The College of Saint Rose has received a $20,000 grant from National Grid Foundation to expand opportunities for students of color to fine-tune their leadership skills.

The grant will expand services to 50 ALANA (African, Latin, Asian, and Native American) students, helping them to grow as leaders and bringing together the support structures necessary for their success.

The ALANA is Leadership Peer Mentoring Program at Saint Rose pairs first-year students of color with peer leaders (sophomores, juniors, and seniors) to assist them with their transition during the first year of undergraduate study. Students participate in leadership and professional development trainings throughout the academic year. Topics include, but are not limited to, career development, diversity, handling conflicts, setting goals, and time management.

“We are grateful to National Grid Foundation for investing in our ALANA students, so that they can become strong leaders on campus, and later take those skills into the world,” said Saint Rose President Carolyn J. Stefanco. “The undergraduate student body at Saint Rose has become increasingly diverse in recent years, with at least half of those in our first-year classes identifying as students of color. We understand, based on the research, that we must be focused in our support of our ALANA students to ensure their success. The ALANA is Leadership Peer Mentoring Program is one of the ways in which we do that, and we are thrilled that National Grid has partnered with us in the effort.”

Research shows that retention and graduation rates for students of color remain significantly lower than those of their white peers due to a variety of factors, including racial inequality in the K-through-12 education system, a lack of financial resources, lower levels of self-confidence and self-esteem, and cultural and academic barriers within the academy. The ALANA program approach aims to combat these challenges through close mentoring by faculty, peers, and staff; special educational training and enrichment opportunities; academic support; and deliberate attention to equity and inclusion.

National Grid Foundation Executive Director Ed White said, “We are proud to partner with The College of Saint Rose. The ALANA is Leadership Peer Mentoring Program gives students an opportunity to meet upperclassmen who are role models and participate in workshops that will give them advantages, not just in navigating college but most importantly, life after graduation.”

About National Grid Foundation: National Grid Foundation was created to enhance the quality of life across its grant making territory. The Foundation’s ongoing challenge is to create opportunities for solutions to educational and environmental issues. Its objective is based on the principle that giving people the tools to build hope is an essential ingredient in the development of individuals, families and communities. Since its inception in December 1998, the Foundation has provided more than $23 million in grants to 1,200 organizations in its grant-making territory.