The third class of Rochester City Scholars will be welcomed to Rochester Institute of Technology at a community ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at Liberty Hill, President Bill Destler’s residence, 2201 Lehigh Station Road.
This year, 21 students from seven high schools in the Rochester City School District will be part of the program. The students are graduates of Edison, East, Northwest College Prep, Joseph C. Wilson Magnet, School of the Arts and Dr. Freddie Thomas high schools.
Since it was established in 2011, the first two classes of scholars have attained an 89 percent retention rate, and more than half have earned a 3.0 grade point average or higher. Twenty-seven students from the district were in the 2011 inaugural class, and 26 were admitted to RIT baccalaureate programs the following year through the Rochester City Scholars Program.
According to the Rochester City School District, financial challenges prevent more than three-quarters of its students from attending college. Nearly 90 percent of the district’s families earn $21,000 or less annually. Recognizing these obstacles, RIT President Bill Destler championed the Rochester City Scholars Program. He and his wife, Rebecca Johnson, are the founding supporters of this initiative. The scholarship program, for those meeting eligibility requirements, covers full tuition at RIT for these first-year students. Additional support has come from M&T Bank. The company committed $100,000 in 2011 for scholarships to cover tuition.