Two Loyola Academy seniors, Temitope A. Azeez and Kwame B. Boateng, have been awarded admission to Middlebury College in Vermont through The Posse Foundation, which works to improve college access and attests that the key to a promising future for our nation rests on the ability of strong leaders from diverse backgrounds to develop solutions to complex social problems. Since 1989, Posse's sixty-three partner colleges have awarded $1.8 billion in scholarships to over 10,000 Scholars. The foundation's goals include expanding the pool from which top colleges and universities recruit outstanding young leaders, helping these institutions be more welcoming for people from all backgrounds, and ensuring that Posse Scholars persist in their academic studies and graduate so they can take on leadership positions in the workforce.
Both Temitope and Kwame underwent the foundation’s lengthy application and interview process known as the Dynamic Assessment Process (DAP)—a unique evaluation method that identifies young leaders with great potential. Running from September through December each year, DAP finds students who might be missed by the traditional admissions criteria at highly selective schools and uses nontraditional forums to evaluate potential. After each cycle, Posse staff and partner college administrators ultimately select a diverse group of ten students — a Posse — for each institution.
As Loyola’s Posse Scholarship coordinator, College Counselor Lizabeth Riggs worked closely with both Temitope and Kwame throughout the process. She explains that fewer than five percent of applicants are selected as Posse Scholars. “As Chicago Scholars, Temitope and Kwame started exploring many different colleges and universities last year. However, when they were both selected to advance in the DAP process, it soon became apparent that their focus needed to shift to the Posse Chicago partner schools. Temitope and Kwame remained intentional every step of the way --they thoroughly researched their schools and programs, talked through their options, and remained fully engaged with the LA College Counseling team. By trusting the process, Temi and Kwame opened themselves up to so many more opportunities,” Riggs says.
Temitope will study biology in the pre-med track. At Loyola, Temitope excels in the Medical Club and African American Youth Group (AAYG) and tutors through the Arrupe Program. Her favorite class at Loyola? Biology with Mr. Bradley Diaz. “I had the best teacher, and if there was any confusion within the lessons I knew I could go to him,” she says. In the future, Temitope plans to use her passion for biology and service to become an OBGYN. “I lived my life hearing that healthcare doesn't treat minorities, especially expecting mothers, equally. It pains me to see this issue continuing in this world.”
Kwame plans to study pre-engineering. As a Rambler, he participates in Philosophy Club, African American Youth Group (AAYG), Boys Youth Group (BYG), Ping Pong Club, and Meditation Club. His favorite class at Loyola is Christology/God & Science in Post Modernity with Mr. Matthew Knotts. “The questions and readings are very challenging, which I like a lot because it gets me thinking to the point where I’m lost,” he explains. “That means I’m applying myself.” In ten years, Kwame hopes to be working in the civil or mechanical engineering area and giving back to the communities that have helped him along his journey. “I want to know that I’m living a good and happy life.”
“While tentative about pursuing the process at first, Temi and Kwame both ended up embracing the opportunity, especially after connecting with our previous Posse Scholars, their mentors, and fellow scholars,” adds Riggs. “For every step and decision, they remained inquisitive, reflective, and committed to seeing the process through to the end. Temi and Kwame were recently honored at the Posse Scholars Awards ceremony in Chicago, and the next day they both came into our office with huge smiles on their faces. They feel so grateful for the opportunity and are very excited for the next steps as Posse Scholars at Middlebury College.”