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First-Year Student Advocates for Mental Health, End to Violence in Rochester

November 25, 2022

Growing up in Rochester and showing outstanding leadership and empathy for others, first-year student Isaiah Santiago was named Monroe County’s Young Citizen of the Year in June 2022.

Isaiah Santiago

A true advocate for young people, Santiago was honored for his work and launch of the campaign, “We Got This,” which mentors youth and allows them to focus on their personal talents and passions. He also created a Mental Health Literacy Class for schools in the Rochester City School District.

Since arriving at Fisher, Santiago has been continuing his advocacy journey by pursuing government-level reform of outdated policies and processes. He has taken his campaigns to the next level by traveling around New York state, speaking to representatives from other countries, and discussing how to tackle new challenges that people are facing.

Isaiah Santiago

“I have the honor to represent and make effective change for the current and next generations,” he said, adding that by speaking at events and seeing that people are listening to the concerns and solutions that he is bringing to the table regarding student mental health and the reduction of violence in Rochester motivates him to keep working.

With a successful first semester of college under his belt, Santiago hopes to continue enjoying and adapting to college culture. As a political science major, he hopes to run for political office so that he can continue making change. Through his work, he hopes to innovate effective social change for his generation. “I hope to positively affect and encourage as many young lives as possible,” said Santiago.