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Rochester Youth Year (RYY)

Rochester Youth Year is an AmeriCorps VISTA-sponsored social justice program that strives to eradicate poverty for Rochester youth and families, strengthen communities, and promote community-centered leadership.

The Concern

Urban Youth in Rochester face extraordinary challenges rooted in extreme poverty. The city ranks the fifth poorest city in the nation among the top 75 largest metropolitan areas, with over 50% of youth (18 and under) living in poverty citywide. In some neighborhoods, as many as 9 in 10 children live in poverty. The ramifications of extreme poverty are entrenched and far-reaching; they include lower academic achievement, greater rates of teen pregnancy, and lower access to healthy food or care.

The Opportunity

Rochester Youth Year (RYY) is administered by the Rochester Regional Network (RRN), a consortium of eight local colleges:

  • The College at Brockport
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Nazareth College
  • Roberts Wesleyan College
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • St. John Fisher College
  • SUNY Geneseo
  • University of Rochester

Rochester Youth Year AmeriCorps VISTA members perform indirect, capacity-building service for their host organizations to create or expand sustainable, community-centered initiatives.

Current projects include creating an intergenerational gardening and mentorship program, expanding and sustaining effective volunteer programs, navigating resources for community-centered schools, building the capacity to provide restorative and social justice programming in schools, and advancing health promotion and literacy initiatives.

Apply Now

Rochester Youth Year Fellows

Rochester Youth Year seeks passionate graduating seniors to take up the fight against institutional poverty by serving in the 2016-2017 service cycle. Rochester Youth Year Fellow application instructions can be found here.

All components of the application will be submitted through an online form except the transcript(s), which should be mailed directly from your institution(s).

Components of the Application Include:

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Contact information for two recommenders
  • Transcript(s) from all undergraduate institutions attended

Rochester Youth Year Host Organizations

Rochester Youth Year host organization application instructions can be found here. The required VISTA Assignment Description template can be found here. All components of the application will be submitted through an online form. The deadline for the 2016-2017 service term has passed.

For more information, visit:

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