John Adams High School in Ozone Park senior Ana Garcia was awarded a full tuition scholarship through the Posse Foundation thanks in large part to the work she has done for Global Kids‘ Emerge Program. Garcia channeled her passion for STEM into developing tech-based solutions to critical issues affecting her community.
She has joined clubs with goals of helping communities through such solutions. One example she provided is her school’s Green Club, which focuses helping communities and the school become more self-sustaining through methods like composting and recycling. She stressed the importance of being able to educate others on these matters in order to have a larger impact.
Garcia’s passion for helping others through STEM, ability to face adversity through courage and ability to serve as a role model for others since joining the Emerge Program as a junior, made her an ideal candidate for the Posse Foundation’s scholarship program. She ended up going through a three-interview process to determine whether or not she would receive the scholarship.
According to Garcia, the first interview involved her discussing performing a activities with other students. The second interview related to more personal matters, discussing her upbringing and what her life was like as she grew up. The third interview was to determine whether or not she could collaborate well with the other finalists.
“I’m very happy [to be chosen for this],” Garcia said. “Going anywhere with a full ride is a great accomplishment. It’s a lot easier for my parents as well.”
Garcia will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison next fall, where she will be majoring in engineering. According to Garcia, she hopes to make a career in STEM, specifically related to environmental engineering.
Garcia traces her love of STEM back to a robotics course she took as a freshman. While it wasn’t necessarily the course itself that sparked her interest, Garcia said it was the ability to use the machinery that set it off. She cited the engineering and mechanics involved, as well as what goes into problem-solving to create the machines.
“A big reason why I want to do environmental engineering is because of the state of the world and how much we can really improve in that area,” Garcia said. “I feel like that is something that the future definitely needs. For us to be able to progress as a society, we have to take advantage of our resources. I feel like we’re able to make just about anything with technology.”
According to Global Kids Assistant Director of College and Career Readiness André Augustine, the scholarship is awarded by partnered universities across the United States with the intention of trying to bring groups of students to the universities to act as leaders on campus while also supporting each other through a variety of different areas. Global Kids is able to nominate students for the scholarship, including Ana.
“I’m very impressed [with Ana],” Augustine said. “I’m not surprised that Ana has accomplished so much. She’s very active in our programming. She participates in our leadership program, as well as any program that emerges on her campus. Ana is the type of student that we’re looking for to get these opportunities. Folks who are engaged, folks who are looking to become leaders and better their communities. I’m really excited to see what Ana does in the near future.”
There were approximately 3,400 nominees for the Posse Scholarship from New York City this year. Of those nominees, approximately 120-130 received the scholarship.