‘Posse Love’ Powers Student’s Success
by Fabiola Cineas ’12
October 2, 2011
Fabiola Cineas ’12
parents came to the United States from Haiti in 1979. They brought nothing with
them but also left nothing behind. Destined to find a new life, they settled
down in Brooklyn, N.Y. My mom found work at a factory making lamps, and my dad
was a taxi driver. I never had to think about poverty when growing up, because
my parents somehow always managed to give me what I needed. From them I learned
that education was my golden ticket and that I had to take control of it in
order to determine my future. Their resilience and love manifested into my
personal model for success.
foundation, I excelled at school. By high school, I was very much in control of
my education. I was at the top of my class and very involved with my school’s
student government and debate and mock-trial teams. I was now on the path to
college and was looking into how I could continue to follow my model for
success and sustain my values.
college advisor informed me of my nomination to be a Posse scholar, I was
intrigued but had no idea what Posse was. Yet by the end of Posse’s rigorous
and nontraditional dynamic assessment program, I came to understand that Posse
was a full-tuition leadership scholarship.
specifically, Posse identified me as a leader and determined that I had the
skills to be effective at a highly selective college or university. I would be
going to Dickinson College with a group of about 11 other students who would
collectively serve as my support network on campus.
time, I had no idea that Posse would drive me to lead a life in which I was
exceedingly passionate about how I could make an impact on my college campus
and dedicate myself to intellectual pursuits and civic engagement. Most
important, I could not foresee that Posse would inspire love in my life, which
we dub “Posse love”—a force that embodies the enduring support that Posse
members offer one another.
did know was that I was selected from a pool of about 2,000 students; it was
under the banner of “leader” that I would move forward and make a difference on
my campus, simultaneously enriching my life and the lives of the 11 other
individuals in my Posse group at Dickinson. It was under this same banner that
I would continue to let my parents’ resilience and love influence my life.
wanted to do everything when I got to Dickinson. There was so much that could
be done. Instead, I listened to the wise words of my Posse mentor and tried my
best to maintain a balance between my academic responsibilities and the
extracurricular activities in which I became involved. By the end of my first
year, I was mainly involved with the campus Multi-Organizational Board (MOB);
by the end of my sophomore year, I was completing my first semester as chair of
a member of MOB, it was impossible for me to not be completely immersed in what
was going on around campus. There were events to plan and carry out every week
and students to talk to in order to figure out what events they would like to
see on campus. MOB was certainly a great test of my perseverance and ability to
work with others to produce the best for Dickinson’s student body. I enjoyed
what I did as a member of MOB and realized that the amount of effort I put in
every day was a reflection of the values and goals that I wanted to uphold and
pursue when I entered Dickinson as a Posse scholar.
the professional world, I also let my banner of leadership define my path.
After my first year at Dickinson, I made my way back to New York City and
interned at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. At the commission,
I learned about discrimination at the workplace and worked with investigators
to analyze cases from the vantage point of the charging parties and
next summer, I worked in various departments at the Financial Times and
gained valuable insight into print journalism. This past summer, I worked with
media buyers and planners at Initiative, a performance-led media-communications
company, to conduct extensive research on our client companies. Guided by the
information gathered, we created communications plans that employed marketing
and digital advertising to address company weaknesses.
Now in my
senior year, I still wish to let my banner of leadership be my guide. The
foundation my parents created is still firm, and the force with which Posse has
empowered me is pervasive. Eight months before graduation, I am excited to see
where these powers will lead me.
Fabiola Cineas ‘12 is an English major and political science minor.