Skip to main content

Connect with Community

Rochester Urban Fellows

The Urban Fellows Program is a unique 10-week summer program that 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 serve with local community organizations for approximately 30 hours per week to create, expand, or support a number of different initiatives. Fellowship placements are in a variety of fields, including education, health care, economic development, environmental stewardship and sustainability, youth work, community building, public safety, and housing. Previous projects include:

  • Urban Fellows take a tour of Rochester and visit Genesee Valley Park.Establishing mechanisms for increased parent engagement for summer education programs (social media, website development, parent visits, etc.)
  • Leveraging resources to sustain and utilize a community teaching garden
  • Developing a sustainable diabetes group visit program
  • Creating a business plan for neighborhood commercial development
  • Coordinating services for runaway and homeless teens

Students are placed, to the best of our ability, with organizations or initiatives that best align with their interests, goals, and experience.

Urban Issues Seminars

Students attend seminars 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. Morning discussions are complemented by community-engaged learning opportunities in the afternoon, which have included off-site visits and tours, service activities, and community panels.

Urban Fellows Sample Syllabus

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.

End-of-Summer Symposium

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

Apply to Urban Fellows

Undergraduate students attending a Rochester-area college, and Rochester residents who attend college elsewhere, are encouraged to apply to the Urban Fellows Program. Successful applicants will have a demonstrated interest in community or public service, urban issues, or other areas of civic engagement.

Benefits for fellows include: moderate living allowance stipend; housing at the University of Rochester; an end-of-service education award OR cash stipend; bus passes; numerous networking opportunities; and ongoing support and guidance from a large network of peers, AmeriCorps members, alums, and program staff.

  • Students can access application instructions for the 2018 summer session here. The majority of the application will be completed online: All application materials are due by 5 p.m. February 23, 2018.
  • Community organizations can access the project proposal application UF Agency Application and will need to submit an assignment description based on the VAD template 2017 UF (PDF). The majority of the application will be completed online: Project proposals are due by 11:59 p.m. February 4, 2018.

If you have any questions about the program please contact Abbie Deacon, Assistant Director at the Rochester Center for Community Leadership.