Class of 2017 Service, First Gen Scholars Do What They Do Best in 23,900 Hours

May 18, 2017

During their four years at St. John Fisher College, members of the Class of 2017 who were Service Scholars and First Generation Scholars logged more than 23,900 hours of community service at dozens of agencies and organizations in the Rochester area.

Service Scholars volunteer at Foodlink.

Both programs focus on leadership and service, focusing efforts on areas of greatest need within the community. Sally Vaughan, director of community service at Fisher, who coordinates the programs, said the agencies and organizations in the community have come to rely on the Fisher students, who perform a variety of tasks and functions, from lending a hand during fundraisers and galas to tutoring elementary school students.

For Nicholas Christiano, the Service Scholar program provided an opportunity to engage with the Rochester community. Throughout his four years, he volunteered at Nazareth Elementary School, CP Rochester, Fisher’s Color the Roc event, and Foodlink, among others.

The Class of 2017 Service Scholars performed a total of 17,469 hours of class community service.

The Class of 2017 Service Scholars performed a total of 17,469 hours of class community service.

“The experiences I gained through volunteering enriched my studies in many ways,” said Christiano, who majored in accounting and corporate finance at the School of Business. “I was able to learn more about making the biggest impact in my community while growing and developing as a student at Fisher.”

Christiano, who will head to the University of Denver to pursue a master’s degree in taxation accounting, said the impact of his classmates has been far-reaching, noting their involvement in the Jamaican Advantage Thru Sports Youth (JASY) Day Camp, nursing rotations in Kenya, and in Rochester, spending volunteer hours in the city school district through Color the Roc and other efforts.

“The Service Scholar program follows a guiding principle to help others,” he said, referencing Margaret Mead’s famous quote about how small groups of people can change the world. “When you volunteer and give your time to help others, it is a very grounding and humbling act.”

The Class of 2017 First Generation Scholars achieved a cumulative 3.42 grade point average.

The Class of 2017 First Generation Scholars achieved a cumulative 3.42 grade point average.

Vaughan said that in addition to the passion for service, the Class of 2017 cohorts performed exceptionally well academically. Both cohorts achieved cumulative GPAs greater than 3.4, with a more than 90 percent graduation rate. Vaughan said that’s no easy task, given that the students manage internships, field experiences including clinical rotations and student teaching, work study jobs, athletics, and involvement in student organizations. All that on top of their required volunteer hours and service projects.

“These students grew to become leaders on campus, serving as officers of academic, service, social, and college clubs,” she said. “They are athletes, members of honor societies, and included on the Who’s Who and Dean’s Lists. I’m very proud of this class of scholars.”