The seventh class of Rochester City Scholars will be welcomed to Rochester Institute of Technology at a ceremony at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, at Liberty Hill, located at 2201 Lehigh Station Road, Henrietta.
The 21 students in the newest class of scholars are from School of the Arts, Wilson Commencement, Edison, East, Franklin/Vanguard Collegiate, World of Inquiry and School Without Walls high schools as well as Rochester Academy and University Prep Charter Schools in Rochester. Entering RIT, the scholars will be enrolled in majors such as biology, business, mechanical engineering technology, video game design, photography and computer engineering. Since the program was established in 2010, more than 120 students from the district have attended RIT and received full scholarships toward their degree programs.
More than 100 people are expected to attend the ceremony, including scholars’ family members, alumni of the program, community leaders and program supporters.
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 spouse, Rebecca Johnson, are the founding supporters of this initiative. The scholarship program, for those meeting eligibility requirements, covers full tuition at RIT.
In July 2014, the Destlers pledged a $1 million endowment to the Rochester City Scholars program to ensure the future of the program.