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Class of 2007 Posse Scholars a “wildly successful team”
Lafayette was featured today on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric in a segment highlighting the Posse Foundation and Lafayette’s Class of 2007 Posse Scholars.

The segment, in the “Shades of America” series, cites the success of the Posse program, calling it “a unique approach” that is “graduating minority students from top colleges at twice the national rate.”

It is accompanied by a rich package of related content on the Evening News web site:
In early May, award-winning reporter Wyatt Andrews and his crew shadowed the members of the 2007 Posse graduating class throughout two days of filming on campus. They took footage of the students in classes and during activities, and also conducted a group interview with all 10 seniors. The news crew was back on Lafayette’s campus on Commencement day to get additional footage for the show. The segment focused in particular on Osa Egharevba (Bronx, N.Y.), a neuroscience major, who is headed to medical school.

This year’s class of graduating Posse scholars includes Danielle Bero, the recipient of the 2007 George Wharton Pepper Prize as the senior voted by students and faculty “who most nearly represents the Lafayette ideal.” Bero, of Astoria, Queens, created her own major, creative mediums and social justice. Other 2007 Posse students are Tito Anyanwu (Brooklyn, N.Y.), a mechanical engineering major; Terese Brown (Bronx, N.Y.), a double major in economics & business and art; Roger Ellis (Brooklyn, N.Y.), a computer science major; Maly Fung (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.), an international affairs major; Lai-Juan Huang (Brooklyn, N.Y.), a psychology major; Mauricio Leyva (Valhalla, N.Y.), an international affairs major; Silvia Mancebo (Yonkers, N.Y.), a neuroscience major; and Pablo Torres (Ocala, Fla.), an international affairs major.

This was Lafayette’s second class of graduating Posse scholars and the second time Lafayette’s program has been prominently featured in the national media. Last year’s group was included in a New York Times article focusing on the Posse Foundation.

The College’s Posses personify ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity, and the students participate in a variety of academic and co-curricular pursuits and extracurricular activities. As well as Bero’s win this year, Stefany Feliciano ’06, a member of last year’s Posse scholars, was a finalist for the 2006 Pepper Prize.

Deborah Bial, founder and president of the Posse Foundation, was the principal speaker at Lafayette’s171st Commencement last May and received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.

The Posse Foundation identifies, recruits, and trains student leaders from urban public high schools to form multicultural teams called “posses.” Following an intensive eight-month recruitment and pre-college training program the teams enroll at top-tier colleges and universities nationwide to pursue their academics and help promote cross-cultural communication. In addition to New York, where Posse is headquartered, there are sites in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.

Through its five years with Posse, Lafayette has 64 students who have graduated or are current students. Ten members of the first posse graduated in 2006. The classes of 2008, 2009, and 2010 have posses of 11, 12, and 21 students, respectively. The class of 2010 includes a posse from Washington, D.C., in addition to one from New York, making Lafayette the fifth college or university to enroll posses from more than one city.

Lafayette’s participation in the Posse program with New York students is supported by the Judith C. White Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit headed by Jeffrey Kovner ’66, which has established a $250,000 endowment to promote and enhance diversity at Lafayette. The foundation also is giving $10,000 in each of the next two years to fund a leadership retreat weekend for Posse students. The contributions are a challenge grant for which Lafayette is raising additional donations to reach at least $1.2 million.

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