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Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service names Hillside Work Scholarship Connection as its 2011 Community Partner

April 05, 2011

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

Syracuse University’s Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service (CPCS) has honored Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection (HW-SC) as its 2011 Community Partner. The announcement was made at the annual Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement and Scholarship event on March 30.

HW-SC is a nationally recognized youth development program helping Syracuse City School District students graduate high school with the skills and confidence they need to be successful at college and in the workforce.

Last year, HW-SC enrolled more than 750 Syracuse City School District students across five high schools and seven middle schools as part of a multi-year partnership with the Syracuse City schools to reach a concentration of 1,250 students by 2012.

Program Model for Success

The cornerstone of HW-SC’s model is the school-based Youth Advocates, who serve as long-term mentors and liaisons to students and their families, linking students to individualized support services, employment training and on-the-job mentoring, academic tutoring and year-round enrichment programs. HW-SC provides a network of support connecting students to the individualized resources they need to overcome barriers to learning.

HW-SC also helps students explore career opportunities and provides youth employment training, which includes mock interviews and skill building in the areas of computer, customer service and basic office. Students who demonstrate a positive attitude, good attendance and good grades in core subjects are eligible for part-time employment with area businesses. Employment exposes students to career opportunities and enables them to develop marketable job skills, as well as earn money toward college tuition.

Syracuse University/HW-SC Partnership

Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection partners with multiple SU programs across campus. Hillside students engage in all aspects of poetry reading, writing and listening through Verbal Blend, a program in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, as well as weekly hands-on science experiments with the LCS/SRC Engineering Ambassadors from the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Sciences. SU Literacy Corps tutors help Hillside students build literacy skills through one-to-one and small group tutoring, while the Photography and Literacy (PAL) project at the Warehouse expands their concept of literacy by helping them connect the photos they shoot with their own personal stories. Nutrition and public health students offer cooking classes that are not only fun, but also include information about how to make healthy choices, and the JPMorgan Chase Girls STEM Program/Girls Get It focuses on science, technology, engineering and math for the young ladies. The Whitman School of Management EEE students and JPMorgan Chase mentors share knowledge and experiences about developing management and entrepreneurship skills. And most exciting are the multiple enterprising art and design projects with students and faculty from the interior design and art departments in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

“Syracuse University is fortunate to partner with Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection and looks forward to the continued opportunities and excitement this collaboration affords both the SU and Hillside communities,” says Pamela Kirwin Heintz, associate vice president and CPCS director.

“Inspiring students to stay in school and earn their diploma is a major effort that requires coordination among families, schools and many community partners,” says Wayne O’Connor, executive director of Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection. “Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection’s model relies on community collaboration as a key to our program’s success and we are so excited to have received this prestigious award from Syracuse University, one of our esteemed partners.”

Founded in Rochester, N.Y. nearly 25 years ago, HW-SC last year enrolled more than 4,000 middle and high school students in Rochester, Syracuse and Prince George’s County, Md. In 2009, the Youth Policy Forum recognized the program as one of the nation’s most effective youth development programs to “Support Youth on the Path to College and Beyond.” Earlier this month, HW-SC expanded its program to the Buffalo Public Schools and will enroll 60 students by June 2011.

HW-SC was created by Wegmans Food Markets in 1987 in response to a call to action from the Urban League of Rochester and the Council for Educational Development to reduce the area’s high dropout rate. The program became an affiliate of Hillside Family of Agencies in 1996 to expand opportunities for collaboration within the business community.

Past CPCS community partners have included The American Cancer Society (2010), Syracuse City School District (2009), SRC, Inc. (2008), P.E.A.C.E. Inc. (2007) and Huntington Elementary School (2006).

About Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection

Founded in 1987, Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection is an affiliate of Hillside Family of Agencies. The program serves at-risk youth in Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, and in Prince George’s County, Md.

Hillside Family of Agencies is a family and children services organization that provides child welfare, mental health, youth development, juvenile justice, special education and developmental disabilities services across central and western New York. Hillside Family of Agencies is comprised of affiliates Crestwood Children’s Center, Crestwood Children’s Foundation, Hillside Children’s Center, Hillside Children’s Foundation, Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection and Snell Farm Children’s Center.

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