Urban Fellows Program


2012 Fellows

Undergraduate students attending a Rochester-area college, and Rochester residents who attend college elsewhere, are encouraged to apply to the Urban Fellows Program, a unique ten-week summer program. Successful applicants will have a demonstrated interest in community or public service, urban issues, or other areas of civic engagement. Fellows receive stipends and housing at the University of Rochester for their service with community based organizations and agencies in the Rochester community.

Urban Fellows Alumni


Neighbor WorksThe Urban Fellows Program emphasizes civic engagement, promotes learning about urban issues, and fosters an appreciation for cross-cultural issues and urban life. The components of the program include:

Summer Fellowships

Students are placed in a paid fellowship in agencies located in the City of Rochester. Fellowship placements are in a variety of fields, including health care, education, public safety, women's issues, economic development, youth, faith-based activity, and housing. While student interest will be considered, placements are based on the needs of community organizations. Projects that previous Fellows have undertaken include business recruitment and marketing plan creation for neighborhood commercial development; working on neighborhood issues alongside a City Councilperson; a study of end-of-life issues at an inner-city health facility; development and delivery of services for runaway and homeless teens; an arts program at a juvenile residential facility; and researching health care needs and the disparities in African American communities. 

Urban Issues Workshops

Students attend daylong seminars mid-week led by faculty members and community leaders. The seminars are designed to inform Fellows about the history, politics, demographics, and sociology of urban systems, with particular attention to Rochester. Seminars are complemented by an experiential component that includes off-campus visit, conversations with community leaders, and group discussions regarding the strengths and challenges facing the Rochester area.

Community/Cultural Based Activities

Students are invited and encouraged to participate in the cultural events and activities of the City, including neighborhood festivals, neighborhood association meetings, and other recreational and cultural events. Many of these gatherings include weekend and evening participation. Some events will be mandatory.

Urban Fellows Sample Syllabus

End of Summer Symposium

With support from staff and faculty, students develop a presentation based on their readings and experiences, and present this work at a closing ceremony at City Hall. All community and college participants are invited for this celebration. 


 Wednesday, May 21, 2014-Tuesday, July 29, 2014 (dates are subject to change).  

How- Students

Applications for the 2015 Urban Fellows program will be available by December, 2014 and will be due in March, 2015. If you have any questions about the program please contact Emma Rainwater in the Rochester Center for Community Leadership.

Embark on Summer of Community Engagement

An interest meeting schedule will be posted in the fall 2014 semester.

How- Host Sites

Applications for the 2015 Urban Fellows Program will be available for host sites by November, 2014 and will be due in February 2015.

Interested Host Sites can learn more by contacting Emma Rainwater.