BUFFALO, N.Y. — Twenty-six students in business,
engineering and medicine will get a full ride to the University at
Buffalo in 2013-14, thanks to a scholarship that aims to help the
region retain its brightest graduates.
The Western New York Prosperity Scholarship, funded by the
Prentice Family Foundation, covers each recipient’s unmet
educational expenses, including tuition, books, housing and
But the program’s hallmark is a panoply of activities that
introduce students to career opportunities in the area.
Each scholar gets:
- Financial support for a summer internship at a leading Western
New York firm.
- A personal mentor from the business community to provide
guidance on career matters.
- Membership to the Buffalo Niagara 360, a
young professionals program that helps members develop leadership
skills and build stronger networks.
- Membership to the UB Alumni Association upon graduation.
- Invitations to networking events and seminars where students
meet local business leaders — including potential
The Prentice Family Foundation has invested more than $1.5
million in the scholarship at UB since the program’s
inception in 2009.
Some local companies have begun recruiting Prosperity Scholars
for internships. In an exit survey, outgoing students reported that
their scholarship experiences helped them land jobs at regional
firms including Hodgson Russ LLP and M&T Bank.
Juniors, seniors and graduate students in certain business,
engineering and medicine majors are eligible to apply, and 78 have
received the award (including some who have gotten it twice).
“We are grateful to the Prentice Family Foundation for its
generous support of UB students each year,” said A. Scott
Weber, UB senior vice provost for academic affairs.
“What’s wonderful is that with each new class,
we’re coming up with new ways to introduce scholars to
exciting career opportunities in Buffalo Niagara, with the desire
that they will stay here after graduation and apply their immense
talent to improving the region.”
This is the first year that Prosperity Scholars will get the
Buffalo Niagara 360 and UB Alumni Association memberships.
The mentoring program is also a new addition, said Hadar Borden,
administrative director of UB’s Undergraduate Academies, who
oversees the program.
“We felt that it was important for the students to have
someone in the community that they can meet with on a regular basis
— someone who can answer questions and help them stay plugged
into what’s going on in the business world, locally,”
This year’s Prosperity Scholars range from Emily Nuding, a
civil engineering student interested in protecting the Great Lakes
and regional watersheds, to Maya El Hawa, a business administration
major who speaks fluent Arabic and French and hopes to gain enough
marketing research experience to establish a business that will aid
local companies in expanding globally. A complete list is available
The Prosperity Scholarship is part of a pipeline of new UB
initiatives designed to support entrepreneurial, civic-minded
Last April, more than 50 teams battled in the university’s
first campus-wide Elevator Pitch Competition, which gave students
90 seconds to pitch a business idea. This October, a new E-Bootcamp
will invite student entrepreneurs to go a step further and write
UB’s new Entrepreneurship Academy, which enables
entrepreneurial undergraduates to live and learn together, is a
co-sponsor of both of these activities, along with UB’s
Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach
All of these new initiatives help students develop skills and
knowledge that will make them prime candidates for the Prosperity
Scholarship, Borden said.