By Ken Tucci, WBZ-TV Producer

BOSTON (CBS) – Working together to help young people succeed at college – that’s the goal of the “Boston Posse.”

They identify promising students, mostly from urban areas, and build a “posse” to prepare and support them before and during their college years.

The teamwork is making a difference.

Three days each week, 10 high school seniors meet at Posse headquarters in Boston. They’re all accepted to Hamilton College in New York with full tuition scholarships, and they aim to be ready.

“To me Posse really serves as a bridge,” says Lisa Yang from Quincy High School.

“It’s really, really powerful in a way,” adds Kenny Lopez from Cathedral High.

Kenny and Lisa are two of 10 students who are becoming friends while preparing for their freshman year.

Through workshops and team-building, they’re learning what they need to know before college. And their “posse” will stay together during college.

“I think having these 9 other sisters and brothers with you, that are supporting you and motivating you, having this strong, close knit community is what really pushes us through every single day,” says Lisa Yang.

Some of the kids come from difficult circumstances.

“They’re coming from schools that are often under resourced, but they have tremendous potential,” says Lamont Gordon, the director of Posse Boston.

With the help of on-campus mentors and the posse itself, most students stay in school.

“The whole idea is that students aren’t isolated and they have positive peer pressure. So they’re with 9 other students who are all committed to their academics and committed to being successful in supporting each other,” says Gordon.

Jackney Prioly was a Posse member. She graduated from Bryn Mawr. For her, the preparation made the difference.

“They really just honed and refined that and really helped me project my voice and really think more broadly about what it is I want to do in the world, and the impact I want to have,” she says.

“Being able to have that opportunity just makes me want to work harder and makes me want to prove to people that I am something and that I am going to be something,” says Kenny Lopez, a Posse member.

The program is extremely competitive. Last year Boston Posse received over 1300 nominations for 60 slots.

Do you know people who are making a difference in their communities? If so, let WBZ-TV’s Ken Tucci know about it.

Online: Posse Foundation


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