Karis Knoll and Luis Lafaurie join NWSA’s growing list of Posse Scholars

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Posse scholarship winners for 2021.New World School of the Arts now has two more Posse Scholars. Both new scholars, Karis Knoll and Luis Lafaurie are in the NWSA Theater division and are part of the Posse Scholars Class of 2021.

The Posse Foundation, which recruits high school students from 10 cities in the nation, identifies, recruits and trains young individuals with extraordinary leadership potential. Posse Miami Partner Colleges and Universities which award Posse Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships, include Davidson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Hamilton College, Mount Holyoke College, Pomona College and Syracuse University. Once students are nominated by their high school or community-based organization and after a three-month rigorous assessment process designed to identify students who might be missed by traditional college admissions criteria, the Foundation selects 10 students per city, creating a posse, for each Partner College and University. Each Posse Scholar then receives a full-tuition scholarship to attend one of the partner institutions.

Among the qualities that the Posse Foundation looks for in each student as it accesses selection are leadership skills - in their high schools and in their communities, commitment to their education, academic potential, interest in teamwork and diversity, motivation, talent, ambition and positive mindset.


ABOUT KARIS KNOLL
Karis Knoll, who will be attending Mount Holyoke on full tuition, is a natural-born leader involved in numerous activities in and outside the school highlights, “At New World we are taught how to be artists who collaborate, create, and lead,” said Karis Knoll. “With those tools I was able to rise naturally to collaborative leadership opportunities in my NWSA community and out, which helped create this life changing opportunity to go to Mount Holyoke as a Posse scholar! I am so grateful for all my fellow pigeons and the New World administrators, teachers, and staff for fostering my growth as a leader and helping me see my potential. I can’t wait to continue creating alongside my Posse as I enter a whole new world in college!”

At New World School of the Arts Knoll is president of Be HIP, Thespians treasurer, When We all Vote school captain (voting registration), Founding secretary of speech and debate club, Assistant Director of Much Ado About Nothing one act, and Co-director of Dance Nation studio show. Her awards and recognitions in their arts, in and outside of NWSA, include Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award for Young, People First Place winner from the Florida State Poets Association, perfect score in directing at District Thespians Festival, Black Civics Summer 2020 Graduate from the NAACP and Spanish 2 Non-speakers Best in Class award. In the community, Knoll is involved as co-president of Interfaith Youth Miami, Member of Student Voices board for Florida Department of Education and acts as the Be HIP intern.

Knoll’s acting teacher Silas Hoover notes that, "Karis has an indefatigable passion for fostering equity and accessibility for all performers and audiences. I see Karis making a significant contribution to the arts as a performer, director, and developer."

ABOUT LUIS LAFAURIE
“Being selected as a Posse Scholar for Hamilton College [on full tuition] has been the cherry on top of my high school career,” said Luis Lafaurie. “Not only do I get to attend my dream school, but I now have a family, a posse, of inspiring individuals who will only broaden the scope of my horizons! However, every success has an incredible team behind it, and I’d be lying if I said I was able to do this on my own. It was thanks to my family, friends, and the NWSA teachers’ and administrators’ constant support that I have been able to come as far as I have. Thank you New World School of the Arts, thank you Posse, and thank you Hamilton!”

Likewise, Luis Lafaurie also engages in extracurricular activities and makes time to support the community in any way he can. Among his community involvement, Luis has accumulated over 1,000 hours of community service at/from the Miami Children’s Theater - teaching, collaborating, and participating in community theater and community outreach. He also volunteered at the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital through Faith, Hope, and Love Jesus Inc., performing as SpongeBob SquarePants for children residing at the hospital. In addition, Luis is a NWSA ambassador for a nonpartisan organization teaching the youth about how to effectively use their voice and helping them register/preregister to vote. At NWSA, Luis is a member of the International Thespians Society (historian/social media coordinator), Gay Straight Alliance (historian), NWSA fashion magazine (founding board member, editor) and debate club (member).

Lafaurie has had acting roles in “Side Show” (NWSA), “Newsies” and Spring Awakening” (Miami Children’s Theater). "Luis was cast in his junior year as a principal role in the musical Side Show,” said Matthew Buffalo, acting teacher at NWSA. “Every day of rehearsal, Luis came in with positive energy ready to explore. He was very collaborative and respectful of the creative process and his ability to stay focused while allowing every voice to be heard is a great asset that will serve him well in his future pursuits."

ABOUT NEW WORLD SCHOOL OF THE ARTS
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 nwsa.mdc.edu.

ABOUT NEW WORLD SCHOOL OF THE ARTS THEATER DIVISION
The New World School of the Arts theater program is dedicated to the professional training of talented and committed students interested in pursuing a performing career in theater and music theater, offering students an opportunity to work in a hands-on intensive, physically demanding, artistically challenging and exciting environment. Guided by faculty who are professional actors, directors, playwrights and designers, the curriculum is a progressive journey toward the ownership of a personal technique and a comprehensive methodology of working. The faculty guides the student through the discovery and exploration of self, the learning of diverse techniques used in our craft, intensive rehearsal process, and finally the application of this knowledge into dramatic forms and styles in productions. The NWSA College BFA program culminates each year with showcases in Miami and in New York City. Information about the NWSA Theater program is available by calling 305-237-3541.

ABOUT POSSE FOUNDATION
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.

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