Posse Foundation names Willis, Dinwiddie 2018 scholarship winners

Arthur Willis of Homewood and Alec Dinwiddie of Flossmoor have been selected as Posse Scholars for 2018.
The Posse Foundation is a national organization working with colleges and universities to support talented students from diverse backgrounds by providing four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships. 
  Arthur Willis
Willis will attend the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Dinwiddie will attend Cornell University.
In addition, Willis and Dinwiddie also will have a support network to help them complete their bachelor’s degrees.
The Posse Foundation was founded in 1989 to identify public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes. 
Willis, son of Arthur and Julie Willis, attended St. John Lutheran School in Country Club Hills, and is graduating from Homewood-Flossmoor High School.  At the University of Wisconsin he plans to major in civil engineering with an emphasis on environmental work.
Willis has been playing alto saxophone since fourth grade and was a member of H-F’s marching band.  He is a member of the National Honor Society and is in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at H-F.
The IB curriculum is open to select students and is the capstone of the four-year H-F Gifted Academy course sequence. One of Willis’ IB projects was a paper that delved into a music comparison between two cultures.  
“I looked at slaves in America and the Negro spirituals and compared that to church music in 900 to 1000 in the Roman Catholic Church.  There are similarities that you wouldn’t expect,” Willis said,  “mainly in the structuring.  Both were straight vocals, no instruments or accompaniment, things like that. The music has a similar meter across both cultures.”
  Alec Dinwiddie
Dinwiddie, son of Lavelle Smith Hall and Alfred Dinwiddie, attended Morgan Park Academy and is graduating from Marian Catholic High School. He plans to major in economics at Cornell.
At Marian, Dinwiddie was a member of the basketball team that took third place in IHSA state competition this year. He also is a member of the Service Club, Generation Green, an Dominican Ambassador paired with two freshmen as a senior mentor, and an International Student Ambassador for foreign students enrolled at Marian.
Dinwiddie said the Kappa League Institute-Chicago, a program designed for male minority students to help them achieve success in high school and into college. He has been part of the program for four years, and it was the Kappa League that recommended him for the Posse Scholarship.  
The organization also helped Dinwiddie win a spot at the National Student Leadership Conference in 2017 for a week of programs on leadership at Georgetown University.  It also gave Dinwiddie the opportunity to spend a month in Ghana in summer 2017 partaking in community service projects, such as painting schools.
He lived with a family of six in a one story house and recognized that life for them “was definitely a struggle. They were low on food, low on water, the electricity would cut out almost every day. I look at my life and really, really appreciate that God has blessed me.”
Inspired by the Parkland student movement, Dinwiddie and Christian Beal, a Flossmoor friend, are trying to organize a young people’s conference this summer for young people in the Chicago area centered around ideas that can lead to improvements in education, the environment and recreation. 

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