Hillside Strong: Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection

Graduation. College. Career.

A Proven Model

Founded in 1987, Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection (HWSC) is dedicated to reversing the trend of low high-school graduation rates, and helping students realize their potential—in the classroom, in the community and in life.

The core of the program is the close relationship between each student and their HWSC Youth Advocate, a dedicated professional placed in the school who provides structure and motivation. The YA unites all dimensions of a student’s life, and connects youth to supportive services in three areas.

ACADEMIC SUPPORT—Tutoring, in school or at designated locations, supplements traditional classroom learning and helps students improve in vulnerable academic areas. Strong communication between YAs and teachers ensures that assignments and in-class obligations are met.

JOB READINESS—HWSC helps students define career goals, builds their soft skills and provides practical experience through the Youth Employment Training Academy. Following YETA certification, students can work part-time with a HWSC Employment Partner that helps them earn money while boosting their time-management and entry-level workforce skills.

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT—Through regular check-ins with student families and other community supports, the YA provides guidance and advice that helps students stay focused and on course.

Life-Changing Outcomes

HWSC students benefit from sustained partnerships with Youth Advocates, and with families, teachers, school staff and other community supports. The results are seen in their extraordinary graduation rates relative to their home districts, including the outcomes below from the HWSC Classes of 2022:



Overall Graduation Rate



Overall Graduation Rate

Employed & YETA-Certified


Overall Graduation Rate

These and other insights are included in our HWSC Outcomes Report for the Class of 2022.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

The ideas and accomplishments of our young people are the ingredients of all our futures. An education and a job are the vital first steps out of multi-generational poverty and into personal achievement, economic stability and healthy communities.

High School

High School Graduates are 1.5x more likely to be employed


Children of College Graduates are 85% more likely to attend college themselves


College Graduates will make 100% more in a lifetime than high school graduates

A Diploma Changes Everything

Graduation is directly linked to a lifetime of higher earnings and other personal and community-oriented benefits. This HWSC Benefit-Cost Analysis, prepared by the University of Rochester Warner School of Education, breaks down the lifetime value of HWSC.

Participating School Districts

See what’s new in HWSC around our regions:

Casanova Burgos
HWSC Alumna

As a teen, Casanova Burgos experienced multiple traumatic events that “led me to believe that there was little hope of a future for me … but the support I received from Hillside made such a difference when it felt like nothing else would. If not for Hillside, my life would have surely taken another path.

Awards and Recognition

Support HWSC

Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection improves the lives of individual students and whole communities by breaking the cycle of multigenerational poverty. Your generous donations can help HWSC connect more students with their goals of graduation, college and career. Donate Today.

Become an HWSC Partner

To learn more about preparing students for successful futures, view the HWSC service sheet and contact Executive Director Roderick Green at 585-256-7500 or info@hillside.com.

Translate »