April 30, 2014 11:15 AM
Jasmine Williams says, “We help each other, build each other up — it’s what Posse is supposed to do.”
These students were nominated by their high schools and chosen from an initial pool of 575 applicants. During high school, the Posse Foundation selected them for their academic and leadership potential, and they were placed in a supportive multicultural team, or Posse, for eight months of pre-collegiate training together. The goal: to arrive on campus prepared to support each other, get involved in campus organizations, encourage dialogue and succeed academically.
Several in the group say that they could not have come to Tulane without the Posse program. Three are first-generation Americans and four are the first university students in their families.
“Tulane was my dream school,” says Peter Nguyen, a cell and molecular biology major who got a 4.0 in his first semester. Nguyen adds, however, that he believes the atmosphere and community life on campus could be improved upon. He would like to see more diversity.
Others in his Posse agree, and they are working in various ways to embrace and encourage diversity.
“The real minority at Tulane is Arab,” says Mohammed Elaasar, who has become involved with the Muslim Student Organization. “Last semester, we were focused on blending into the crowd to gain acceptance. This semester, our Posse is becoming more active in displaying our diversity.”
Marva Lewis, an associate professor in the Tulane School of Social Work who was assigned to be the mentor for this Posse, says, “I’ve learned a lot from them.”
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