From Bogota Colombia to Clinton New York

SBHS senior Daniel Rodriguez receives Posse scholarship to attend Hamilton College.


Zoey Rodriguez

SBHS senior Daniel Rodriguez won a Posse scholarship worth over $260,000.

Dasha Lee, Editor

SBHS senior Daniel Rodriguez wanted to go to college, but he didn’t know how he was going to get there. His parents weren’t going to be able to support him, and he was unsure himself how he was going to pay for it.  

But then a zoom call changed everything. In his room surrounded by family, Rodriguez received the news that he had been selected to receive four-year full tuition scholarship to attend Hamilton College.  

“It was a beautiful moment, my parents entered the room and we started crying, my dad was even in his pajamas,” he said. 

Rodriguez had been nominated for a Posse scholarship.  The Posse foundation is a national non-profit organization that offers scholarships to partner small liberal arts colleges in the U.S. This makes Rodriguez the fifth Bulldog to receive a Posse scholarship in the last five years. 

Students who have been nominated by their schools have to go through three rounds of interviews. The first two rounds were online due to COVID, and the final round was at a Posse office. The interview process starts off with over 100 students, and by the third round only 20 students. 

Hamilton College is one of the six participating small liberal arts colleges for the South Florida area. Other schools include: Davidson, Pomona, Franklin and Marshall, Mount Holyoke, and Syracuse. Tuition at these schools average $60,000 a year, and that does not include room and board, which can average up to $11,000 a year. That’s more than $260,000 for a college degree. Compare that to $65,000 for tuition and room and board at University of Florida. 

Because of the high price tag, the average college student can’t afford to attend these exclusive schools. But that is not the only reason. Another is the feeling of not belonging, since most of the students who attend are from wealthier backgrounds.  

That is what Posse aims to change. They not only help with the financial aspect, but also give scholars a “posse.” A group of students from diverse racial and financial backgrounds support each other throughout their educational experience. These ten students help ensure that their fellow scholars are staying on track with their studies. Rodriguez says he doesn’t feel intimidated. 

“I’ve interacted with all kinds of people back in Colombia and here so I don’t think that’s very important for me,” he said.  

Rodriguez plans to study physics because he wants to make an impact on the world through his research.  

“I want to research and develop theories that will help science, and well science helps the world,” he said.