James-Thrower ’20 Wins Posse Scholarship

by St. Andrew's Communications Staff
Michaela James-Thrower ’20 is one of 10 students from the Washington, D.C., region who will attend Sewanee: The University of the South this fall on a full-tuition Posse Foundation scholarship.
The Posse Foundation’s goal is to train the leaders of tomorrow by carefully selecting and supporting a small, diverse group of talented students – a Posse – that has the potential to serve as a catalyst for individual and community development.

After she was nominated for the award by a friend of the family, Michaela participated in a series of group and individual interviews, ultimately being named a winner in early December.

Michaela said she was impressed by how the Posse Foundation encouraged her, making her feel comfortable in normally high-pressure interviews and even connecting her with a mentor who coached her throughout the interview process.

“Every time I left an interview, I felt like I was being supported and it was a good thing I was there, even if I didn’t make it to the next round,” Michaela said. “Posse just made me feel like I did something great.”

Scholarship finalists rank schools they would like to attend from a list of partner colleges and universities. Michaela said she was immediately drawn to Sewanee and felt a sense of belonging when she visited.

“All the signs were pointed toward this one place. It felt like all love. It was such a genuine experience,” she said. “Even if I didn’t get [the scholarship] I would want to go there.”

Winning the scholarship, Michaela said, allows her to give back to her parents by relieving the burden of college expenses, and enables her to pay it forward – as a Posse scholar, she will be able to nominate candidates in the future.

Before setting foot on campus as a student, Michaela said she is confident her Posse will give her the foundation she needs to make her voice heard at Sewanee.

“Going to a school where I already have a group of people that are going to feel like family is going to be so empowering,” she said. “I feel like I’ll be more of an advocate for myself and others.”

At St. Andrew’s, Michaela performs in plays and musicals with the St. Andrew’s Players, sings with the A Capella Club, and facilitates diversity conferences for middle and high school students.

Inspired by her work with Dr. Rodney Glasgow, Head of Middle School and Chief Diversity Officer, and Glenn Whitman, history teacher and Director of the CTTL, Michaela said she plans to study education at Sewanee with the goal of becoming a middle school English or Math teacher.

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St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private, coeducational college preparatory day school for students in preschool (Age 2) through grade 12, located in Potomac, Maryland.