RIT welcomes fourth class of Rochester City Scholars

Twenty-two new undergraduates will be introduced at the Aug. 23 ceremony

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Morgan Martins

RIT will welcome another class of Rochester City Scholars at a ceremony on Friday, Aug. 23. These students joined the program last year.

The fourth class of Rochester City Scholars will be welcomed to Rochester Institute of Technology at a community ceremony at 5 p.m. Aug. 23 at Liberty Hill, President Bill Destler’s residence, 2201 Lehigh Station Road.

This year, 22 students from nine high schools in the Rochester City School District will be part of the program.

“We are excited to welcome our fourth cohort. Much like our current scholars, the incoming freshmen are a strong group of students,” says Victoria Romero, assistant director for Community Initiatives and Rochester City Scholars. The students are graduates of Northwest and Northeast College Prep Academies, School of the Arts, School Without Walls and Joseph C. Wilson Magnet, East, James Monroe and All City High Schools. Among them are valedictorians of Charlotte, All City, Monroe and Northwest College Prep high schools.

Since it was established in 2010, there are 74 scholars the first three classes of scholars. The program has attained an 81 percent retention rate, and 42 percent of its students have earned a 3.0 grade point average or higher. The first class of scholars is expected to graduate in May 2014.

“As we prepare to guide our freshmen along a journey of academic success, we are proud to graduate our first cohort of students who attribute much of their success to the support of the program,” says Romero.

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 the students.