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Cornell Fellows Continue Tradition of Public Service to Greater Buffalo

In June and July, 21 Cornell undergraduates will come to Western New York to contribute to community and economic development with an array of community-based organizations and local elected officials.

This June marks the eleventh summer of the High Road Fellowships, an engaged learning program providing students with hands-on experience through community service, civic participation, urban immersion and applied research. Since 2009, High Road Fellowships have brought 168 Cornell students to Buffalo from 27 states to Buffalo’s living co-laboratory of urban revitalization.  The program continues to grow and attract more students from across the country. This year’s cohort represents nine states and a wealth of skills, expertise and interest in promoting the public good. 

We are proud to work alongside Partnership for the Public Good to offer placements at organizations like Westminster Economic Development Initiative, Say Yes Buffalo, Center for Employment Opportunities, PUSH Buffalo, Jericho Road Community Health Center and the WNY Women’s Foundation. 

Three students will witness first-hand how the research, activism, and service of their peers in the High Road Fellowships and countless others in the Buffalo community makes its way to the desk of government leaders and is put into actionable policy. With the inaugural year of the Democracy Summer Fellowships, these students will work and learn alongside the WNY State Delegation and their staff on timely and far reaching issues including transportation, drug policy, and voting rights. The offices of Senator Tim Kennedy, Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, and Assemblymember Sean Ryan will host this summer.

Fellows are oriented to the city prior to arriving by taking the pre-course – Community Controlled Economic Development: The Case of Buffalo, NY. Students learn about the innovative problem-solving and community-building efforts of the social sector and government actors committed to moving Buffalo toward a new equitable economy. They are also introduced to economic development theory and global forces that contributed to the decline of post-industrial cities.

During the fellowship, students will be exposed to the story of the region through immersive programming. Every Friday students will participate in the city life of Buffalo with neighborhood walking tours, field trips and cultural experiences; meetings with guest experts and civic leaders; and sharing their weekly journals, project experiences and research.

If you would like to recommend a can’t miss Buffalo summer experience or an impactful community member to meet with, financially sponsor a summer fellow, or provide career mentorship for a student please reach out to Program Director Megan Connelly.