Skip to main content

Community Partners

Host a Rochester Youth Year Fellow

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

The Challenge

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 Colleges2014-2015 RYY Fellows at the Annual Luncheon
  • Nazareth College
  • Roberts Wesleyan College
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • St. John Fisher College
  • SUNY Geneseo
  • University of Rochester

RYY places talented recent graduates of RRN colleges in community-based organizations for one year to create or expand initiatives that address the various challenges facing youth and families in Rochester. 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.

Hosting a RYY Fellow

Hosting a RYY Fellow is a great way for non-profit organizations to gain a talented and motivated full-time team member. Fellows can be invaluable resources in the development and implementation of new projects and increase the capacity of your organization to more efficiently meet its goals and advance its mission.

RYY Fellows are selected from among the top college graduates in the region. Because Fellows have the opportunity to select from a diverse pool of placements, your agency will receive a Fellow who has a clear interest in the work and mission of the organization.

The program offers monthly professional development to the Fellows through project-related training (database development, program assessment...) and service-related training (self-care, Life After VISTA...). We also meet monthly to offer member support, conduct site visits bi-annually, and host several celebratory events each year. As such, organizations are asked to contribute a cost share payment, not to exceed $6,500, to defray administrative and programmatic costs.

Application instructions to host a VISTA member 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 application deadline to host a member for the 2016-2017 service term has passed.

Learn more about the Rochester Youth Year program at

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

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.