Rick DeJesus-Rueff, Academic Program Director
First Generation Scholars seek: “To encourage, challenge, and promote higher education in the Rochester community by being role models, mentors, educators, and leaders of tomorrow.” Grounded in the philosophy of “servant/leadership” and reflecting the College’s Basilian motto, “Teach me goodness, discipline, and knowledge,” the First Generation Scholars Program supports students’ leadership development through a series of academic and service opportunities that introduce students to principles of the Relational Leadership Model, and how those principles can be applied in community service. The First Generation Scholars Program seeks to prepare students to take on leadership roles in which they can contribute to change for the common good in our society.
The Fannie and Sam Constantino First Generation Scholarship Program is designed to provide financial and academic assistance to high school students who exhibit a high degree of motivation and academic potential, and whose parents did not graduate from a post-secondary institution. This scholarship, created as the College celebrated its 50th anniversary, reflects one of the original purposes of St. John Fisher College: to educate students who are the first in their families to attend college, much like the pioneer classes of St. John Fisher College.
Twenty-four scholarships are awarded annually to high school seniors who will enroll at the College. As part of the program, First Generation Scholars must successfully:
- Complete the two-course learning community entitled Leadership Through Self-Development during the fall semester of the freshman year.
- Complete the six service learning seminars offered by the program, beginning with the spring semester of the freshman year. First Generation Scholars earn a 0.5 academic credit hour for each seminar completed; seminars are letter graded.
- Complete at least 30 hours of community service during each semester of four years of enrollment.
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of degree requirements.
Community service hours are recorded on timesheets submitted at the end of each semester to the Community Service Office. Service may be completed through the various service opportunities announced to First Generation Scholars each semester and through other opportunities that scholars may identify, including service to a church, school, or community organization. Specific information about completion of community service hours is provided by the director of community service each semester.