Overview of Fellowship Experience

WNY Prosperity Fellows attend Curtain Up!

The Western New York (WNY) Prosperity Fellowship is awarded to students who demonstrate their commitment to the WNY community. It is open to all Junior level standing undergraduates through graduate students pursuing any academic program. Please review the application process to learn more about how to apply. Applications for the 2022-23 will now be accepted through March 4, 2022. 

  • Prosperity fellows will engage with like-minded individuals who also show promise to be leaders in their industry and community. 
  • Each fellow is awarded up to $25,000 in scholarship and internship support for an academic year, based on demonstrated financial need. This support is intended to offset tuition and related academic costs (room and board, book allowance, etc.) for a full academic year and requires a summer internship. Unmet need is defined as each student’s total cost less the expected family contribution and all additional scholarships, grants and federal loans. The FAFSA will define the expected family contribution.
  • Summer internships will cover the cost of summer internship tuition and fees. For internships without employer compensation or with compensation less than the average hourly internship pay rate, the fellowship will confer an award that raises the student's hourly pay to the defined hourly rate:
    • For undergraduate internships, the defined hourly rate is an average hourly pay rate of $12 per hour x 30 hours per week x 10 weeks ($3,600).
    • For graduate internships, the defined hourly rate is an average hourly pay rate of $15 per hour x 30 hours per week x 10 weeks ($4,500).
  • Fellows will receive consistent WNY development-focused internship support, including paid summer internships (including tuition and fees) in the eight-county Western New York region*. Fellows will participate in facilitated informal discussions (three anticipated throughout the summer) to share and reflect upon internship experiences. A final reception will be held to celebrate completion of the internships.
  • A networked, cohort-specific enrichment experience (winter session seminar) will enhance fellows’ professional development skills and improve their capacity to engage effectively with the Western New York community. 
  • Fellows will benefit from specially designed soft-skills development programming to support their successful transition from academia to the professional arena.
  • Fellows will receive complimentary membership to attend meetings and trainings sponsored by Explore Buffalo and the WNY Venture Association.
  • The Western New York Prosperity Program Enrichment Fund is intended to provide financial support to Prosperity fellows seeking to participate in experiential learning opportunities related to their academic interests and that meet the WNY Prosperity Fellowship program outcomes for fellows. This grant is available only to University at Buffalo students who are in good standing in the WNY Prosperity Fellowship program. The maximum award amount is $1,000.

*The eight counties of Western New York are Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Orleans, Niagara and Wyoming.