University of Rochester

EVENT: Rochester Education Foundation Gives University of Rochester Higher Education Partner Award

October 19, 2009

The Rochester Education Foundation will present its Higher Education Partner Award to the University of Rochester during the organization's fourth annual Partnerships Awards Dinner at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

Launched in 2003, the Rochester Education Foundation is an independent organization who provides resources to improve learning and success for Rochester city public school students through the cultivation of partnerships between education, business and the community. The awards ceremony honors individuals, businesses, and organizations that make a tangible difference in the lives of urban children. The Higher Education Partner Award recognizes the University's Wilson International Baccalaureate Diploma and Rochester Promise scholarships, both available for students from the Rochester City School District.

"The University of Rochester has taken a stand in terms of being a part of the city and engaging and motivating young people," said Patricia Braus, executive director of the Rochester Education Foundation. "That's really at the heart of what we honor."

In 2005, the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering created scholarships for graduates of the Wilson International Baccalaureate Programme. This year's freshman class boasts 33 students who graduated with an IB diploma with 23 of those students receiving partial funding through the scholarship program, including two full-tuition scholars. Since the program's inception, the University has enrolled 11 students as full-tuition Wilson IB scholars. The Rochester Promise scholarship program was launched in 2008, and offers $25,000 per year to graduates of the Rochester City School District. In its second year, there are 20 Rochester Promise scholars attending the University.

"It's wonderful for our staff and faculty to receive this recognition from the Rochester Education Foundation," said Jonathan Burdick, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at the University. "We get to enjoy our collaborations with the schools every day as great City students enroll and visit here, and Rochester students increasingly live and work in the City, but this award highlights how the community at large values these efforts."

Both scholarship programs help the University attract highly competitive students like Wanda Perez-Diaz, a sophomore studying health and society as an IB scholarship recipient. On the pre-med track, Perez-Diaz is enrolled as a Rochester Early Medical Scholar. The program is an eight-year combined degree program where she'll receive admission to Rochester's School of Medicine and Dentistry upon completion of her bachelor's degree.

"For me, the scholarship was an incentive to continue my education in Rochester," said Perez-Diaz, who was looking at other institutions, including Brown University. "Programs like these two scholarships help build a strong, intellectual community and attract students who can really make a difference."