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Spring on the York College campus

Graham Innovation Scholars

Innovators welcome.

Let’s face it: You are not planning to attend York College to be ordinary.

You want your life to be extraordinary.

At York College, we understand that — and we give all York College students the tools to build that extraordinary life.

Now, we’re proud to announce another innovation in how we build extraordinary lives: The Graham Scholars Program.

Meet Donald Graham 

If you're someone who doesn't want to settle, who likes thinking outside-the-box when it comes to learning, and who wants to add a deeper level to their college education, you need to apply for Graham Innovation Scholars. Download a transcript of this video.

Graham Scholars Designing Extraordinary Lives

Eight things that make Graham Scholars special Why you should grab this opportunity

  • The chance to work with a team of other motivated students

    Led by some of our most innovative faculty members, you’ll be part of a team of students who are driven to  succeed—starting with a First-Year seminar in innovative “entrepreneurial thinking” that can help you further develop your goals and educational plan.  Then, each semester, you’ll have one seminar with the class to share ideas, break new ground, and plan your futures together. 

  • The chance to design your own major (if you choose to do so) or to enhance an existing major with the special assistance of a faculty advisor:

    We’ll help you graduate with a toolkit for success—with the skills and expertise to achieve your own educational, career, and personal goals. You could, for example, combine courses in the arts with those in the sciences to develop and market new products or services; you could develop just the right mix of courses to prepare for law school or be ready to shine in your first workplace; you could develop a curriculum that helps you become a leader in management, the arts or music industries, or to start your own business.  The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

  • The chance to participate in Study Abroad and Study Away Experiences

    Graham Scholars will have the chance to plan and participate in some exciting trips and cultural experiences. We’ll give each Graham student team the chance to develop proposed study abroad experiences with our Graham Fellow and resident world-traveler, Dr. David Fyfe. You will have the opportunity to help develop and participate in short-term trips abroad with other Graham Scholars at very accessible cost.

    Through the generosity of the program donor, we can provide funding for this travel. Though we may ask that students contribute to the costs of some travel experiences—either on their own or through student-planned, entrepreneurial fund-raising (itself a learning experience!)—we will make sure that these experiences are accessible to all Scholars. We will also plan together some “Study Away” experiences that will give Scholars the chance to learn in rich cultural sites in the United States.

    You’ll learn to be a global citizen, experiencing different cultures and different practices in your field of study. And if you’re interested in a full-semester or year abroad, we can also help you to plan that.

  • The chance, no matter your major, to learn some basic business principles that can help you move from ideas to action

    Our faculty, many of whom are also experienced business and community leaders, are building classes that will help you learn just enough about key business skills in leadership, accounting, marketing, management, and business law to supplement your major field of study. Those tools will be valuable for everyone from artists and writers to engineers and chemists. They can help you make a living doing what you love. We may also plan together some entrepreneurial start-ups that you can move out into the community. 

  • The chance to learn from faculty who have been there — places you want to be

    We’ve assembled faculty from a wide variety of disciplines who are dedicated to developing and delivering an innovative curriculum based on the real-world experiences as well as classroom learning. Leaders in their fields and among our most successful teachers, these Graham Fellows and Graham Associates will give each Scholar personalized attention and mentoring.

    You will get to work with innovative Professors from the arts, science and technology, humanities, and a wide range of business fields. We will even seek out Professors who are experts in the fields that most fit the personal and career goals of our Scholars to develop special topics courses and other enrichment activities that can help you become successful.  

  • The chance to work with Community Business Mentors who can provide you with guidance on how they achieved success

    We’ve brought together local leaders from business, technology, government, arts and culture, social services, and other fields that are ready to help mentor you. These proven experts will help you to learn about the principles of successful entrepreneurship.

    They can open doors for you to network with others who (along with your faculty mentors) will help you toward a successful start to your career. This impressive group includes well-established leaders as well as young and innovative entrepreneurs who are doing big things here in York. We’ll match you up with mentors who are closest to your own interests.

  • The chance to work on summer research and/or community projects in paid summer positions

    Graham Scholars will have the chance to do research with our faculty and/or work with community leaders during the summer. We’ll provide successful students with summer housing, a stipend, and a chance to work in a field that advances your own career goals. We will offer to qualified scholars a range of research experiences to activate your curiosity and lend you a broader set of learning experiences—the chance to do field work, lab work, or intern with a business or government agency.

    This part of the program will help you to build a strong résumé while in college—to get you started from day one.  It can also give you the chance to do cutting-edge research with our faculty experts, often leading to shared conference presentations and publications.

  • The chance to attend events with local and national experts

    As a Graham Scholar you’ll have opportunities to attend regularly-occurring Graham Scholars events. These events, featuring both local and national leaders in a variety of fields, will facilitate internships, shadowing, and mentoring experiences—and ideally, job opportunities.

    These co-curricular experiences will help you to see connections between your studies and your life’s work.

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