BPHS Senior To Attend Lawrence University as Posse Scholar - Brooklyn Prospect Charter School

BPHS Senior To Attend Lawrence University as Posse Scholar

As we approach the end of another school year, Brooklyn Prospect High School has another Posse Scholar among its senior class! Gabriel Hernandez, a Brooklyn Prospect High School senior, has been awarded a four-year full-tuition scholarship to Lawrence University by the Posse Foundation. He is the school’s third such scholarship recipient. 

The Posse Foundation identifies and trains students—a majority of whom are first-generation in their families to go to college—who display exceptional leadership skills. In addition to the scholarship, recipients receive the benefits of attending college with a community known as their “posse.” 

Posse was founded in 1989 with the idea that “students who come in from different backgrounds and aren’t necessarily familiar with the college culture and environment could benefit from tackling the culture shock with a posse, or a group of their own who can support them.”

“I’ve always dreamed of finding a way so that my mom would not have to pay for college,” said Hernandez. “From the second I heard that I was nominated, I was committed to the plan. I had to get it.”

Hernandez, who is of Ecuadorian and Dominican descent, was born in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and raised on Staten Island. He followed in the footsteps of relatives who attended Brooklyn Prospect as middle schoolers and has been commuting to the Windsor Terrace campus ever since. Hernandez has never been one to let his commute keep him from being active in school activities and having an influence on his peers, said his college counselor, Nora Elnagar. 

“He has excellent emotional intelligence, is a great conversationalist, and possesses interpersonal skills that are rare to see in a student. He cares deeply about his family and has a very close relationship with his mother, who taught him perseverance and the value of hard work,” she said. “Gabe sees going to college as his time to shine. I have never encountered a student so passionate about sports communications, broadcasting, and journalism, and I know he will take full advantage of what his college offers.”

Hernandez said when he researched his options for the scholarship, he found that Lawrence University, located in Appleton, Wisconsin, was the school for him. He plans to major in English and Creative Writing with an independent focus on sports journalism since the school doesn’t have a dedicated academic track for that concentration. 

“[Lawrence] matched my values. It had a focus on the arts. It aligned a lot with what I want to do,” he said. “They also have a dedicated app and website for sports, which students curate.”

The Posse Foundation boasts benefactors such as Barack and Michelle Obama, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and numerous Posse alums who hold prominent leadership positions across all sectors. Prospect Schools’ CEO, Tresha Ward, attended Vanderbilt University as part of Posse’s 11th cohort.

To be considered for Posse, students must be nominated and undergo an elaborate, three-step interview process. Hernandez advanced from a pool of about 3000 nominees in New York State.

Hernandez said the intense interview process was exciting, and he felt ready for it thanks to his education at Prospect Schools.

“I feel like I would’ve missed out on so many opportunities if I didn’t come to this school,” he said. “Ms. Elnagar and the College Counseling office help me through literally everything. The IB program can feel so super duper hard, especially for math, but it’s a challenge I’m enjoying thanks to my teacher, Benjamin Barteau. 

“And I’ve always loved creative and analytical writing. The ELA teachers here, from middle to high school, have all helped me get better at writing,” Hernandez said.