Winning the Posse Scholarship


Kiana Tapia

Senior Wolfpack Times Editor Melissa Crist, proudly holding up her POSSE scholarship.

Melissa Crist, Editor In Chief of Content

Hands shaking, heart pounding, I answered the long-awaited call. As the word, “Congratulations…” echoed into my ear, I began to cry harder than I ever had in my life. I ran into my mom’s room, screaming and sobbing, and I hugged her tightly in my arms as the tears kept coming. “I did it,” I whispered. “I really did it.” 

I heard about the Posse Scholarship during my junior year of high school. We were informed the process required selecting one college out of a list of nine, and from there, only about ten students would get into each college. That would mean that 90 students were eligible to win. 

Learning the scholarship process required three interviews discouraged me at first. Although my strengths are in writing and not in my social skills, I shrugged it off and thought, “You never know.” 

 The first interview was in a large room with over a hundred other teens. It was definitely as intimidating as it sounds. I constantly compared myself to those around me, and I was quick to find out that many of them were smarter than I was. I didn’t feel like I belonged there. 

I was surprised to hear that I had advanced to the next round: the one-on-one interview. This is where I talked about how I loved to play football, how my parents worked hard for my education, and everything else that helped show who I was and where I came from.

The night before the interview, my friend Daniel, who also applied for the scholarship, informed me there was paperwork that we needed to turn in. Due to the fact that I had no idea about the paperwork, I will always owe my success to that boy. Daniel eventually decided to drop out of the running for the scholarship, but he recently got accepted into USC! Everyone has their own journey, so never be discouraged to do your own thing. Days later, I found out there was an email informing applicants about everything Daniel had told me. Oops! Always check your emails! 

In the third and final interview, I was in a room with twenty-eight other nominees, and we were notified that only eleven of us would win the scholarship for the college that we wanted to attend. It was emotionally draining. I had never felt so dumb and unaccomplished before until I heard about the achievements of the other students.

On the drive home, I told my dad that it was the end of my journey and I had wasted my time. He tried to reassure me and say that I was as qualified as any other person there and that is why I had made it so far. I didn’t believe him since parents are supposed to say nice things to their kids. 

Three hours later, my phone rang. I recognized the number and I froze as I thought about what lay ahead. Then it happened. I won. 

If I could give advice to students who plan on applying to the Posse Scholarship, or any scholarships for that matter, the first thing I would say is to be yourself. I know it sounds cheesy, but do not compare yourself to others. While maintaining good grades and being bright is important, it isn’t something that interviewers are focusing on. They are looking for hopeful and well-rounded students who want to strive for greatness. 

Although I appeared as an average student, I was passionate about what I wanted to study in college. I didn’t pretend to be a know-it-all, I was just myself. I never, in a million years thought that I would make my way out of the small city I come from, but because I took up an opportunity that was given to me, I am now looking forward to moving to New York.

 So please, take every opportunity that is in your reach, apply for those scholarships, and do not be afraid to take any chances that come your way. You never know what can happen.