Full Ride: Four North Atlanta Seniors Receive Posse Scholarship


Dennis Racket

Super Scholars: Seniors Shania Barker, Maria Niño, and Gabriela Oliveros are among this year’s recipients of the prestigious Posse Scholarship, and will be attending Bard College, Boston University, and George Washington University, respectively.

North Atlanta High School’s senior class is currently facing one of its biggest challenges yet: college. The nervous breakdowns and anxiety of getting a college letter are things that the Class of 2020 knows very well by this point. Coupled with this are scholarships, more specifically, being the recipient of one. This year, seniors Shania Barker, Gabriela Oliveros, Maria Niño and Hasina-Chimeka Tisdale were among a handful of students in APS accepted for the highly regarded Posse Scholarship, a scholarship that pays for a student’s entire tuition along with providing many more benefits for these future college scholars, making this a very impressive as well as difficult scholarship to obtain.

The path to Posse acceptance was far from simple. The scholarship process included several grueling components, ranging from mandatory interviews to the feeling of anxiety in hopes of getting the phone call that would determine it all, things that Niño has experienced very well. “The interview process was different and hard and really nothing like I expected,” she said. 

Posse scholar and future Bard College student Shania Barker makes note of the Posse Organization’s criteria as well, stating that they are looking for those with leadership skills and not just those with high test grades and overall statistics. But like her counterpart Niño, there were those pre-interview jitters. “I didn’t know what to expect, but once I got through them I felt very relieved,” said Barker.

When the Posse Organization call came, it was a surprise to the candidates. “I watched YouTube videos of other Posse scholars receiving their acceptance call, so when I got mine, it kind of like it wasn’t for me and that there was some sort of mistake,” said Niño. 

Barker also notes this feeling of disbelief, yet also felt very lucky to be a recipient. “It was a lot of conflicting emotions, as I felt like everyone there deserved to receive it,” she said. “But I know I’m very lucky and thankful for this opportunity.”

The trials and errors from the start of high school leading up to now have shaped the future of every senior’s life. From once being young, carefree freshmen, they are now becoming adults and are facing a new chapter in their lives. Higher levels of responsibility and commitment to work will now play a major role for the class of 2020 as they move on to the professions they wish to obtain. 

The days of these Posse scholars at North Atlanta are quickly coming to an end, but one thing’s for sure: they have big things coming her way, as do all the seniors of North Atlanta.