We envision a world where poverty is not a barrier to education, health, or economic success.


We engage and empower local graduates to strengthen the capacity of community organizations in an effort to alleviate the effects of poverty for Rochester Youth and families.


  • Service to the community
  • Social justice and equity
  • Reciprocal partnerships
  • Cultural humility


2007: Rochester Youth Year is piloted as a collaboration between SUNY Geneseo, Roberts Wesleyan College, and the University of Rochester. Three members served with the City of Rochester Bureau of Recreation, Garth Fagan Dance, and His Branches, Inc.

2008: Rochester Youth Year receives support from the Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps VISTA). The College at Brockport, Nazareth College, and St. John Fisher College join the Rochester Regional Network. The Rochester Institute of Technology joins the Rochester Regional Network.

2011: The 2011-2012 cohort is the first to host over 10 Youth Year members.

2013: Due to the federal sequestration, Rochester Youth Year drops back to hosting six Youth Year members.

2016: Hobart and William Smith Colleges joins the Rochester Regional Network.

2017: Rochester Youth Year celebrates its 10th Anniversary with the largest class of Rochester Youth Year members, 16!


Rochester Youth Year (RYY) is a social justice fellowship sponsored by AmeriCorps VISTA and administered by the Rochester Regional Network (RRN). RYY members provide indirect, capacity-building service. This means that they do not directly support clients, but instead create sustainable systems, structures, and infrastructure for their partner organization to provide those supports.

Rochester Youth Year members serve with a community organization for 365 days from the start of their service. VISTA is a 24/7 commitment. This does not mean that a VISTA member is always on call, but instead that the VISTA member should be available for evening and weekend needs as they arise. RYY VISTAs are expected to serve as a full-time team member at their organization, averaging 35-40 hours per week. Members should receive flex time off for any hours served over this limit.

Although VISTAs are technically “volunteers,” they are so much more than that. They are invested, valuable members of the team. They think critically and creatively about how to improve processes and expand services.

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