The student news site of LaPorte High School

Zawada wins the Posse Scholarship


Slicer Ryley Zawada has had an incredibly busy high school career with being a Poms and Dance team member; the UDA-All American Dance Team, her Hawaii trip for dance, and her academics. Through her busy senior year, Zawada has shown leadership, scholarship, and all the traits that helped her win the Posse Scholarship, earning her a full-ride scholarship to Purdue University.

The Posse Scholarships are awarded to students who are strong academically and show leadership skills. The Posse Scholarship also helps promote diversity through race, class, gender, and more in the schools that the scholars attend. 

“The Posse Scholarship is a leadership-based, full-tuition scholarship. There are three rounds of interviews for a total of 10 hours where 60-70 students go through many different activities, including lots of teamwork and scenario-based activities. Out of the students nominated, only ten are chosen and trained to be leaders and sent as a “posse” on campus. I did not apply, I was nominated by my counselor at the AK Smith Career Center for my leadership roles,” Zawada said.

Zawada was nervous about her nomination but pushed on through the entire scholarship process. 

“The process was very nerve-racking. Every round I was nervous if I had impressed the Posse leaders or not,” Zawada said.

By winter break of 2021, Zawada received a decision from the Posse organization. She was notified that she won a full-ride scholarship to Purdue.

“It was unbelievable. I have always wanted to go to Purdue University, and getting full tuition is mind-blowing,” Zawada said.

There were a plethora of reasons that led to her decision of choosing Purdue.

“My mom graduated from Purdue and led me on track to becoming a future Boilermaker. Last year I attended many Zooms, dance clinics, and visited campus, which made me fall in love with the university,” Zawada said. 

Zawada plans to major in elementary education while at Purdue, as well as audition for the Purdue Goldusters dance team.

Leadership was a large factor in deciding the winner for the scholarship and being a leader has been a large part of Zawada’s high school career. 

“Being a leader is important because you can be an example for others and even create change,” Zawada said.

Many people have been a part of Zawada’s success and have helped her become the leader she is today.

“I would like to thank my family, friends, AK Smith counselor, and everyone who supported me along the way,” Zawada said.

Zawada is encouraging prospective students to apply for the Posse Scholarship and to take the chance and possibly win the scholarship.

“Posse has been an amazing experience. If you are nominated, good luck, you will do great. Everyone at Posse is very welcoming,” Zawada said.

Zawada has shown future Slicers that anything is possible and to take a chance. Her legacy at La Porte will surely carry on at Purdue.


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