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April 29,


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Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

Program identifies tomorrow's leaders

Five University students participating in a new civic leadership program graduated at a ceremony held in the Interfaith Chapel, led by Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson on April 23.

Leadership Rochester Civic Engagement program, a partnership with several local colleges and universities and Leadership Rochester Inc., began its pilot year in June 2001. The program's goal is to identify students with an interest in civil involvement and expose them to the complexities of many social and civic issues facing the Rochester community.

"I expect this inspiring program to grow and continue," said Johnson. "The number one goal of any community is civic engagement. When young people become actively engaged in community issues, whether in schools, neighborhoods, or government, they become empowered to make improvements in the place they live."

Modeled after a leadership development program active in over 700 cities across the United States, the program has been modified to identify community leaders at the college level. The students, in role playing activities and in consultation with local leaders, focus on issues such as the justice system, economic development, health care, education, and housing.

Coordinator Kartik Srinivas '01 says the program "offers students a broad and deeper understanding of community issues specific to Rochester. But it also gives students an experience that will prepare them to become community leaders in any setting."

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