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RCSD collaborates with community partners on new initiative to benefit students

Monroe County and city leaders attend the Each One Reach One Symposium on Thursday, March 10, 2022, at St. John Fisher College.
Racquel Stephen
/
WXXI News
Monroe County and city leaders attend the Each One Reach One Symposium at St. John Fisher College.

Camille Simmons stood before a room full of Rochester City School District leaders and community partners and told them, in no uncertain terms, that she was making a call to action.

“Our students need to be prepared," said Simmons, a Rochester Board of Education member. "They need to persist in the community, they need to be ready for jobs, and they need to be ready to learn.

"So until we do that, we are failing our students.”

Simmons was speaking Thursday at a symposium to kick off the Each One Reach One initiative, a new collaboration between the district and its stakeholders intended to improve students’ lives through education, school safety, employment, spirituality, and parent engagement.

The meeting at St. John Fisher College was structured around breakout rooms and workshops where attendees discussed the issues in depth.

“We're bringing people together who can work with us to create win-win synergy,” said Christopher Miller, the district’s chief of human resources.

Marlowe Washington, St. John Fisher's Senior Diversity Officer, speaks at Each One Reach One symposium
Racquel Stephen
/
WXXI News
Marlowe Washington, St. John Fisher's senior diversity officer, speaks Thursday, March 10, 2022, at the Each One Reach One symposium at the college.

Miller said the goal is working together to benefit the students, some of whom were also present at the meeting.

“We want to hear their ideas. We want to hear what they want they need — we are planning for them, but they need a seat at the table,” he added.

Marlowe Washington, St. John Fisher’s senior diversity officer, also announced The Fisher Urban Scholar Initiative.

The $40,000 scholarship will be awarded to city students who want to further their education at the college.

“There is not a student we're going to leave behind. There's not a student that's going to say I can't go to college,” he said.

Washington said through this pipeline design, upon graduation, these students will be able to contribute back to the society where they came from.

“It's about discovering a higher power or higher purpose, and go from there,” he said.

Racquel Stephen is WXXI's health, equity and community reporter and producer. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Rochester and a master's degree in broadcasting and digital journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.