Common App Member Summit Keynote: Deborah Bial of The Posse Foundation

May 17, 2017

Common App Member Summit Keynote: Deborah Bial of The Posse Foundation

The Common Application's annual Member Summit brings together admission and enrollment vice presidents, deans, and directors from Common App member institutions to engage in a dialogue on the role of The Common Application in advancing college access. The event also features a keynote speaker who is invited to make a forward-thinking and thought-provoking presentation. This year's keynote, Deborah Bial, delivered on that promise - receiving a standing ovation. 

As President and Founder of The Posse Foundation, Bial is passionate about issues of access, equity, and diversity - and in guiding colleges and universities toward improved admissions policy. The mission of The Posse Foundation, a youth leadership development organization that sends teams (Posses) of high school students from diverse backgrounds to selective higher ed institutions, is to empower activism. 

Bial urged the Summit audience of admission leaders and decision-makers to reflect on what they're doing on their campuses:

* How do we both support our students and protect our institutions?
* What happens when a student is an activist?
* What position do you think makes most sense for a college as an organization to take?
* What happens when a student asks for your involvement?
* What is your responsibility politically, socially, organizationally?

"Debbie's presentation was powerful. She ended with the call to action: 'Be the table pounder!' Her words made me think about what I can do better in advocating for students," said one attendee. 

The Posse Foundation has identified, recruited, and trained 7,728 public high school students to become Posse Scholars. Since 1989, these students—many of whom might have been overlooked by traditional college selection processes—have been receiving four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships from Posse’s partner institutions of higher education. The Posse Foundation is a national initiative with chapters in Atlanta, the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, D.C.

If you have a student to nominate for The Posse Foundation, check out the website for more details.