About 30 students from East High School will be enrolled in a curriculum in January that is designed to bridge the gap between urban schools and higher education.
The program, funded by Earthworks Institute, will use various community projects to educate students about how their ecological footprint has a global impact.
"And if the students pass the curriculum and they complete their research project, which is also transferable into an internship, that can go on a resume and they receive those college credits for free,” said Earthworks executive director and co-founder Lindsay Cray. “So, it's a gateway into college and career readiness opportunities."
Students will be working on research projects through local organizations including The Nature Conservancy, the Genesee Land Trust, and Friends of Washington Grove.
"Every time you put a drop of gas in your car, or you leave the lights on, or you turn the faucet on to brush your teeth, we like to think about how that impacts your environmental resources as a whole," Cray said. " And we talk to students about what it means to use renewable and non-renewable resources."
Those involved in the initiative hope it results in higher graduation rates for Rochester high school students.
The program will be funded by a $30,000 grant from the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation and $10,000 from the John F. Wegman Fund