Winter 2014| Posse National Newsletter


Obama Highlights Scholar in State of the Union

Posse Scholarship recipient Estiven Rodriguez, currently a senior at Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School in New York City, attended the State of the Union (SOTU) address on Tuesday, January 28, as an invited guest of First Lady Michelle Obama. He was singled out by President Barack Obama during the address as the type of student deserving of a world-class education.

“Estiven Rodriguez couldn’t speak a word of English when he moved to NYC at age 9,” said President Obama in his SOTU address. “But last month, thanks to the support of great teachers and an innovative tutoring program, he led a march of his classmates through a crowd of cheering parents and neighbors—from their high school to the Post Office where they mailed off their college applications. And this son of a factory worker just found out he’s going to college this fall.”

One of the top students in his senior class, Estiven will be the first from his family to attend college and will matriculate in the fall at Dickinson College as part of the newest class of Posse Scholars.

The First Lady’s Office released the following statement about Estiven: “His story underscores the importance of the President’s goal to give all kids a chance to get ahead, regardless of the circumstances of their birth.”

“Estiven’s story is nothing short of extraordinary,” said Deborah Bial, the president and founder of The Posse Foundation. “Connecting students like him to educational opportunities that match their incredible potential is critical to ensuring the future of our democracy.”

View other stories in the Posse National Quarterly