In 2012, Rochester natives and retired businessmen, Joe Klein and Bryan Hickman, approached Drs. Jacqueline Elliot and Ref Rodriguez, co-founders of Partnerships to Uplift Communities, to help them replicate the PUC school model in Rochester. They were desperate to make a difference for the underachieving, struggling Rochester students, increase achievement, decrease the dropout rate, and increase the high school and college graduation rates in the City that they loved.
Drs. Elliot & Rodriguez co-founded PUC National in 2013 in order to promote, support, benefit, replicate, and carry out the purposes and mission of Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC Schools). After meeting with many parents and other community members and being deeply moved by their intense desire to provide better public-school options for the children in Rochester, Drs. Elliot and Rodriguez committed to supporting their school reform efforts. Drs. Elliot and Rodriguez then successfully spearheaded the drafting and submission of a charter petition to SUNY and founding of a school for the community in the Northeast quadrant of Rochester.
The school opened with grade 5 and added a grade level each year. After 4 years, the school was fully grown and PUC National turned the school over to the local Board and staff so that they could continue their critical work for the children in Rochester. The school then became ROC Achieve Charter School.
The PUC National staff is honored to have had the privilege of contributing to the passionate school reform efforts in Rochester by launching a new charter school for them and hope the work they did to launch the school will provide the foundation for a legacy that will positively impact the lives of thousands of future students and families and will uplift the community in which they reside.