What if an entire community came together to ensure that each of its children had the opportunity — and the support — to go to college? That is the bold promise of Say Yes to Education.
Sey Yes to Education 30th Anniversary Gala – Celebrating 30 years of a legacy of hope
Case study and videos voiced by Jane Pauley tell stories of how Say Yes uses expanded learning time
Say Yes founder George Weiss honored by National Museum of American Jewish History
Grantmakers for Education (GFE) releases “The Promise: A Case Study of Say Yes to Education in Buffalo” paper at the 2016 GFE Annual Conference in Denver, CO.
Say Yes is a nonprofit that galvanizes cities around the goals of every public school student not only graduating high school — but doing so with the support to attain, afford and complete a postsecondary education. At the heart of Say Yes is a powerful incentive: the prospect of a college scholarship, whether to a state institution or more than 100 private colleges and universities in the Say Yes Higher Education Compact. Say Yes leverages these and other incentives to bring together every stakeholder — city and county government; school district; parents; teachers; businesses; unions; philanthropic and faith-based organizations; colleges and universities — and arm them with tools to boost postsecondary participation and success.
100% Tuition Scholarships & $15M Seed Capital
Cross-Government & Sector Collaboration + Strategic Data Approach.
Comprehensive academic, health, financial and social/emotional supports.
More than 130,000 public school students, in kindergarten through grade 12, currently have access to Say Yes support services and scholarships
The number of students graduating high school in Buffalo, New York, since the launch of the Say Yes Buffalo, has increased by 12 percentage points, to 61%
Every dollar invested by Say Yes in its Buffalo community partnership has leveraged an average of $15.11 in external investments
Say Yes to Education was founded in 1987. For its first two decades, Say Yes provided scholarships and support services to cohorts of 50 to 300 children each in chapters in Philadelphia; Cambridge, MA; Hartford, CT and Harlem in New York City. Armed with the lessons learned during that experience, Say Yes began piloting its community-wide strategy in 2008 in the upstate New York city of Syracuse. It has since established community-wide chapters in Buffalo (2012), and Guilford County (Greensboro-High Point), North Carolina (2015). It is currently screening cities seeking to become the site of its fourth community-wide chapter.
Nearly $100 million has been raised locally in Say Yes communities to provide students with “last-dollar” tuition scholarships (after Pell Grants and state aid are factored in) to attend in-state public institutions, regardless of family income. Those local scholarship endowments are meant to last in perpetuity. Our students may also qualify for “last dollar” scholarships from more than 100 private colleges and universities in the Say Yes Compact.
Say Yes believes that if given the opportunity to maximize their gifts and talents, all children can progress along a pathway to a successful postsecondary education and go on to be actively contributing members of their communities. To demonstrate the efficacy of its strategy – and to implement it, at scale, in more cities and counties – Say Yes needs support from civic leaders, foundations, institutions of higher education and policymakers.
Flying our students to Say Yes Colleges & Universities
Hear and learn about her journey from the halls of City Honors School Class of 2014 in Buffalo to the halls of Syracuse University.
What if every student who graduated from a city’s public high schools were guaranteed the money needed to go to college?
Guilford County is winding up to deliver a huge push for education. Call it Say Yes.
This story appears in the December 14, 2014 issue of Forbes. In its current issue — which is devoted…
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