Two Posse Scholars Soar to Boston with Full-Tuition Scholarship


Photo courtesy of Robert Felton

Senior Robert Felton poses in his Boston University hoodie.

Camille Crumbley, Staff writer

College can be a scary and difficult time, but it can be a little easier when you have your posse. 

Seniors Isabelle Yap and Robert Felton are fortunate to have this chance. Both students were selected to receive the Posse Scholarship to attend Boston University in the fall. They have a full ride to attend Boston University along with their “posse.”

Photo by Camille Crumbley.
Senior Isabelle Yap poses in her Boston University gear.


The Posse Scholarship is a non-profit organization that recruits and trains high school students to form multicultural teams called posses. It is partnered with 56 colleges and universities, matching students with a full-tuition college scholarship. These student groups are then prepared through an intensive eight-month pre-collegiate training program for enrollment at top-tier universities nationwide. The goal of this training is to prepare students for the academic, social, and personal challenges they may face in their college career.

To apply for the Posse Scholarship, students must be nominated by their school or a community based organized. Like Yap and Felton, they should demonstrate academic and leadership potential. Felton decided to be nominated after hearing about the scholarship from English teacher James Demer while working on a college project last year. Yap heard about Posse from a family friend who was a Posse scholar for Bard College and decided she would like to try herself.

Once nominated, students go through three rounds of interviews with posse interviewers.

“There were three rounds of interviews total over the course of the first semester,” said Felton. “The process went from around 1700 applicants to 60 in the second round and then finally 28 in the third round.”

In the end, only 10 students were selected for the scholarship.

“The first interview was three and a half hours long in a large room with about 40 to 50 other people,” said Felton. “We had to perform different group activities like constructing a Lego statue from memory to creating and acting out a fake promotional video for a social media campaign. The second interview was an intensive, 15-minute timed interview with two representatives from the Posse Foundation. The third and final interview was much like the first one but with the other 27 finalists.”

As to be expected, both Yap and Felton were very nervous throughout their interviews.

“In the final interview I kept thinking about the absolute tiniest things I did and how they could’ve looked bad on me in some way,” said Felton. “It was really nerve-racking.”

Posse nominees choose three Posse schools they would like to apply to. For Yap, Boston University was actually not her first choice.

“We have to select our top three Posse Atlanta schools and my top two were the George Washington (GW) University and Boston University,” said Yap. “I loved both of the schools but actually put GW as my top choice based on the sole reason that I would be an hour away from my grandmother. Posse selected me as a finalist for Boston so they decided for me in a way. But I like that I will be on my own in an amazing city that I get to explore. The first thing everyone tells me about the city of Boston is how beautiful it is and I can’t wait to take pictures there.”

For Felton, Boston was an instant draw due to their strong programs.

“Boston University in general is a very highly regarded private college that most people would be lucky to be a part of,” said Felton. “But what interested me was their prestigious Questrom School of Business, being that I eventually would like to have a masters or doctorate somewhere in that field. Plus the city of Boston is really nice and a great place for college students to experience while in school.”

Yap and Felton were both shocked that they received the scholarship.  

“The whole process was extremely stressful and it’s easy to start to doubt yourself when you see so many other people who are also extremely bright and impressive,” said Felton. “So when I got the phone call that I got it, I was ridiculously excited and shocked. I cried a bit to be honest, but it was happy tears. My parents were also extremely happy for me. Knowing where I was going to college so early was crazy, especially with a full-tuition scholarship. I didn’t even have to submit any of my other applications.”

Their parents were very proud of them after receiving the scholarship, having a major financial burden taken off their shoulders.

“My parents are thankful that we have a means of paying for college,” said Yap. “They are concerned about me being so far from home and of course the polar vortex that is a Boston winter, but they have also expressed that having this opportunity will allow me to do a lot of growing which they are excited to see.”