Each year thousands of high school students apply to The Posse Foundation, a national organization that identifies, recruits, and trains students who show extraordinary leadership and academic potential. Scholars receive a full-tuition scholarship to the college or university they are selected to attend. Only a select few students are picked.
For Sadiqah Whittington, a Boys Hope Girls Hope of New York scholar, this was an opportunity she almost passed on.
James Williams is the Director of Postsecondary Success and Strategic Partnerships. He leads college, career, and alumni programming for the Network, supporting affiliate capacity in these areas, and managing partnerships with universities, intern placements, and peer organizations.
“I decided to put myself out there and see what happens.”
“I found out about the opportunity over the summer but was hesitant to apply because there are so many applicants,” Sadiqah said. “I decided to put myself out there and see what happens.”
Even after making it to the second round, Sadiqah still wasn’t sure if she wanted to continue the process. It wasn’t until she made it to the interview round that she became excited about the possibility. Whittington was one of 25 students from New York selected for the final round.
“It was a group-style interview,” she said. “Since we will be a part of a cohort, they wanted to see how we interacted with one another.”
Upon receiving the call that she was one of ten chosen, Sadiqah recalls, “I got the call at ten at night as I was getting ready for bed and watching TV. I thought they were calling to ask some follow-up questions, but they called to tell me I was accepted!”
Whittington, the now-senior at Cristo Rey in Brooklyn, joined Boys Hope Girls Hope in her freshman year. During a difficult 2020, Sadiqah had to decide if she wanted to remain in the program. Ultimately, she chose to stay because of the family environment and ongoing support.
“I’m glad I stayed,” Whittington said. “I never would’ve gone to my high school if it wasn’t for Boys Hope Girls Hope. This has become a family, and you can’t give up.”
She values the time she has spent in the program and feels that it has been a safe haven for her and many other scholars. Boys Hope Girls Hope’s long-term and holistic approach also uniquely prepares its scholars for college and life. Through an intense college-planning process, scholars are encouraged to network, discover, and apply for other incredible academic and leadership development opportunities aligned with their capabilities and goals, including scholarships, internships, and careers.
“Boys Hope Girls Hope has taught me a lot about myself, and I needed a place to go to just focus on school and nothing else,” she said.
“Boys Hope Girls Hope has taught me a lot about myself, and I needed a place to go to just focus on school and nothing else.”
Lysandra Hutchinson, director of college access and collegian support for the New York affiliate, credits Sadiqah’s self-driven personality for her success.
“Sadiqah was on it!” said Hutchinson. “She does a great job of taking advantage of the opportunities and resources around her.”
Next year, Sadiqah will attend her selected college and major in Political Science. She has decided to keep her college choice under wraps to take part in an affiliate tradition—Decision Day—in May because of a pact she made with her fellow scholars. On this designated day each year, senior scholars don swag from their selected schools, and each has their moment in the spotlight to do their planned reveal on where they will be heading off to in the fall.
“Decision Day is a big deal for us at Boys Hope Girls Hope of New York, so we decided to wait until then to reveal our college decisions,” she said. Sadiqah is excited to be in a new place and most looking forward to continuing her scholarly journey as a Boys Hope Girls Hope collegian and a Posse Scholar!