News Archive

New Flower City Down Syndrome Network Scholarship established at Nazareth

Published February 22, 2023

A new Flower City Down Syndrome Network Scholarship at Nazareth will help prepare more teachers and other professionals dedicated to helping children with Down Syndrome. The Flower City Down Syndrome Network is giving Nazareth $25,000 for an endowed scholarship. The two parties signed the agreement at Nazareth’s York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. The scholarship, which will be awarded yearly, will give scholarship assistance to a Nazareth graduate student in education or health and human services (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology or creative art/music therapy) who is passionate about going into a career working with young people with Down Syndrome.

Flower City Down Syndrome Network, or FCDSN, has been serving families and community members in the Greater Rochester area since 1991. FCDSN was created by a small group of parents who saw a need to help educate and support Rochester area families and community members that were touched by Down syndrome. The group’s mission is to provide education, support, and opportunities to people with Down syndrome and their families. 

Families and friends of children with Down Syndrome know how important it is for their children to have great teachers and therapists. We want to encourage young people to pursue these career fields,” said Nancy Consol, Flower City Down Syndrome Network board member. “We’re happy that our scholarship can help some students complete their degrees, and spread the word on how much we value the work of these professionals.“ 

“Teacher shortages in special education are persistent, and a projection estimates that one-third of the teachers in New York will be eligible for retirement in the next five years,” said Maria Hopkins, interim dean of Nazareth’s School of Education. “This scholarship makes it possible for Nazareth to help fill that need in a way that is closely aligned with our commitment to inclusion and to supporting candidates as they prepare to be the very best teachers in our community.”

According to Cathy Rasmussen, interim dean of Nazareth’s School of Health & Human Services, “Working with children with intellectual and developmental disabilities is a specialty area for health and human services professionals. We are delighted to be able to provide graduate students financial assistance to develop this much-needed expertise. Nazareth is committed to fostering opportunities for our students to be changemakers in the community. Increasing the number of professionals available to work with children with Down Syndrome represents positive change for our region, and most importantly, for the children themselves.”

For More Information

Julie Long | Senior News & PR Officer | | (585) 389-2456 | (585) 781-8186 (cell)

Nazareth University is an inclusive community of inspired learners, educators, and changemakers who for nearly 100 years have been driven by a bold commitment to action, empathy, equity, and leading innovation for the common good. Impact experiences are at the heart of a Nazareth education, preparing each student to discover within themselves the potential to cultivate positive change in their life's work, in any career field, and in a world that is constantly evolving and infinitely interconnected.

Our broad academic offerings present a range of study options typical of larger universities, yet achieved in our supportive campus culture. Nearly 2,100 undergrad and 600 graduate students enroll in degree and certificate programs and engage in collaborative, transformative learning experiences, preparing for the professions and society of today and tomorrow. In a learning community that purposefully integrates liberal arts and professional programs, Nazareth University graduates are able to launch a lifetime of impactful leadership in communities and workplaces near and far.

Nazareth President Beth Paul (seated on left) and Brian Callahan, Flower City Down Syndrome Network board president shake hands after signing the scholarship agreement with Nazareth education and health and human services faculty, along with other board members/families with Flower City Down Syndrome Network.