The Buzz

New Meliora Leaders Program Offers Scholarships for Service

Rochester Center for Community Leadership РThe Meliora Leaders program is a new initiative of the Rochester Center for Community Leadership that focuses on students who embody the University’s motto by seeking to ameliorate the Rochester community. The program will provide support and incentives to students who are prepared to make an intensive commitment to leadership through service in the Rochester community during the academic year.

For the 2012-2013 academic year, 10 UR students will be selected as the inaugural participants in the Meliora Leaders program. The RCCL is currently accepting applications for the program, which are due Monday, April 23, 2012.

Students selected for the program will be eligible to receive a scholarship worth $2,350 toward their educational expenses at the University. In order to receive this education award, students will have to complete a service project in the Rochester community, logging at least 300 hours of service. A portion of these hours will include in-depth training in leadership and civic engagement.

Program Benefits:

  • An education award of $1,175 will be provided by the U.S. Corporation for National and Community Service through New York Campus Compact. This award will be matched by the UR Financial Aid Office, yielding a total benefit to each UR student of $2,350.
  • In-depth training in civic engagement and leadership.
  • Regular supervision by a member of the host organization where the service is performed.
  • Regular advisement by faculty or staff in the College (at least once per month).
  • Recognition by University and community.

Program Requirements:

  • Students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing.
  • Students must complete 300 hours of service during the 2012-2013 academic year.
  • Students must attend a program orientation and at least two program meetings.
  • Students attend at least eight training events for leadership and civic engagement during the year.
  • Students meet with a faculty or staff adviser at least once a month.
  • Students post monthly reflections on Blackboard (

Program Guidelines:

  • Preference will be given to students who have already participated in leadership training, such as the Paychex Leadership Institute, Compass to Personal Success, or the Rochester Urban Fellows program, and to students who have already demonstrated a noteworthy commitment to community service.
  • Proposed service projects should meet needs identified by the community, and should yield measurable results.
  • Proposed service projects should be predominantly focused on direct service (providing service directly to those in need), but may also include some indirect service components (expanding the capacity of an organization to provide services through research, fundraising, publicity, etc.).
  • Preference will be given to service projects in the areas of job development and placement, or after-school programs.
  • Preference will be given to projects that promise to involve other students in the community, in addition to the Meliora Leader.

Application Process:

Interested students should submit a cover letter, resume, official transcript, and two letters of recommendation to the Rochester Center for Community Leadership by April 23, 2012.

Rochester Center for Community Leadership

Wilson Commons 500

CPU Box 270443

University of Rochester

Rochester, NY 14627-0443

The cover letter should be not more than three pages in length, and should address the following points:

  • What has prepared you to make a sustained, intensive commitment to service in the Rochester community? Be sure to highlight any prior leadership training, and any noteworthy community service efforts.
  • Why are you confident that you will be able to manage the time commitment necessary to satisfy the service requirement for the Meliora Leaders program?
  • What community-based project do you propose to undertake through your service as a Meliora Leader?
  • What community need(s) will be met by the proposed project?
  • What are the anticipated outcomes of this service project?
  • How will the outcomes be measured (e.g. number of youth tutored)?
  • How might you engage other students in the community through your service?

Letters of recommendation:

1. One letter should be from a staff member at the community organization where you propose to complete your service, and should document his or her commitment to supervise your service project throughout the coming academic year.

2. One letter should be from a faculty or staff member in the College who can attest to your capacity to undertake the proposed project, based on your past academic performance and your co-curricular pursuits. This letter should document that the recommender is committed to advising you throughout the course of your service as a Meliora Leader. This includes meeting with you at least once a month during the academic year to discuss your service.

Students are invited and encouraged to consult with staff in the RCCL to answer any questions about this opportunity. Please email, call 275-4085, or visit for more information.

Article and photo courtesy of the Rochester Center for Community Leadership.

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