Lorenzo Freeman  and Alana Baptiste.

Riverwood International Charter School seniors Alana Baptiste and Lorenzo Freeman were awarded four-year, full tuition scholarships from the Posse Foundation.

The Posse Foundation identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by the traditional college selection process. It places them in supportive, multicultural teams of 10 students. Posse scholars graduate at a rate of 90%.

Baptiste is an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate and has been on the principal’s honor roll for four years. She is also a member of the Jack and Jill of America Atlanta Chapter.

“My parents have always stressed the importance of education and supported me through all my academic endeavors, so though the Posse scholar process was competitive, I saw it as another way to stretch myself,” Baptiste said. 

During her time at Riverwood, she has served in the Student Government Association, Community Service Club and the Beta Club. She’s also a member of the National Honors Society.

A lifelong resident of Sandy Springs, she has served on Youth Leadership Sandy Springs and at the Sandy Springs Mission and Solidarity Sandy Springs. She will attend Brandeis University and plans to pursue an interdisciplinary major in health science, society, and policy. She hopes to pursue a law degree or graduate studies in healthcare policy and administration.  

“I really wanted to attend Brandeis, so when we got the call that I was chosen, I felt a sense of relief and joy because I was rewarded for my hard work,” Baptiste said. 

Freeman, a participant in Riverwood’s Magnet program, will attend the College of Wooster in Ohio.

“Not everyone was so lucky, and I am thankful to Posse, the College of Wooster, and 100 Black Men of South Metro for nominating me for this scholarship,” he said. “Finally, I would like to thank my parents for allowing me to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Freeman will potentially pursue an English degree to reach his goal of becoming a criminal attorney. 

He maintains dual enrollment with Georgia State University, is a consistent A/B honor roll student and a National Beta Club Member. As captain of Riverwood’s Speech and Debate team, he ran the “Big Questions” debate tournament fundraiser, helped recruit new members for the team and has participated in the state debate tournament.

He is also a member of Riverwood’s Varsity Track and Field and qualified to compete in the Junior Olympics through Athletic Maximum Performance indoor track. 

 As a 100 Black Men of South Metro mentee, Freeman said he has learned valuable skills and developed leadership qualities. He is a member of the group’s financial literacy team, and now as a senior, helps lead one of the teams for the annual Shark Tank competition and assists with training new mentees. 

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Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.