20 Cornell undergraduates will spent their summers contributing to community and economic development with dynamic social sector organizations in Buffalo, NY. This is the eighth cohort 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.
The program continues to grow and attract more students from across the country. This year’s cohort represents 10 states and a wealth of skills, expertise and interest in promoting the public good.
Students' projects are coordinated through the Partnership for the Public Good (PPG), a community-based think tank with over 200 richly networked partners. This year’s placements are a diverse array of organizations including Bak USA, Say Yes Buffalo, Center for Employment Opportunities, PUSH Buffalo, the John R. Oishei Foundation and Young Audiences of WNY.
High Road Fellows get hands-on experience in grassroots economic development through June and July, each working on a specific project with their placement 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. This year’s distinguished guests include Buffalo Niagara Partnership president and CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, Empire State Development regional president Sam Hoyt and New York State Assembly Member Crystal Peoples-Stokes.
This university-community partnership has earned the support of Engaged Cornell, a groundbreaking, $150 million, 10-year initiative to establish community engagement and real-world learning experiences as the hallmark of the Cornell undergraduate experience. The High Road Fellowships are a flagship program of the initiative providing a real-world co-laboratory for promoting Cornell’s land grant mission to integrate service learning with the university's academic mission, reaffirming the transformative connection of education and social needs. The Engaged Cornell grant funded curriculum development to support the applied learning experience in Buffalo and also student stipends to broaden academic diversity. An additional Engaged Cornell grant will support community-driven research projects where business, nonprofits and scholarship can most intersect to provide effective solutions for key social issues.