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Former at-risk students honored

Rochester, N.Y. -- A graduation ceremony of sorts took the stage Wednesday at the Auditorium Theatre.

The Hillside Work Scholarship Connection honored students who are set to graduate high school next month after once being considered at risk of dropping out.

The youth development program is meant to support students and give them the tools they need to succeed.

"They took my out of the environment that I was in and placed me in a welcoming environment where it helped build my character," said graduate Joliesha Gause. "It motivated me, they pushed me, they just strived for me to succeed and excel so being a part of it is beautiful, honestly. I mean, you have everything at your feet." 

During Wednesday night's event, the KeyBank Foundation announced a five-year, $185,000 grant, to help the program for at least the next five years.

The program will also be the beneficiary of the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge Thursday night at RIT.

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Washington Times