UR was awarded the Healthy Blocks Partner of the Year Award by NeighborWorks Rochester on Jan. 27. The award acknowledges the UR’s continued effort with various programs to foster strong ties between undergraduates and local community members.
NeighborWorks is a national nonprofit organization created by Congress to provide financial support, technical assistance and revitalization efforts in communities. The organization seeks to create affordable housing, improve communities and create a safe and healthy living environment in a cost-effective way.

The Rochester branch of NeighborWorks aims to help families and first-time buyers with homeownership. In addition, they work to help ensure the longevity of Rochester homeowners.

The Healthy Blocks program works to encourage members of targeted neighborhoods to get involved in their communities. The award showcases that UR has worked to increase community involvement in the Brooks Landing neighborhood.

‘I am delighted that NeighborWorks named UR its partner,” UR President Joel Seligman said. ‘Many of us have been working to strengthen the bonds between the University and our neighbors. It is inspiring to see these efforts reciprocated.”

The University community has participated in several community events this year, including potluck dinners at the Staybridge Suites and the first-annual Brooks Landing Community Barbecue.

Students introduced themselves to the community at the barbecue, while UR’s co-ed a cappella group After Hours performed.

The next event between UR and NeighborWorks is set to take place on Feb. 19 at the 19th Ward Community Association, where NeighborWorks Rochester and UR will host an ice skating party at Genesee Valley Ice Rink.

Additionally, the NeighborWorks’ program teamed up with UR through the University’s Home Ownership Incentive Program. As a part of the program, the University and a Rochester financial institution will contribute up to $9,000 to faculty who make their primary residence in the neighborhoods closest to the University.

In exchange, employees must agree to five-year occupancy and employment commitments, and also participate in home ownership education and counseling through NeighborWorks Rochester.

University freshmen also participate in Wilson Day during orientation every year. This year, students took on various community service projects, including working with NeighborWorks Rochester and the South East Area Coalition on a street clean-up project along South Clinton Avenue.

‘The University is involved in an inspiring number of community projects with every school involved,” Seligman said. ‘I am very proud of these efforts and look forward to their amplification over time.”

Rosenthal is a member of
the class of 2012.

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