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College News

Fisher Graduate Serves Community Through Rochester Youth Year Program


Fisher Graduate Serves Community Through Rochester Youth Year Program

Like many of her classmates, Katie Kreutter '09 was prepared to enter the workforce after graduation in May. As a Communication/Journalism and Religious Studies double major, she was interested in pursuing a career in the non-profit field, but was uncertain of how and where she would get started. All of that changed when she was told about the Rochester Youth Year (RYY) Fellowship Program.

The RYY Fellowship is an Americorps*VISTA sponsored program administered by the Rochester Regional Network, which is a consortium of seven local colleges: Nazareth College, Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Geneseo, the University of Rochester, and St. John Fisher College. RYY places talented recent graduates of these colleges at community-based organizations for one year to create or expand initiatives that address the various challenges facing youth and families in Rochester.

Upon her acceptance into the Rochester Youth Year Fellowship Program, Kreutter was placed at Compeer Rochester, Inc., an agency that helps youth and adults overcome the devastating effects of mental illness. The organization offers programs providing supportive friendships to people in mental health care or with emotional challenges. Its programs, which serve as a complement to therapy, include one-on-one mentoring relationships, skill-building, and interim telephone support.

As Community Outreach Assistant at Compeer, Kreutter's year-long assignment focuses on developing sustainable community partnerships that will be mutually beneficial both to Compeer's mission and the greater Rochester area. Once a month, she also visits Fisher to meet with faculty, staff, and students in an effort to promote the RYY Fellowship and share her experience.

"Serving as a fellow in the Rochester Youth Year Program is incredibly rewarding and meaningful," says Kreutter. "To go into work each day knowing that I am involved in an effort to improve the quality of life for residents in my community is incredible. I am confident that my year of service will better prepare me for continued work in this field, and positively contribute to my personal and professional development."

The Rochester Youth Year Fellowship Program will accept 10 fellows for the 2010-2011 program. For more information about the program and how to apply, please visit the RYY website. Interested Fisher students should contact Sally Vaughan, Director of Community Service at St. John Fisher College, at (585) 385-8196 or

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