Whittier Union High School Senior Earns Full-Ride Posse Foundation Scholarship to Middlebury College

Santa Fe High School senior Max Villanueva is dedicated to constantly bettering himself, whether it is in the classroom where he sports a 4.22 GPA, athletically as a member of the school’s cross country/track and swim teams, or when it comes to his impact on the environment.

That determination has led Villanueva to receive a full-tuition Posse Foundation scholarship to attend Middlebury College, a private liberal arts college in Vermont.

“I feel like this shows how I am a leader in my community,” said Villanueva, who receives support and mentorship from his Posse staff and peers through the foundation’s pre-collegiate training and campus programs. “I am excited, and I feel like I fit in well with the roles of the Posse Foundation.”

The Posse Foundation is a national nonprofit that identifies students for their leadership ability and overall motivation to succeed and awards them with four-year, full-tuition, merit-based scholarships to top colleges and universities around the country.

Villanueva has taken on leadership roles in multiple sports at Santa Fe High School, as the captain and frontrunner for the varsity cross country team and captain of the junior varsity swim squad. He has also been an active leader in several school clubs such as science, technology, engineering, art, and math club; Earth Alive, an environmental club; Youth Alive, a faith-based club, and Men Achieving Greatness, which focuses on leadership and volunteerism.

Despite the demands on his time, Villanueva said he still manages to find time to give back to his community through volunteering at his church and with Think Together, an elementary after-school program. He also works as a lifeguard every summer. 

“I have no doubt that Max will be a leader and world changer with the passion he displays for his academics, strong initiative, and maturity,” Santa Fe counselor Melanie Lopez said. “His willingness to take the most rigorous classes, care for others and desire for community, and drive for excellence will allow him to continue to be successful in college and beyond.”

Villanueva said he plans to fill his time in college, just like he did at Santa Fe High School. He will run on Middlebury’s cross country/track teams and major in environmental science or engineering in pursuit of a career that would empower him to protect the environment.

“We are so proud of Max and his impressive accomplishments while at Santa Fe High School,” principal Craig Campbell said. “At Santa Fe, we focus on providing our students with the resources they need to be quality producers, self-directed learners, critical and creative thinkers and responsible citizens. Max is the perfect example of what is means to be a Santa Fe Chieftain and we can’t wait to hear about all of his achievements at Middlebury College.”


WUHSD_POSSE1: Santa Fe High School senior Max Villanueva has received a full-tuition Posse Foundation scholarship to attend Middlebury College.