Loyola Academy senior Milannia Martin-Hayes has been awarded admission to Connecticut College 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. Fewer than five percent of applicants nationwide are selected as Posse Scholars.
Since 1989, Posse's sixty-three partner colleges have awarded $2 billion in scholarships to over 12,000 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.
Milannia 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 Milannia throughout the process. She explains that this is a highly selective program, as fewer than five percent of students are selected as Posse Scholars.
“When Milannia and I first met in her junior year, she was already well-aware of the Posse Scholars program as her sister, Zion Martin-Hayes ’19, was also nominated for and selected as a Scholar five years ago,” says Riggs. “Milannia dove right into the process by researching all of the Posse Chicago partner colleges and universities, prepping for each interview as she advanced throughout the process, and writing the most thoughtful and creative essays for each school on her list. She was thrilled when she was selected as a Posse Scholar at Connecticut College, from where her sister just graduated.”
At Loyola, Milannia excels in the theater program as state manager and member of the Thespian Board. She is also on the planning committee for the Young Women of Color Symposium, co-president of Loyola’s Alliance/ Queer-Straight Alliance, and a member of Clavius Scholars Honors Program. Her favorite class at Loyola? AP Statistics. “It made me realize how important data is, whether or not we realize it,” she says. “More than that, the way it’s collected and analyzed is just as instrumental to its use as the data itself. I’ve always been an analytical thinker with an interest in math and how things work.”
At Connecticut College, Milannia plans to study statistics and data science. She hopes to use her passion for stats and data to become a political analyst or pollster for a campaign or interest group in the future: “I want to make politics easier to understand and easier to be involved with for underrepresented communities. I know my plan is likely to change as time goes on but I feel called to perform justice in any ways available to me.”
“After learning that she was selected, Milannia went to each of her counselors and teachers and shared her exciting news with grace, gratitude and humility,” adds Riggs. “She is a true leader at Loyola and everyone who knows her was not surprised that she was selected.”