First Generation Scholars Program

About the Fannie & Sam Constantino First Generation Program

Constantino Family

Since its founding in 1948, St. John Fisher College has enrolled a high percentage of first generation college students.

In honor of its 50th anniversary in 1998, the College renewed its commitment to today's first generation students by creating the Fannie & Sam Constantino First Generation Scholarship Program.

Since approximately 70% of our alumni stay in the Rochester area, such a program serves to reinforce the College's commitment to the Greater Rochester Community as well.

The Fannie and Sam Constantino First Generation Scholarship Program is designed to provide financial and academic assistance to up to 24 qualified high school students who exhibit a high degree of motivation and academic potential and are the first in their immediate families to attend a post-secondary institution.

First Generation Scholars tutor, mentor, and coordinate leadership activities that impact youth. Scholars also organize group service events that benefit the Rochester community.

Program Requirements

Students interested in becoming a First Generation Scholar must complete the First Generation Scholarship Application. The student must also apply to and be accepted by St. John Fisher College, as well as meeting the following criteria:

  • The student must be the first generation in their family to attend a postsecondary institution*
  • High school seniors must be planning to enter Fisher directly after graduating
  • Able to meet the academic requirements for admission to Fisher
  • Recognized citizen-scholars in their high school community
  • Willing to mentor younger students to achieve academic excellence and to pursue a college education

*Applicant's parent(s) or guardian may not have graduated from a two-year or four-year college or university. Siblings' attendance or graduation from a college program is permitted.

Questions may be directed to Sally Vaughan, Director of Community Service at (585) 385-8196.

Vision, Mission & Goals


Higher education is attainable for everyone.


Encourage, challenge, and promote higher education in the Rochester community by being role models, mentors, educators, and striving to develop leadership in self and others.


  • Develop activities for students outside of classes
  • Reach out to students on a one-to-one basis in elementary, middle, and high schools
  • Encourage the benefits of higher education
  • Promote relationships that create a foundation for the student's future

First Generation Scholar Spotlight

Ryan Pete

Ryan Pete

Hometown: Carthage, NY

Major/Minor: Accounting

Campus Involvement: Teddi Committee – Finance Group, SWAV – Finance E-Board Member, Intramural Football, Volleyball, and Basketball, and Accounting Club

Service Site: School 58 - Fall 2014, School 29 - Spring 2015

Why do you volunteer? There are many reasons why I value the time and effort I put in to community service. Among them, I enjoy the relationships that are built and the smiles it brings to the people around me. It is incredible the type of impact you can have on people just by investing some of your time in volunteering. I have made many commitments in attaining volunteer hours and I hope to improve those numbers in the future.

What does the scholarship mean to you? The opportunity to receive an education from St. John Fisher College is nearly a direct result of the First Generation Scholarship. It has meant the world to me and I truly take a lot of pride in calling myself a First Gen. I’m hoping I can make the most of these next few years and help out the program as well as benefiting my future endeavors.

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