The High Road Fellowship is an annual program with common features every year:
- Creative individual project work
- Group experience of urban immersion in arts, culture, history, neighborhoods, politics and economy of a great rust belt city
- Skill building, teamwork and leadership development
- Application of academic learning to practical reality
Every year is also unique as the High Road is a journey through current events, new development projects, evolving challenges, and everyday innovation and change.
Fellows work in Buffalo through June and July, earning up to $4000 for eight 35-hour weeks. Students work on a specific project with their partner organizations 7.5 hours per day, Monday through Thursday. Every Friday the students as a group are immersed 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. Each spring, a required two-credit pre-course is offered. The course introduces fellows to the types of innovative organizations they’ll be working with—those creating the community resources and capacities needed to redirect investment and control of economic development for the benefit of all. The course emphasizes issues like ethical citizenship, intercultural competence and community power dynamics.
The High Road Fellowship is global learning on a domestic scale. Students are immersed in a dynamic model of collaborative outreach and extension that drives innovative, sustainable and equitable economic development in a global economy.
The group programming on Fridays allow students to share and reflect on their work and participate in discussion with different stakeholders and community leaders. Then they head out for guided walking tours of the city’s neighborhoods, commercial strips, innovation centers and waterfront developments. From the historic Colored Musicians Club to the Innovation Center at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus; from the city of Buffalo’s director of strategic planning and Federal Reserve Bank economists to the founder of Prisoners Are People Too, High Road fellows get to know the places and meet the people changing Buffalo. They experience the unvarnished realities of this metro area, from concentrated poverty and urban sprawl to a world-class arts scene and historic walkable neighborhoods.
High Road Records
High Roaders have made a significant and lasting impact on the Buffalo community. The High Road Record illustrates not only the students' summer contributions to Buffalo's revitalization, but also the great diversity of community organizations that are committed to service learning and applied research opportunities for young people.