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Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

New program connects recent graduates to local youth
By Enid Arbelo

A new graduate fellowship program that aims to connect recent college graduates with youth in Rochester is now accepting applicants.
The program called Rochester Youth Year, which was developed by collaboration with community leaders, students, faculty, and administrators, aims to create and enhance the resources and support systems available for Rochester’s youth. Meanwhile the program gives college students a year of intensive community service—a popular option for new college graduates—and keeps their talent in the area.
By creating a consortium, made up of the University, SUNY Geneseo, Roberts Wesleyan College, and the Rochester City School District, the groups were able to pool resources and knowledge and better manage and guide the program.
Jody Asbury, College dean of students, says the idea is modeled after the University’s successful Urban Fellows program and national models such as AmeriCorps and Teach for America.  
“We were really trying to develop some intensive ways for students to get involved,” Asbury says. “This just felt like it was a match all the way around.”
This is how the program will work: The fellows will become full-time staff members at a local outreach or civic agency beginning in June the summer after graduation. Along with the agency training they receive, fellows will participate in the Urban Fellows program, spending one day each week in faculty-led seminars focused on a variety of urban issues including housing, health care, safety, and education. Participants also will meet with local civic leaders, attend community events, and gain a fuller appreciation for city life under the direction of Leadership Rochester, a leadership training program.
Throughout the year of service, additional training will be offered and the fellows will assist in the new University leadership seminar called “Leader to Leader.” It features a variety of local and national figures discussing their views and experiences on leadership and civic engagement. In return, the fellows will earn a $12,000 stipend. Special opportunities for fellows to network with potential employers and young professionals living in the area also will be provided.
The 2007-08 session is a pilot program, so the program’s size and scope will be determined by the level of funding received.
For more information, contact Colista Turner at x5-4085 or ckturner@ur.rochester.edu.
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