First Generation Scholars Program

About the Fannie & Sam Constantino First Generation Program

Constantino Family

Since its founding in 1948, St. John Fisher College has enrolled a high percentage of first generation college students.

In honor of its 50th anniversary in 1998, the College renewed its commitment to today's first generation students by creating the Fannie & Sam Constantino First Generation Scholarship Program.

Since approximately 70% of our alumni stay in the Rochester area, such a program serves to reinforce the College's commitment to the Greater Rochester Community as well.

The Fannie and Sam Constantino First Generation Scholarship Program is designed to provide financial and academic assistance to up to 24 qualified high school students who exhibit a high degree of motivation and academic potential and are the first in their immediate families to attend a post-secondary institution*.

First Generation Scholars tutor, mentor, and coordinate leadership activities that impact youth. Scholars also organize group service events that benefit the Rochester community.

*Applicant's parent(s) or guardian may not have graduated from a two-year or four-year college or university. Siblings' attendance or graduation from a college program is permitted.

Vision, Mission & Goals


Higher education is attainable for everyone.


Encourage, challenge, and promote higher education in the Rochester community by being role models, mentors, educators, and striving to develop leadership in self and others.


  • To develop activities for students outside of classes
  • To reach out to students on a one-to-one basis in elementary, middle and high schools
  • To encourage the benefits of Higher Education
  • To promote relationships that create a foundation for the student's future

Scholar Spotlight

Chynna Woo

Chynna Woo '15

Major/Minor: Human Resources Management Major, Strategic Communications Minor

Campus Involvement: Campus Center Manager and Resident Assistant

Service Site: I tutor at Nativity Preparatory Academy, which is a school in downtown Rochester that serves highly-motivated students who are either economically disadvantaged or whose education has been compromised by negative social factors affecting them or their families.

Why do you volunteer? Helping others is something I am truly passionate about. I have volunteered at Nativity for the past 3 years because I love all the students. It really means a lot to them to have someone who cares come visit each week to work on homework or help them study.

I have learned more from my twelve year old mentee than I ever expected! As his tutor, I assumed I would be the one who taught and he would be the one to learn new things. My assumption was wrong. We can learn something from anyone, regardless of how much (or how little) formal education they have or how old they are.

My experience at Nativity has allowed me to invest time in others in need of a role model. When you invest time in someone who needs help, you can have a huge impact on their life.

What does the scholarship mean to you? The First Generation Scholarship means everything to me! When people ask about my involvement at Fisher, the first thing I tell them is about the First Generation Program because it truly has been one of the greatest opportunities I have been a part of. I love being able to get out and serve the community and represent the College.

How has volunteering helped you at Fisher? Volunteering has helped me grow both personally and professionally. Through my volunteer work, I have been able to meet so many different people and have been exposed to so many different experiences in the Rochester community. Volunteering is an awesome learning experience and connects you to local leaders and expands your network. It also has just overall made me a happier and more productive student since it gets me engaged in something meaningful!

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