ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester School District held a celebratory ceremony Wednesday for the official renaming of School No. 3 in honor of local Black education pioneer Dr. Alice Holloway Young.
School No.3 was renamed to Dr. Alice Holloway Young School of Excellence earlier in July following a 3-2 public forum vote. The facility previously known as Nathaniel Rochester School was called on by more than 100 people, who signed petitions to change it’s name due to Nathaniel Rochester’s ownership of slaves.
Dr. Young was one of the district’s first Black educators, as well as its first Black vice principal and principal.
On Wednesday during her 98th birthday, Dr. Young recalled growing up and not being able to attend school.
“There was no school where they lived, where we lived,” Dr. Young said. “And can you imagine… moving across the line to go to a school that 94 years later I would be here with a school.”
More than 50 people gathered to congratulate Dr. Young. Current students, family members and community leaders listened in as she urged those who have the opportunity to receive an education to do so.
“I have to say to the young folks, stay in school,” Dr. Young said. “You don’t have to cross from one state into the other just to go to school. Go to school.”
In 1965, Dr. Young created the Urban Suburban program, which allowed children to attend school in other districts. The same program lives on today, paving the way to future generations while preserving her legacy.