Leadership Rochester 2021 – Final Program Day
On their final program day of the year, the class of 2021 heard from Cicely Strickland-Ruiz, Chief Operating Officer for the United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes, as well as Malik Evans, current City Council member and Democratic mayoral-nominee for the city of Rochester. 

Cicely shared United Way’s rich history and spoke of what a thriving community looks like. She highlighted that it takes all of us, in the public, private, government and non-profit sectors, working together as a collective, rather than our silos, to become the change agents we need. 

Malik shared his own visions for a thriving community and his belief that economic empowerment must be at the forefront of all we do. He spoke of the city’s crime rate and his plans to make our streets safer for its residents, many initiatives centering around our youth.

The speakers’ remarks were a look to the future. Their conversations centered around hope and promise, poignant messages to our Leadership Rochester class as they looked ahead to graduation. 

Service Projects
Later that morning, the class broke into their Thrive Teams to share service projects they’d been working on throughout year. These three groups collaborated with three distinctively different organizations and worked to address their needs and help effect positive change within the organizations. 

The Shore Foundation
The Shore Thing team partnered with the nonprofit organization, The Shore Foundation, which refurbishes old laptops and provides them to area groups and organizations, helping to bridge the Digital Divide. Computers that can’t be reused are broken down and recycled, reducing waste otherwise headed for the landfill. 

You can view The Shore Thing’s video here: 

Rise Up Rochester
Another area nonprofit, Rise Up Rochester, was the benefactor of this Thrive Team’s efforts. The agency empowers the community to establish and maintain a nonviolent culture, providing support to crime victims and their families. The service project centered around learning about the organization and helping provide them with marketing material to be used to highlight and further their mission with the Rochester community. 

You can view the team’s Rise Up Rochester video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF5tG1CTU-8 

Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection
Leadership Connect dedicated their time and efforts to helping the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection. The group wanted to connect with area youth and showcase various job opportunities available to them after high school. This Thrive Team hosted three career exploration fairs, which connected local youth to employers across the greater Rochester region. 

You can view Leadership Connect’s video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iquJ2AkOY5c 

A Final Send-Off

Throughout their year the class became familiar with various changemakers in the greater Rochester region. Their last task together was to tour the city one last time with their classmates, offering thanks to those who help our community flourish. We capped off an incredible year together with a toast to the class, a look to their future and the hope for continued positive change in our community. 

Cheers to you, Leadership Rochester Class of 2021! It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know all of you. May the knowledge you gleaned from your LR experience be put to good use, helping our community thrive for years to come. We look forward to hearing of your successes!