Senior Luz awarded highly-selective Posse Scholarship


Courtesy of Bella Luz

Senior Bella Luz was selected as a Posse Scholar to her dream school: The George Washington University.

Jamie Marlowe

Senior Bella Luz knew The George Washington University was her dream school as soon as she toured last year. She never imagined she’d be a Posse Scholar there just a year later. 

“I’m really excited for the experience Posse is going to give me,” Luz said. “Meeting the people that I’m going to college with – they’re probably going to be my lifelong friends. I’ve already spent a lot of time with them, and I’m going to spend a lot more time with them. I feel so lucky to have a network of people all around.”

Posse is a full tuition leadership scholarship that looks to send a group of 10 diverse students to school together in a “posse” – a built-in group of friends and a support system to lean on in college. 

George Washington is one of six schools that partner with Posse Atlanta. Atlanta’s other partner schools are Bard College, Boston University, Brandeis University, The College of Wooster and Texas A&M University. Luz was one of more than 1,300 Atlanta students nominated for a Posse scholarship, going through an extensive three-stage interview process. 

“There were so many people in the first interview, and I was like, ‘oh, these people are so different from me; they are trying so hard,’” Luz said. “I just felt like I didn’t try that hard in the first interview. And especially since, at the end of the first interview, you’re supposed to write an essay, and I only wrote a paragraph. So I was like, ‘no way.’”

Midtown nominated around 20 students for the 2023 Posse Atlanta scholarship, with Atlanta Public Schools nominating over 300 students. Luz was the only Midtown student selected as a Posse Scholar this year.  

“Bella is the newest member of a long line of Posse scholars that have come from Midtown High School, and they’ve all done extremely well on campuses and in their life afterwards,” Jamaal Greer, Director of Posse Atlanta, said. “I have no doubt that Bella will do the same and exceed expectations.” 

Among other things, Luz serves as Business Operations Lead of Midtown’s robotics team, where she develops and oversees community outreach events and team initiatives. Last summer, she participated in an internship at the Chamber of Commerce in Jacksonville, FL, where she learned about the relationship between small businesses and politics. She is also Vice President of Communications in Midtown’s Future Business Leaders of Amer. Leadership is a key attribute Posse staff looks for in applicants. 

“We help leaders take their vision to the next level and prepare them to blaze a trail on college campuses in whatever career field they enter upon graduation,” Greer said.

Luz plans to pursue a major in marketing with a minor in political science at George Washington.

“Ever since my marketing internship at the High Museum, I’ve loved marketing and especially how that relates to social media,” Luz said. “I also am very interested in politics. After college, I’m not very sure exactly what I want to do since I could see myself doing a lot of things.”

As Posse scholars go to school with their “posse,” Greer said staff ensure that all selected scholars can work well in a group and are empathetic, team-oriented and view others as equals. 

“From what I experienced with Bella in the interview I was involved in, she was extremely kindhearted – definitely stands out in a room, definitely extremely genuine. No matter who she was selected and grouped with, she stood out; she was able to relate to everybody, she was able to make sure people’s ideas were heard, she was able to present her thoughts and her findings and the different activities clearly, professionally and maturely.” 

Luz, her mother Soukhy Clark and her grandmother were out for dinner when Luz received a request from Posse to join a Zoom meeting. After rushing home to join the call, they learned she was selected as a Posse Scholar. 

“We were in tears; we cried right on the Zoom in front of the committee,” Clark said. “[The Posse Scholars] care for each other; they will help each other learn and grow and develop, and they will continue to bless other people.”

Clark said one of the things she cherishes most about her daughter is her service to others and her surrounding community. 

“She’s like this human that I want to grow up to be,” Clark said. “Bella is a loving person. She is humble, and she is respectful of others. She really cares deeply about the social injustices of the world and things that are happening around her. She loves to support and lift other people’s spirits. There’s no ego in her bones; she’s just a humble human being, and I love that about her.”

Clark is thrilled to see her daughter’s hard work from the past four years paying off with her Posse Scholar selection and said she and Luz have already set a time to talk on the phone daily once she is in Washington.

“I am so happy for her as her mother,” Clark said. “I always instill in her that the sky’s the limit, and whether it’s in-state or out-of-state, I want her to have a meaningful experience. As a mother, you have to let your daughter or son venture out and experience the world. You set a foundation, and you’ve got to let them go and have that level of freedom and autonomy.”

Luz and her family are excited to see where Posse takes her. 

“Without God and the support of her friends, her peers, her family, her teachers – I don’t think that we would have gotten this far,” Clark said. “It takes a village to mold a human, student or child. As her mother, I am really proud of her dedication and hard work.”