Dr. Robert Ruehl, Academic Partner
Emily Colliss, Associate Director, Institute for Civic and Community Engagement
Dr. Wanda Cooper, Director, Institute for Civic and Community Engagement

Each year, the Fannie and Sam Constantino First-Generation Scholars Program awards a scholarship to 24 qualified high school students who exhibit a high degree of motivation and academic potential, and whose parents did not graduate from a post-secondary institution. A highly competitive program, selected students come to campus with a passion for civic and community engagement, develop as leaders, and cultivate a practice of impactful engagement with community. The scholarship award reduces tuition and room and board fees by one-half, for up to four years, in exchange for full participation in programming each semester.

This First-Generation Scholars Program welcomes it’s 25th cohort this year. Reflecting one of the original purposes of St. John Fisher University: to educate students who are the first in their families to attend a higher-education institution. The programming provides meaningful community engagement in the Greater Rochester community in partnership with local nonprofit organizations. Understanding that no single organization or individual can solve complex social problems alone, but through collaboration, collective impact can be realized.

Program Requirements:

To maintain good standing as a First-Generation Scholar and receive all benefits of the program, students must successfully:

  • Engage in full-time study as a matriculated student.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of degree requirements.
  • Complete the two-course learning community during the fall semester of their first year.
  • Complete the weekly Community Engagement Seminar series during the first year of enrollment.
  • Complete all successive courses and seminars the Program offers.
  • As a sophomore, junior and senior meet program hour requirements and fulfill a commitment to weekly community engagement with a local nonprofit organization during each year of enrollment at the University.

Training is provided through Community Engagement seminars in the first year, to effectively prepare Scholars to be thoughtful, empathetic, impactful, and culturally responsive in their community engagement activities while also building the critical thinking skills necessary to take full advantage of this unique opportunity.

Community Engagement partnerships at local nonprofits are developed with and for Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Scholars by staff at Fisher's Institute for Civic and Community Engagement.

Experiences are designed to provide academic enrichment and preparation for career and leadership, as Scholars give back to the Greater Rochester community and continue the great tradition of community engagement with local leaders. Specific information about completion of community engagement hours is provided by the Associate Director of the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement.

Fisher Sponsored Transportation to Civic Engagement Sites

Scholars are ultimately responsible for finding their own transportation to off-campus programs/civic engagement sites.  Nevertheless, subject to availability, budgeting limits and other transportation demands,  St. John Fisher University will endeavor to provide transportation to off-campus programs for Scholars who live on campus.  Fisher has no liability for any transportation method used by any student, other than transportation on official Fisher vehicles.  Please plan accordingly.

Questions about the Fisher First-Generation Scholars Program can be addressed to the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, by phone, 585-385-8050.


First-Generation Scholars Program

For More Information

(585) 385-8064