Briell Robinson: Student Activist and Posse Scholar

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Courtesy of Mrs. Driver

Briell Robinson proudly holds her Syracuse poster as she gets ready to embark on a new academic journey.

By Lauren Gregorio, Coral Gables Senior High School

When Coral Gables Senior High’s seniors hear the phrase “student activist,” one name comes to mind: Briell Robinson. Now a Posse scholar for Syracuse University, Robinson has thrived as a Cavalier and is prepared to open the next chapter in her life.

The Posse Scholarship is a full-tuition scholarship to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in universities across the country. Miami-Dade County has designated schools students can attend, meaning that those who apply have the ability to choose their top choice college from this list. Out of the nearly 1,280 students who apply, only 10 receive this scholarship for each school.

Robinson first heard about the scholarship through previous recipients of the award. Then, as a junior, she ended up being nominated as an applicant by the Youth Education Coalition and the Nyah Project, a fellowship program where students that may not have had access to traveling outside of the country are sent abroad to conduct leadership summits.

Having a passion for political justice and everything in between, Robinson has worked with various organizations starting at a young age.

“I have worked for the Youth Education Coalition since the end of my sophomore year. I have been an intern for the Trayvon Martin foundation ever since the beginning of seventh grade, working with the mothers of murder victims. Overall, I’ve just done a lot of community service work. I always just recommend getting active in your community as much as possible,” senior Briell Robinson said.

Going through the application, Robinson was particularly interested in how the scholarship awarding process was organized. Rather than merely writing supplements and hoping for the best, Robinson recalls the Dynamic Assessment Process as one where she felt as if the schools were regarding her as a person rather than a number.

Robinson often remembers how rewarding it was to be able to discuss her political activism during the interview process. Always going a step further, she had recently been able to create a Job Expo in her community for fellow residents to garner opportunities, a feat the admissions officers and Posse members recognized her for.

Briell really does inspire me and I don’t say that about a lot of people. We always joke about it, but I do think she can be the first female president,”

— senior Benjamin Pla

After receiving the email that she was a finalist, Robinson chose Syracuse University, a private research university in upstate New York, because of its support for civic engagement. While the senior is prepared to enter the university’s public affairs program, she is most excited to experience the change in weather from Miami, considering upstate New York is famous for its snowy winters.

The final interview for the scholarship was about three hours long and took place with Robinson and 19 other candidates at the Posse office. That same night, she received an intriguing phone call which sealed her fate.

“I was told the admissions office needed to ask a few more questions on a zoom call. I was in the waiting room for about 5 minutes and when they let me in, I was asked what my school colors were. I responded with red, black, and grey. They told me they liked those, but think I should get more comfortable with orange and blue because I’m going to Syracuse,” senior Briell Robinson said.

Not only is Robinson going to Syracuse on a full-tuition scholarship, but she is now a part of the Posse Foundation where she will receive internship opportunities in her field of choice and an alumni network who supports the foundation. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree, Robinson aspires to go to law school in Chicago and work at Sidley Austin, one of the most prestigious law firms in the city.

“Not only is Briell an extremely hardworking individual, but she has also mastered the art of using her voice for the right reasons. She is someone who advocates for what she believes in, something that is needed to establish a more prosperous future for us all. Given her remarkable attributes, it is no surprise that Briell is now a Posse Scholar,” senior Lawrence Stampino-Strain said.

Swapping the Gables’ colors for brand new ones, Robinson is ready to be a Syracuse orange. Preparing herself for the next phase in her life, Robinson leaves a few words of wisdom behind for those entering the college application process.

“Just be yourself, be your best self. Think very deeply about what you’re passionate about and how those passions can be an asset to a university,” senior Briell Robinson said.

This story was originally published on CavsConnect on January 6, 2022.