Western New York Prosperity Fellowship

Supported by the Prentice Family Foundation 


The Prentice Family Foundation was created in 2007 by generous benefactors Bryant and Joan Prentice to serve as a philanthropic organization that leverages economic development through scholarship support to ultimately make a multi-generational impact on WNY. The intent of the WNYPF at Canisius College is to develop and encourage students to stay in Western New York and ultimately make an economic impact via job creation. To find out more about the Prentice Family Foundation please click here.

The Canisius College Western New York (WNY) Prosperity Fellowship is an innovative program for students in their junior or senior year or graduate business students who have an entrepreneurial drive and want to make a difference in Western New York. The Fellowship combines scholarship assistance with credit-bearing internships, networking, and skill-building to provide students with academic and practical experiences in their intended professions. Students receive significant financial assistance based on need, so they can fully focus on making the most of their internships, educational experiences, and networking and skill building opportunities. In return, students commit to working and giving back economically to Western New York for at least two years within a 10-year period upon graduation.

Upon receiving the Western New York Prosperity Fellowship, students must:

  • Agree to work in Western New York for at least two years within a decade of attaining a degree.
  • Agree to participate in and complete a suitable credit bearing internship.  Undergraduate and graduate continuing students will complete the internship in Summer of 2021. New graduate business students will complete the internship in Summer of 2022.
  • Participate in any activities designed to thank and recognize the Prentice Family Foundation for their support.
  • Actively participate in Fellowship programming and events throughout the Summer, Fall and Spring semesters of your award year. Events include:
    • Networking with top business leaders in Buffalo
    • Skill-building events from Blackstone Launchpad, such as digital marketing, social media, legal workshops
    • Local company tours 
    • Professional guest speakers 
    • WNY Venture Association Meetings
    • Visit our Facebook Page for more information about our events


On top of hands-on career experience through an internship, Prosperity Fellows are also eligible for fellowship assistance during the academic year. Awards vary in size and may be significant depending on a student’s unmet financial need. This support is intended to offset tuition and related academic costs (room and board, book allowance, etc.) for a full academic year and requires a summer internship. Unmet need is defined as each student’s total cost less the expected family contribution and all additional scholarships, grants and federal loans. The FAFSA will define the expected family contribution.

Required Internship

Each Prosperity Fellow is required to participate in a credit-bearing summer internship. 

The Foundation’s award will support student internship compensation up to the maximum defined below, if the employer provides no compensation.

For graduate students, $15 per hour for total of $5400 in compensation

For undergraduate students, $12 per hour for a total of $4320 in compensation

Internships must be:

  • Credit bearing, meeting the requirements for a credit-bearing internship with such assignments as performance evaluations and reflection papers.
  • Consistent with student’s academic major.
  • Consistent with student’s career objectives.
  • In areas that demonstrate high potential for job creation and economic revitalization.
  • Carefully supervised by full-time professionals in that field.
  • Approved by Canisius.

If you are interested in having a WNY Prosperity Fellow intern at your company, please fill out this survey.


Students Eligible: 

  • Full-time Juniors and Seniors

  • From any undergraduate major

  • Full-time Graduate Business Students 


Competitive students will:

  • Be entrepreneurial 

  • Desire to stay in WNY to make a difference 

  • Be civic-minded 

  • Want to take advantage of the unique opportunities afforded to the WNY Prosperity Fellowship

Please refer to the Eligibility & Requirements page for more details.


  • Applications due March 8, 2021

  • FASFA due March 8th

  • Application system open December 11, 2020 - March 8, 2021

  • Click here for detailed application instructions 

Selection Process: 

  • Application materials are reviewed by selection committee 

  • Finalists are interviewed by a committee of faculty, business community members, and alumni fellows

  • Finalists also must interview with the Financial Aid Office to accurately determine financial need

  • Fellowships are awarded to those who most closely align to the mission of the WNY Prosperity Fellowship

Prosperity Fellows & Alumni

"My internship experience was amazing. I learned how to be proactive, confident, and take a leadership role. I’m happy I was given this opportunity and I would do it again if I could."

-Sarah Springer '15

Explore the student testimonials page to read about participant experiences.