The Posse Foundation selects New World School of the Arts Visual Artist, and confers scholarship to top-tier university

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Visual arts high school student Sophia ZavarseMiami -- NWSA now boasts with eight distinguished Posse Foundation Scholars. High School visual artist Sophia Zavarse has become the 2014 Posse Foundation Scholar and starting this fall she will beattending her dream school, Mount Holyoke, on a full scholarship offered by the nationally recognized program.

Selected from among 1000 applicants, Zavarse aptly demonstrated that her leadership abilities, collaborative nature and communication skills were just as important as herimpeccable artistic talent. "Art has been a major factor in the continuous development of my interpersonal and communication skills." These important qualities and skills were instrumental to secure her place among the 40 fortunate scholarship winners. "Being a Posse Scholar will have an enormous impact on my future. The Posse Foundation gave me the opportunity to be seen as more than just a score or a GPA, as a person with depth and weaknesses as well as strengths and personal experiences that ties them all together."

Sophia has been developing conceptually and artistically during the past three years, but has decided to put less emphasis on her art and concentrate on pursuing a career in the subject that she is passionate about - environmental science. "Although my main focus in college will be environmental studies, I do not wish to ignore all the good that my art education has provided me. Art has enabled me to develop into the person that I am today."

In sophomore year Sophia earned community service hours as an assistant to an immigration and family attorney, doing secretarial work as well as the occasional translation of legal documents from Spanish to English. At the same time, she applied to an international summer program through Women of Tomorrow and was rewarded a $3,500 scholarship to go to Mexico for three weeks during the summer. During the summer between her junior and senior year, Sophia traveled to New Hampshire for three weeks to volunteer with the AppalachianMountain Club to repair and maintain the trails of the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and later did two more weeks of volunteer work on Mount Cardigan. Sophia is a member of the National Science Honors Society, the National Spanish Honors Society, and the National Art Honors Society.
This is the fifth year that the Posse Foundation draws students from the Miami-Dade Public School Systems. The Foundation's track record demonstrates that underrepresented, high-achieving, self-motivating students will remain in college through graduation, at higher rates, if they can share the process with members of their own group. In other words, a posse that stays together succeeds together. Posse scholars boast a 90% graduation rate, compared to the 57% national standard rate. This means that successful completion of an undergraduate program not only improves for applicants of multicultural backgrounds, but also for other ethnicities or races, including Caucasians, despite the institution's cultural composition. Students that can rely on ready-made support groups report feeling a higher sense of worth.
Posse partner colleges and universities award Posse Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships. Each of the four Miami Posse colleges select 10 multicultural groups of students from the Miami area that form a Miami Posse when they go away to that particular school for their college education. This year PosseMiami is associated with top liberal arts schools such as Franklin and Marshall, Syracuse, Hamilton, and Mount Holyoke.
The distinguished history of the New World School of the Arts began in 1984 when the Florida State Legislature established the institution to provide artistically talented high school and college students the means to achieve both an academic education and artistic training. In September 1986, NWSA opened its doors to students in grades ten through twelve. NWSA’s audition-based programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art, Dance, Music and Theater. NWSA offers the high school diploma as well as a four-year BFA or BM college degree.
New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership between Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida.  
For information about New World School of the Arts, please call at 305-237-3135 or visit