© The New Yorker Collection 2008Barbara Smaller from cartoonbank.com. All rights reserved.

Century Marks

Buddy system: Nearly 20 years ago Deborah Bial became disturbed by the high dropout rate of promising minority students recruited by top-notch universities. A light went on for her when one of these students told her he would have stayed in school if he had had his posse with him—urban jargon for one’s neighborhood buddies. This gave Bial the idea of recruiting high school students in bunches, helping them develop into a cohesive group, and then sending them en masse to excellent universities. She started the Posse Foundation, which has sent about 2,200 students to 28 different universities with $220 million worth of full-tuition scholarships. Posse students have a graduation rate of 90 percent, compared to 50 percent for all students beginning as freshmen at four-year institutions (Chicago Tribune Magazine, August 3).

 

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