News Release - Events to Help Break Down Barriers to Federal Programs for Families and Students Scheduled for Saturday

City of Rochester

News Release 

(Thursday, March 27, 2014) - Mayor Lovely Warren and partners from the education and health community are reminding the community to take advantage of two efforts being offered to help families break down barriers to federal programs that offer assistance to families and students. Both programs will run simultaneously at multiple locations on March 29 (details below).

The first of these efforts is March College Madness -- a new program creating opportunities for parents and students to learn about financial aid options and receive individual assistance in beginning the process of filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). These sessions will be led by admissions and financial aid representatives from higher education partners. Experts and trained volunteers will provide one-on-one assistance to participants in obtaining a U.S. Department of Education PIN (Personal Identification Number) and completing the FAFSA.

March College Madness partners include: Monroe Community College; SUNY Brockport; St. John Fisher College; University of Rochester; Roberts Wesleyan College; Rochester Institute of Technology; Nazareth College; City Department of Recreation and Youth Services; Rochester Public Library’s Safe to be Smart Program, and Rochester College Access Network. Rochester College Access Network is a program of Rochester Education Foundation, a community collaborative providing support to college access efforts for Rochester students in grades 6 through 12. Rochester Education Foundation is a not-for-profit organization providing resources and programs for city students.

“When I became Mayor, I promised that education would be my top priority and that is a promise that I intend to keep,” said Mayor Warren. “My goal is to break down the barriers that hold back our young people – and that means supporting their educational success. When we talk about barriers to education, money to pay for college is often at the top of the list. I want to make sure that students are aware of the wealth of scholarship, grant and financial aid opportunities available to them and that is exactly what March College Madness is all about.”

Students will need family income information and their Social Security number to apply for a U.S. Department of Education PIN (Personal Identification Number). A PIN is required to complete the FAFSA. For more information about March College Madness, visit

For the second effort, the City of Rochester work in partnership with Trillium Health to offer assistance to individuals seeking to enroll in a health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act before the enrollment period ends on March 31. “Equally critical to our community is access to health care that meets the needs of our citizens,” said Mayor Warren. “Trillium Health recognizes this priority and I am thankful for this partnership to help make sure that residents know their options are able to secure coverage before the enrollment period ends.”

For more information, visit

The remaining March College Madness and health plan enrollment sessions will be held on Saturday, March 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following locations:

• South Avenue Community Center, 999 South Ave.;
• Edgerton Community Center, 41 Backus St.;
• Rochester Public Library, 115 South Ave.

For more information from Trillium Health on Affordable Care Act enrollment, contact Shannon Kelly at or 210-4208.


News Media: For more information, contact Communications Director Christine Christopher at 428-7135.