Nearly a half-century of Black scholars

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This weekend, the Urban League of Rochester celebrates the academic achievements of more than 600 graduating high school seniors across a nine-county region. It marks the 45th annual ceremony.

These students have shown both dedication to and excellence in learning, maintaining a B average or better throughout all four years of their high school careers.

“There has been persistent press on violence and crime involving our community’s youth of color. I am hopeful that this uplifting celebration of our Urban League Black Scholars’ exceptional academic accomplishments will captivate equal attention,” says Seanelle Hawkins, president and CEO of the Urban League of Rochester.

An early recognition ceremony of 9th to 11th grade students on their way to becoming future Black Scholars at St. John Fisher University was held this morning. Scholarship partners and attendees are able to celebrate academic excellence and obtain information about numerous scholarship opportunities at the event.

The full ceremony for Black Scholars will take place at Rochester Institute of Technology on Monday and welcome in the Class of 2024 to the Urban League family. It will also include Black Scholars alumni spanning more than four decades and present numerous scholarship awards.

The Black Scholars program began 45 years ago to provide college and career readiness programming as well as scholarship opportunities for academically gifted students of color.
The Urban League currently has over 50 scholarships listed that are associated with local institutions including ESL, SUNY Brockport, the Rochester Area Community Foundation, and a number of fraternal organizations. Scholarship amounts and frequencies are variable but generally range from $250 to $1,000.

Jacob Schermerhorn is a Rochester Beacon contributing writer and data journalist. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

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