is to run a major international company.

The 17-year-olds were chosen from a pool of hundreds of applicants from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area who participated in the lengthy selection process that involves several rounds of individual and group interviews. Awardees are selected on the basis of school/community leadership, academic promise, extracurricular accomplishment, and positive attitude.

Among students who are chosen to receive scholarships, groups or “posses” are formed and then prepared, through an intensive eight-month training program, to pursue higher academics and to help promote cross-cultural communication on their respective campuses.

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John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news--and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009. John's background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.