Marcela Rondon “Highlights” Her Posse Experience


Matthew Castano

Having set out on her Posse journey in her junior year, Marcela Rondon has finally become a Posse scholar, committing to Hamilton College.

As the 2022-2023 school year begins to wind down and seniors lock in their college decisions, Marcela Rondon has become one of Coral Gables Senior High’s latest Posse scholars. Thanks to the full-ride scholarship that includes tuition, mentoring and academic support, Rondon will be able to complete her double undergraduate degree in English Literature and Sociology at Hamilton College without any financial burden.

Rondon’s passion for journalism stems from the opportunity it gives her to develop a deeper understanding of a topic and view it from the diverse perspectives of others. Throughout her high school years, Rondon took an interest in one of the many publications Gables has to offer, Highlights, and became a copy editor in her junior year. This profound love for the profession ultimately drove Rondon to choose Hamilton College for its Literature and Creative Writing Department.

“Whenever I write about a new topic, I have the opportunity to explore something completely new to me and gain insight into the numerous perspectives that help shape a story. It feels special knowing that your piece of writing helps share information with the masses and create a more informed society,” senior Marcela Rondon said.

Rondon first heard about the Posse foundation through last year’s College Assistance Program advisor, Ms. Driver. Rondon recounts the day Ms. Driver informed her of a forum in which past Posse scholars from all over the state would share their experiences with the foundation. Being surrounded by inspirational students, it took Rondon mere seconds to conclude that Posse was for her.

In round one of the Posse process, the interviewers knew their possible Posse scholars were filled with anxious jitters. In an effort to make Rondon and the nervous candidates feel more comfortable, the interviewers asked them to do random activities to help shake off the nerves, such as asking them to walk as if they were stepping on Jell-O. Rondon eventually warmed up to the unusual yet insightful style of interviews until she slowly but surely reached the final interview.

Marcela has become much more confident in herself and her leadership style throughout her journey with Posse. She knew exactly what she wanted for her future, from her choice of major to her college. I may not have seen her every step in the process, but I know Posse is perfect for her,

— senior Cristel Cantarero-Villeda

Knowing that she had made it to the final round, Rondon was nervous to the point of being unable to concentrate on her homework. So much so that she had asked her fellow Posse scholars when she should expect the decisive message. As the hours passed by, Rondon began to feel hopeless, then a notification suddenly appeared on her screen.

The message was from the Posse Foundation which invited Rondon to one final Zoom meeting. Rondon had a feeling something was off as the Director of Diversity and Posse liaison for Hamilton College commented on the answers she had given to the interview questions. One answer about the scholar’s attributes and hobbies, however, struck the liaison’s interest. As she began to recite Rondon’s answer, she could not help but ask, “How would you feel bringing these traits to Hamilton?”

Left in total shock upon learning she had finally achieved the goal she had set since her junior year, the only words the scholar could utter back were, “No way, this is crazy.”

“When the liaison told me about my acceptance into Hamilton, my jaw dropped. So many thoughts were racing through my head. I was very pleasantly surprised to say the least,” senior Marcela Rondon said. 

Hoping to specialize in and pursue the field of journalism in her upcoming college years, Rondon expects to work towards her goal at her newfound home in Hamilton College, continuing to explore her interests in writing and sociology.

“Apart from their strong focus on writing, Hamilton also has an assortment of publications that appeal to my interests, including a newspaper that has been around since the 1800s. Hamilton’s emphasis on writing will hopefully allow me to hone my skills while also developing my communication abilities,” senior Marcela Rondon said.