The Posse Foundation

Cause Area

  • Children & Youth
  • Education & Literacy


111 W. JacksonSuite 1900Chicago, IL 60604 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Posse started in 1989 because of one student who said, "I never would have dropped out of college if I had my posse with me." The Posse Foundation identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes. The Foundation extends to these students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams--Posses--of 10 students. The Foundation’s partner colleges and universities award Posse Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships.

The Posse model works for both students and college campuses and is rooted in the belief that a small, diverse group of talented students--a Posse--carefully selected and trained, can serve as a catalyst for increased individual and community development. As the United States becomes an increasingly multicultural society, Posse believes that the leaders of this new century should reflect the country’s rich demographic mix and that the key to a promising future for our nation rests on the ability of strong leaders from diverse backgrounds to develop consensus solutions to complex social problems. One of the primary aims of the Posse program is to train these leaders of tomorrow.


The Posse Foundation is a national non-profit college access and youth leadership development organization that identifies, recruits, and trains incredible youth leaders and sends them off in diverse teams ("Posses") to top colleges and universities around the country. Posse recruits and selects student leaders from public high schools in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City and Washington, DC to form multicultural teams of ten called "posses". Since 1989, The Posse Foundation has placed over 5,500 Posse Scholars at top colleges and universities around the country. These scholars have collectively been awarded $688 million in full-tuition leadership scholarships from Posse partner universities.

The Posse Foundation currently works with fifty-one top partner colleges and universities from all around the country. Posse Chicago was founded in 2000 in the heart of downtown Chicago. To date, over 500 Chicago Posse Scholars have been awarded over $50 million in leadership scholarships. Posse Chicago's partner universities and colleges include DePauw University, Denison University, Oberlin College, Pomona College, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Middlebury, Connecticut College, Trinity College, Agnes Scott College, Cornell University, and St. Olaf University. This site's current annual operating budget is $2.4 million.


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