HOUSTON (CBS Houston) A group of HISD students has been chosen to represent Houston in the Posse Foundation, a national nonprofit organization that identifies students based upon their academic excellence and leadership potential.

“The Posse Foundation is designed to send students from urban districts to elite universities to serve in a pre-established peer support network, selected 23 HISD students to represent the city,” according to officials from HISD.

As the initiative debuted in Houston, the Posse Foundation only had 30 slots available of which the majority went to students from 13 HISD high schools.

HISD superintendent Terry Grier sees the initiative as one that will expand the horizons of HISD students: “We are thrilled that the Posse Foundation expanded to Houston and honored that the majority of the slots went to our students,” HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said. “Our students will be an excellent asset to this elite network and set high standards for other posses to follow,” Grier said in a statement.

The groups which are designed to help public high school students succeed by placing them in supportive teams of 10 students, also known as posses had over 500 nominated students from Houston. Students went through a rigorous three-stage interview process involving intense evaluation of all facets of their character as well as academic potential.

“The selected Posse scholars will now go through training for the next eight months as they form their posse for their respective campuses,” added HISD officials.

“The Posse Foundation will be sending the selected Houston students to Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, Texas A&M University, and the University of Texas. Since its inception in 1989, the Posse Foundation has sent more than 4,000 students to about 40 universities and has netted nearly $500 million in scholarships,” stated HISD.

The following students were selected as HISD Posse Scholars:

Oluwatosin Ajiboye, DeBakey High School for Health Professions

Jessica Nguyen, DeBakey High School for Health Professions

Modupe Olufemi, DeBakey High School for Health Professions

Andrea Gomez, DeBakey High School for Health Professions

Otisha Byrd, DeBakey High School for Health Professions

Maritza Vazquez-Trejo, Challenge Early College High School

Kristel Bohler, Challenge Early College High School

Dancie Jones, Challenge Early College High School

Daniel Chavez, Challenge Early College High School

Raul Pineda, East Early College High School

Mustafa Hussein, Westside High School

Quan Nguyen, Westside High School

Alexandria Jones, Westside High School

Jesus Del Rio, Scarborough High School

Jenisha Patel, Scarborough High School

Emma Basen-Engquist, Carnegie Vanguard High School

Gissell Montoya, North Houston Early College High School

Aleja Newman, Bellaire High School

Valerie Salas, Eastwood Academy

Emilio Alvarado, Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center

Isabella Castillo, Mount Carmel Academy

Darius Pitre, Lamar High School

Emmanuella Anyiam, Westbury High School


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