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Story and captions by Kathleen Parrish, photos by Clay Wegrzynowicz, video by Shantae Shand ’22

This year’s Posse graduation was an emotional joy ride. The 19 scholars performed an Armenian line dance, broke out in a spontaneous rendition of Boyz to Men’s “End of the Road,” and gave and received tearful shoutouts of love and appreciation to and from their family and friends.

The annual two-hour gathering, held in Pfenning Alumni Center hours before Commencement on Fisher Field, also gave faculty mentors of D.C. Posse 10 and New York Posse 14 a chance to celebrate their group successes and pay homage to the journey.

“Your intellectual, professional, and personal accomplishments at Lafayette College and beyond are testament to your brilliance, your hard work, your creativity, and your desire to make a difference wherever you are,” said Rachel Goshgarian, associate professor of history and faculty mentor to New York 14.

D.C. faculty mentor Josh Smith, nicknamed J Money by his posse, said the scholars didn’t have to hold leadership positions on campus, but they frequently did in addition to working in the Easton community, studying abroad in a collective 10 foreign countries, and excelling academically.

“I am proud of these scholars,” said Smith, associate professor of mechanical engineering.

Posse Foundation recruits diverse groups of 10 to 12 public high school students and works to enroll them in top-tier schools. Lafayette partners with posses in New York and Washington, D.C. Scholars are assigned a mentor before they come to campus and remain with their posse for four years. Bonnie Winfield, former director of community partnerships, had originally been New York 14’s faculty mentor, but retired two years ago and was replaced by Goshgarian.

D.C. Posse 10: Khadijah Akeem,  Olivia BoydYishak DestaCharles EvansEunice GeronimoAmedeo Hines, Blossom JiangValencia PerryJoshua Sims, and Xaviera Thomas

New York Posse 14: Tabassum Alam, Jafar Bhatti, Ayleen Correa, Fanessa de la Rosa, Fayola Fair, Benjamin Gordon, Maxwell McFarlane, Jasmin Vargas, and Pascual Ventura



Categorized in: Commencement 2019, Featured News, Intercultural Experience, News and Features, Students

1 Comment

  1. Ed Auble '61 says:

    Bravo zulu to the college for the work it has done with the Posse program over the years! Opportunities have been given and expectations fulfilled for a number of years. It’s heartwarming!

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