Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection Accredited by the Standards for Excellence Institute Earns Seal of Excellence

Rochester, NY – Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection (HW-SC) is pleased to announce that the non-profit has been awarded with the highest level Standards for Excellence Institute’s Seal of Excellence. In order to successfully complete the rigorous accreditation program, HW-SC was voluntarily evaluated by a jury of its peers. The Standards for Excellence Institute reviews fundamental values such as honesty, integrity, fairness, respect, trust, responsibility, and accountability, all of which are inherently important in the nonprofit sector.

HW-SC is a 28-year-old nationally-recognized youth development program that helps at-risk students stay in school, achieve academic success and graduate from high school with the skills and confidence they need to be successful at home, at college and at the workplace. The program provides academic support, part-time employment experience and long-term mentoring from youth advocates who are the cornerstone of HW-SC’s successful model. The program is located in 43 schools serving more than 4,000 youth at risk of failing to graduate from high school in Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo, NY, and in Prince George’s County, MD.

  • 84% of HW-SC’s high school senior class of 2014 graduated on time, achieving their first major milestone toward a lifetime of success.
  • 94% of HW-SC’s youth engaged in year-round, part-time employment graduate on time and earned an average of $5,655 per year via part-time work.
  • HW-SC youth who are employed are immediate contributors to their community, bringing income to their families and neighborhoods, increasing their current and future earning power; and ultimately achieving financial independence.

“We are excited that Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection has received the highest level Standards for Excellence accreditation recognizing the fundamental values that reinforce the proven work we are doing to dramatically improve high school graduation rates, while preparing youth for college and career,” said Augustin Melendez, president of Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection. “The accreditation not only provides years of benchmarking and best practices to our organization, but also gives Hillside a seal of approval indicating that our organization is performing as promised after a year-long comprehensive evaluation by practitioners and industry experts.”

Standards for Excellence Institute Evaluation

The peer review team examined HW-SC for compliance with the Standards for Excellence®: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector in areas including: Mission, Strategy and Evaluation; Leadership: Board, Staff, and Volunteers; Legal Compliance and Ethics; Finance and Operations; Resource Development; and Public Awareness, Engagement and Advocacy.

The Standards for Excellence Institute is committed to raising the level of principled and responsible practices within the nonprofit sector. The Institute offers a model for organizations to implement in their operating plans so they can gain a deeper understanding of their effectiveness, improve their decision-making and minimize risks. Nonprofits that adhere to the principles and practices of strong nonprofit management and governance can become formally accredited under the Standards for Excellence® program.

HW-SC is an affiliate of Hillside Family of Agencies, which provides comprehensive health, education, and human services for children, youth and families whose challenges threaten their ability to realize their full potential.

About Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection

Having celebrated its 28th anniversary in 2015, Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection is an affiliate of Hillside Family of Agencies. The program is located in 43 schools serving over 4,000 youth at risk of failing to graduate from high school in Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo, NY, and in Prince George’s County, MD. Hillside Work- Scholarship Connection’s evidence-based model is comprehensive and unique, combining long-term mentoring with job training, part-time work experience and year- round academic support. In 2013, Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection was named to the Social Impact Exchange S&I 100, an index of top performing U.S. nonprofits that are poised for growth.

About the Standards for Excellence Institute

The Standards for Excellence originated as a special initiative of Maryland Nonprofits in 1998 and has since expanded into a national program to help nonprofit organizations achieve the highest benchmarks of ethics and accountability in nonprofit governance, management and operations. The program has been formally adopted by ten state, regional and national affiliate organizations, and is supported by nearly 80 Licensed Consultants and over 100 volunteers with professional experience in nonprofit governance and administration. Since its inception, the program has accredited or recognized over 200 individual nonprofit organizations that completed a rigorous application and review process to demonstrate adherence to the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector www.standardsforexcellenceinstitute.org.

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