On her way to Bucknell University


Posse Foundation Scholarship recipient Cynthia Moreno, 12, receives a full ride scholarship to Bucknell University in Pennsylvania after the extensive application and interview process. Moreno was one of 90 students selected nationwide to receive this award.

Angelica Co, Student Life Editor

While others await their college acceptance letters, senior Cynthia Moreno rejoices at her set future at Bucknell University after she succeeded in winning a full tuition scholarship from The Posse Foundation last December.

“It has been a pleasure to have Cynthia in my A.P. Government class.  Throughout the semester, she remained focused, conscientious, and worked very hard,” Mr. Nevarez said. “Cynthia exemplifies the rewards that come with having a great work ethic and dedication to school.  I can’t imagine anyone more deserving of a full tuition scholarship to Bucknell University.”

Among the 2,400 students nominated nationwide, Moreno was one of the 90 contenders chosen to win the prize.

“I had never been more surprised in my life. I had worked so hard and made my friends and parents so proud by getting so far that I just wanted to win more than anything,” Moreno said. “I had doubted myself throughout the entire process, but my family and friends were the ones who kept me going and kept my hopes alive.”

After learning about the benefits the foundation offers through The Constitutional Rights Foundation, a different program Moreno was a part of in 2010, the future Bucknell University student eagerly asked Nancy Sanchez, the program director, to nominate her. But in order to win this highly anticipated award, the nominees had to go through a series of three phases with the first and the last being group interviews. The Posse Foundation, although it still considers grades and SAT/ACT scores, focuses more on the student’s leadership abilities and communication skills. Moreno was given the challenge to stand out amongst a group of unfamiliar faces who—just like her—yearn to get their hands on the golden trophy.

“Everyone nominated was smart, nice, and intimidating at the same time,” the A.P. student said. “After each interview I came away feeling good about my performance but worried about how many other kids there were to choose from.”

Before the second round of interviews, the applicants were told to research on Posse’s nine partner schools. Ironically, the future Bison was unfamiliar with Bucknell University and had only learned about the school after she was nominated. University of California, Berkeley was the current Viking’s dream school. But after learning about the other campuses, Moreno suddenly found a fondness for the liberal arts school in Pennsylvania.

“I was told to pick my top three from the list, but once I heard Berkeley was there I thought there was no need for the other two choices,” Moreno said. “But in the end, I decided Berkeley was not for me; Bucknell quickly became my dream school.”

Moreno proved to be a guaranteed frontrunner as she received the acceptance call from one of the admission officers only two hours after her last interview. And after receiving the exciting news, she promptly informed her mother and her best friend, a fellow Viking, about her outstanding achievement.

“I always knew she had it in her, and I never doubted her ability to succeed,” senior Laura Paniagua said. “Her family and friends couldn’t be more proud. Cynthia is a strong, dedicated person; I’m sure she’s going to have a wonderful experience at Bucknell.”

With Moreno’s determination to succeed, the possibilities are endless for the high school senior who will be walking into a different world next fall. She has achieved something that once only existed as a dream; and with her every step, it is certain that Moreno will continue to reach for even greater stars and make, not only her family, but the Vikings proud.