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City of Rochester

Pillars of Hope Initiative

What is the Pillars of Hope Initiative?  pillarofhope5

The Pillars of Hope initiative brings teams of African-American role models from the community into city schools. It recruits African-American and Latino professionals who, as a team, adopt a school where they can make an impact with their regular presence. Pillars share their experiences and advice, and provide positive support to city youth's learning and maturation.

We’ve all had important role models that have impacted our lives. We can recall images of famous entertainers or athletes we admired and tried to emulate. But other role models, much closer to home, have impacted our lives through more personal connections, and through identifying with one another's shared community and experience.

These role models were teachers, pastors or neighbors in our communities who were professionals in areas like engineering, architecture, law, mechanical repairs, medicine, business, and more. They took the time to share pieces of their journey with us, to talk about what that helped them along the way; they helped us to see a broader world of possibilities. For African-American and Latino youth, these role models were quite often African-American and Latino adults.

 Today, many city only find distant and disconnected role models; many come from poverty stricken neighborhoods where there are few role models.  Pillars of Hope reconnect our communities' role models with our community's children.  

Pillars share a simple message of hope: “We’ve done it, and so can you.” Pillars are lawyers, PhDs, Engineers, IT Professionals, public administrators, accountants, athletes and athletic trainers and many others who are committed to making a difference in the lives of Rochester’s youth.    

See the Pillars of Hope Brochure 

Pillars of Hope Program Goals

A Pillars Team consists of 10 members, who “adopt” a school and implements activities to assist youth to:

• Develop and/or increase a love of learning.

• Share their personal journeys in their pursuit of education. 

• Share their experiences overcoming challenges.

• Impart knowledge about higher education and various careers.

• Support their school and city schools in ways they are able.

Be a Pillar for Rochester's Youth

There are still more role models needed in the community. Our goal is to help additional schools and classrooms every year until every school has a team. Pillar of Hope is in need of more Pillars to reach that goal.

The time commitment is a minimum one hour per month to participate with your team in schools. This is one initiative that will provide big dividends for a small investment of time and talent. If you are interested and able, please consider being a part of this wonderful initiative.


Become a Pillar of Hope

If you'd like to become a Pillar of Hope for Rochester's youth--

Complete a Pillars of Hope Application (click here for application form or call 585-428-6896 for one)

 Attend a Pillars of Hope Orientation.   

 Meet with your Pillar Team to develop your presentation schedule.


Click here to return to Bureau of Youth Services

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