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Urban Fellows, Youth Year students honored at City Hall

July 28, 2016
group portrait of studentsUrban Fellows for 2016. Back row: Joe Plvan-Franke ‘17, Aaron Bellomo, La'Ron White ‘17, Tom Downey '16, Eliza Duberstein. Middle row: Jacqueline Allen, Matthew Trombley ‘17, Kavya Bana ‘19, Gena Driscoll-Brantley, Courteney Olenyk '17. Front row: Trisha Arora ‘17, Or Yehezkely ‘18, Rachel Weitzner ‘16, Lindsey Feigenbaum ‘17, Jamie Rudd ‘17. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Nineteen University students and graduates were honored Wednesday evening at City Hall for their community service in the Rochester Urban Fellows and Rochester Youth Year AmeriCorps VISTA programs.

Projects this year ranged from expanding literacy programs to creating a tutoring program to increasing access to medical care for underserved individuals.

“The participants in these programs have engaged with the Rochester community in challenging and important ways, at a time when our community is confronting serious issues of socioeconomic and racial disparities,” said Glenn Cerosaletti, assistant dean of students and director of the Rochester Center for Community Leadership. “They’ve gained invaluable leadership experience from their involvement with the community and have contributed significantly to cutting-edge projects throughout Rochester. They are vital to Rochester’s resurgence.”

The annual closing ceremony included 10 students from other colleges who participated in the programs. University president Joel Seligman offered congratulatory remarks, and a poster symposium featuring the work of fellows from both programs was featured.

Urban Fellows is a 10-week summer program that emphasizes civic engagement, promotes learning about urban issues, and fosters an appreciation for cross-cultural issues and urban life. The University’s members include Trisha Arora ’17, Kavya Bana ’19, Adriana Tobar Bustamante ’18, Laura Cowie-Haskell ’18, Thomas Downey ’17, Lindsey Feigenbaum ’17, Courteney Olenyk ’17, Joseph Plvan-Franke ’17, Jamie Rudd ’17, Matthew Trombley ’17, Rachel Weitzner ’16, La’Ron White ’17, and Or Yehezkely ’18.

Since Urban Fellows began in 2002, 242 students have completed fellowships.

group portrait of students

The Rochester Youth Year Class of 2016 (left to right): John Wilson ’15, Julie Elliot ’15, group leader Matias Piva ’14, Morgan Kennedy ’15, Kendra Hester ’15, and Rachel Sonnet ’15. (University photo / Jim Mandelaro)

The Rochester Youth Year program places recent graduates of area colleges in community-based organizations for one year to create or expand initiatives that address various challenges facing youth and families. The University graduates honored for their service in 2015-16 were Julie Elliot ‘15, Kendra Hester ‘15, Morgan Kennedy ‘15, Rachel Sonnet ‘15, John Wilson ’15 and group leader Matias Piva ’14.

Since Rochester Youth Year began in 2007, 80 students have completed fellowships.



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