Vincenzo Suarez ’23, from Weston, Florida, is one of 10 Posse Foundation scholars in his class on the Syracuse University campus. The Posse Foundation is a program that partners with universities across the country to provide full-tuition scholarships and mentorship to diverse students who show strong leadership potential. Suarez states, “We are a support group for one another and advocate for diversity and inclusion.”
Suarez shares the history of the foundation; “So, the Posse Foundation started in the late 1900s. Deborah Bial, president and founder, used to be a professor and saw one of her students homeless in NYC. That student said that he wouldn’t have dropped out of college if he had his posse with him. She wanted to create a support group for other students in college so events like this didn’t happen.”
At Syracuse University, Suarez is a dual major studying management at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and public relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He explains, “I chose Syracuse University because I’ve always seen through my dad how the business community works and I wanted to be part of that and improve it. The Whitman School has very good programs and the Newhouse School is one of the top communication schools in the country.”
Suarez details how he chose his majors, “I’m interested in management because I’ve always taken leadership positions. Suarez is the lead volunteer at an occupation therapy center where they use horses to help children with special needs. “I see management as taking leadership skills and applying it to improve the organization and community,” he explains.
Suarez says that he always knew that he wanted to study in two different areas. “The reason I chose public relations as my second major was because I have good communication skills and enjoy learning how to manage reputations. It also provides an escape from being solely focused on the business side and incorporates interpersonal skills.”
On-campus Suarez has found ways to apply both of his degrees and simultaneously build relationships and professional skills. As a first-year student, Suarez served as the director of public relations and marketing for the Resident Hall Association.
Suarez admits that originally he wanted to become a resident advisor, but at the first information meeting, they were advertising the director position. He says, “I just seized the moment and took advantage of the opportunity.”
This coming fall, Suarez will be an orientation leader for first-year students arriving on campus.
He shares, “Throughout high school and middle school, I always wanted to help the new students and their parents. Now, I believe I can help new college students feel more comfortable and aware of what’s happening.”
Currently, Suarez is working as a communications intern for the Office of First-Year and Transfer Program at Syracuse University.
“Leaving home for the first time to go really far away was a hurdle. The #NotAgainSU movement inspired me to advocate even more for diversity. I got to be part of meetings that helped decide to implement living learning communities for upperclassmen dorms. I was a part of making the change happen.”
Suarez shares, “Being a Posse Scholar is such a great responsibility. It pushes me to be the best that I am and can be.”
There have been many opportunities to learn and grow during his time at Syracuse. Suarez points out some of his favorites, “I think all of the possibilities that Syracuse has offered me are awesome! Whitman gives me a competitive edge by offering programs and opportunities like the Bloomberg and Excel certifications. Newhouse has been great because it has so many amazing speakers and graduates that share their knowledge with us.”
Learn more about Whitman students and their experiences.