Fall 2013| Posse Chicago Quarterly


Scholar Participates in White House Panel Led by Education Secretary Arne Duncan

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan with Posse Scholar Jaureese Gaines.

This past spring, Pomona College freshman Jaureese Gaines was invited to participate in a panel discussion led by United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Before an intimate audience of legislators, Jaureese and the other panelists shared their experiences with public education and highlighted the needs of their communities.

This trip to the White House was arranged by filmmaker Jason Pollock who is directing a social media campaign and feature-length documentary entitled Undroppable that stars Jaureese and other students from public schools across the country.

“I shared with Secretary Duncan that I feel it’s important to get young students to look at teachers as role models,” says Jaureese, who also spoke with Senators Ron Wyden and Ben Cardin, and Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard.

Jaureese regards his high school history teacher and his football coach, in addition to his family, as strong role models who put him on the path to succeed and ultimately become a Posse Scholar.

Visiting the nation’s capitol left such a positive impression that Jaureese applied and was hired for an internship at the Department of Education (DOED). This summer, he was a community outreach liaison for the department while also working with program management analysts to research and collect data on cities targeted by the department’s programs.

“I have a passion for education and there is no better place to intern than the DOED to get hands-on policy experience,” says Jaureese. “The internship also helped me build a good network in D.C., where I hope to return next summer.”

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