From left to right: Seniors Eamon Walsh, Stella Maximuk and Joe Muche will be attending George Washington University in the fall of 2024.
From left to right: Seniors Eamon Walsh, Stella Maximuk and Joe Muche will be attending George Washington University in the fall of 2024.
Courtesy of Eamon Walsh

2024 Midtown Posse Scholars pursue unique paths

Senior Imani Johnson will be attending Bard College in the fall and will study poetry.
Imani Johnson, Bard College

Senior Imani Johnson is a 2024 Posse Scholar and will be attending Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. 

Johnson currently serves as the president of Midtown’s Drama Club, as well as Midtown Votes. Her voting activism has received recognition from the national organization “When We All Vote” and former first lady Michelle Obama. However, Johnson only considered applying for college when she was approached by counselor Lamar Young about the Posse scholarship. 

“I often felt like the college application process was very privileged and very unfair for communities that don’t have resources,” Johnson said. “But Posse gave me a way to show my skills and show my personality. Nobody asked me what my class rank was or what my GPA was. Every time I felt like I didn’t do enough, the trainers and the staff would email me afterward and say, ‘Thank you for your vulnerability,’ or make jokes with me when I felt anxious.”

When Posse staff encouraged Johnson to research every school, she fell in love with Bard College. 

“Bard was third on my list, and then I found out that they had a civic engagement approach,” Johnson said. “I researched their website and stalked every single Instagram account, and I just fell in love. There is genuinely not a school like Bard. [When] I went and toured, I remember pulling up to the campus and walking in and seeing everybody dressed like me and seeing people who looked like me and had majors like me. I’ve always felt like I’ve stuck out like a sore thumb [but] it was just like, ‘I’m home, and I’m going to thrive here.”

Johnson plans on studying poetry, as well as mind, brain and behavior. Not only does she think Bard’s programs will help her thrive in college, but also the social foundation she will consistently have with her posse. 

“I’m looking forward to already knowing a good amount of people,” Johnson said. “I would say the biggest thing for me is my support system and my community. [While] the idea of going to college in a different state is so jarring for me and a little bit uncomfortable, already knowing that I’m going to have a core ten people with me is very, very [validating].”

Johnson believes the resources Posse provides will help her beyond college and support her career goals. 

“I want to do something creatively at my core, and I know that Posse is going to help me with that because they looked past my academic ability,” Johnson said. “I’m a fine student. I’ve always just done okay, but I have the heart to go the extra mile, and Posse looks at that, too. I know that this is the right fit for me because I’ve been able to shine through them.”

Senior Imani Johnson will be attending Bard College in the fall and will study poetry. (Diana Jachman)
Senior Eamon Walsh will be attending George Washington University in the fall and will study international business.
Eamon Walsh, George Washington University

Senior Eamon Walsh is a 2024 Posse Scholar and will be attending George Washington University in Washington D.C.

Walsh plans to major in international business. He became interested in the scholarship when alumna Bella Luz won it in 2023. 

“I originally found out about this scholarship last year when Bella Luz won it for George Washington,” Walsh said. “So, I looked into it, and I saw it was based on leadership. I thought to myself, ‘I have some leadership activities, and I’m interested in the partner schools and what the organization is doing.’ I applied through the school and started doing more research on the program and pre-collegiate training. The career aspects and pretty much all aspects [of the scholarship] just kind of blew my mind.”

During high school, Walsh served as a chapter officer for Midtown’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and as vice president on its State Executive Council, representing Midtown and Atlanta Public Schools. This has blossomed his leadership skills, giving him a foundation for the Posse Scholarship.

“I started with the FBLA back in sophomore year,” Walsh said. “I was a chapter officer, and since then, I’ve really fallen in love with the organization and taken my leadership involvement to the next level. Beginning this past March, I’ve served on the State Executive Council as an officer representing the northwest area. It’s also prepared me for the scholarship as well [with] being a good team player, knowing how to read others [and] drive change.”

Through the application process, Walsh enhanced his leadership skills during the group conversations and interviews.

“I really enjoyed all the deep conversation, and also I feel like I became a more outgoing person in the process because I got to meet lots of students from other schools,” Walsh said. “I think overall, the scholarship will definitely change me by making me more open-minded. Posse does a great job of bringing people from diverse backgrounds, so I’m excited to get to work [with] and get to know people from across Metro Atlanta.”

Walsh said he chose to attend George Washington University because the Posse Scholarship thought it would be the best fit for him.

“I originally had Boston University [ranked] first, and I think it was kind of for the wrong reasons; I would say mainly just because of the rank and the prestige of the university,” Walsh said. “But I think Posse did a really good job at matching me on George Washington, which aligned more with my interests and with my activities and where I want to go. They did a really good job pairing the most like-minded people that I get along really well with.”

Walsh looks forward to the opportunities he will have at George Washington as well as how the Posse scholarship will help him in his social and career experiences.

“I’m really excited for a new chapter in my life,” Walsh said. “I enjoyed living in Atlanta and high school a lot. I found success, met some great people [and] some great mentors and teachers. I’ve joined some amazing communities, but I’m just excited to take my leadership skills and my academics to the next level and be able to thrive, especially on campus through Posse.”

Senior Eamon Walsh will be attending George Washington University in the fall and will study international business. (Carys Brightwell)
Senior Joseph Muche will be attending George Washington University in the fall and will study finance.
Joseph Muche, George Washington University

Senior Joseph Muche is a 2024 Posse Scholar and will be attending George Washington University in Washington D.C. He is in the National Honors Society and has been on the basketball team since junior year. 

Muche is deciding between finance, marketing and accounting as his major. He became interested in the Posse Scholarship when Young recommended him.

“Originally, I had no idea about the scholarship,” Muche said. “When [Young] first told me, I did my application in about five minutes and didn’t put in much effort. Then he told me that this was too important to do my application like that, and I redid my resume, and he showed me examples, and I put more effort into it.”

Muche thinks Posse looks past just academics and extracurriculars and into your personality. 

“I believe that the Posse Foundation values people being true to themselves, commitment to improving and leadership,” Muche said. “For example, I had a low GPA in my freshmen and sophomore years, and they saw that. Instead, they looked at the drastic jump in my [GPA] junior and senior year and how I was focused in multiple aspects, such as balancing multiple sports and jobs while doing well in school.”

Muche said Young and the College and Career Center at Midtown helped him get over the challenges he faced.

“Consistently going to Mr. Young’s office through junior and senior year helped me out with scholarships, but also the college and career office helped me look at numerous scholarships to apply for,” Muche said.

Ultimately, Muche is excited to experience George Washington and the benefits of the Posse Scholarship.

“The Posse Scholarship allows me to go to college with a group of people, and I hope to build a comfortable bond with the other people I go to college with so I don’t feel alone going to Washington,” Muche said.

Senior Joseph Muche will be attending George Washington University in the fall and will study finance. (Carys Brightwell)
Senior Stella Maximuk will be attending George Washington University in the fall and will study political science.
Stella Maximuk, George Washington University

Senior Stella Maximuk is a 2024 Posse Scholar and will be attending George Washington University in Washington D.C.

Maximuk is currently an Editor-in-Chief for the Southerner and has also played varsity softball since her freshman year.

Maximuk wants to major in political science and later go into public policy. She thought George Washington would be a perfect fit to pursue this career. 

“The George Washington University was on my list just because of the connections the school has,” Maximuk said. “And obviously being in D.C., it has so many incredible opportunities. When I had my first meeting with my college counselor last spring, she was like, ‘Hey, you know the Posse scholarship, George Washington is a partner. You should go for it!’ I looked into it, and I immediately decided to apply.”

Maximuk found the application process challenging but felt that it helped her grow.

“The biggest challenge I faced was probably nerves,” Maximuk said. “I was super nervous going into all of the interviews, especially the last one, [which] I felt kind of makes or breaks everything. It was so much pressure, all of it, but it was good. It made me think, and it made me work hard. I was practicing all the time and that kind of helped lessen the nerves.”

Despite the stress, Maximuk found the process valuable, and she recognized the impact it had on her.

“I think, overall, the process has been really great,” Maximuk said. “I’ve had to do a lot of reflection on myself, as well as my goals. I think I’ve really gotten to know myself better. Everything is very clear cut, what I want to do, my goals [and] what I’m going to be doing at George Washington. I can’t wait to get started.”

Maximuk finds that her excitement extends beyond being a Posse scholar and into the long-lasting relationships she will build while in college.

“I’d met everyone before, but we all kind of found out who got it all together at the award ceremony,” Maximuk said. “It was just so exciting. Everybody is so incredible. I cannot wait to go to D.C. with them, as well as spend more time with the Posse trainers. Everybody there is just so amazing and incredible. And what’s actually a really funny story is that Eamon, another Posse Scholar, is a childhood friend of mine. The fact that we’re going to college together is just crazy.”

Senior Stella Maximuk will be attending George Washington University in the fall and will study political science. (Carys Brightwell)
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About the Contributors
Diana Jachman, Multimedia Managing Editor
Diana Jachman is a senior, and this is her thrid year writing for The Southerner. She currently writes and produces video productions for the website. Outside of The Southerner, Diana is involved with Midtown's Theater program. She is so excited to continue working on the paper this year.
Carys Brightwell, News Associate Managing Editor
Carys Brightwell is a junior and this is her third year writing for The Southerner. She is the secretary for Beta Club and is a part of the Latin Club, SGA, Book Club, Earth Club, First Century Leaders, and JSU. When she's not spending her time writing she's either with her friends, playing the bass, or sewing something new.

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