As a non-partisan organization charged with galvanizing communities around the goals of college readiness and completion, it will take us time to process the messages that were delivered Tuesday by so many of the nation’s voters — including a very palpable cry of frustration, disaffection and, in some cases, unvarnished anger.
Mindful of those deeply held sentiments, we take great comfort reflecting on the mission of Say Yes to Education.
For nearly three decades, across the span of five Democratic and Republican presidencies, Say Yes has always sought to give hope to those who often had little reason for being hopeful. Say Yes has steadily expanded its mission to embrace the goal of helping communities to band together to deepen their capacity for giving all young people the opportunity to seize the best education this country has to offer, while imbuing them with the belief that they could do so, and that it would make a difference in the arc of their lives.
Say Yes is studiously non-political in its approach — as modeled by the leadership of the partnerships in our communities. And Say Yes seeks unity around shared goals at the grass-roots community level, ever mindful of what might be happening in the state house or Washington, but not reliant on (or inhibited by) those larger, far-off dynamics. Say Yes is ultimately about preparing a citizenry that is educated, engaged, empathetic and tolerant.
In short, it is our belief that we as an organization and as a network of local partnerships will, by example, be able to help offer the nation a way forward, at the community level, in the coming days, weeks, months and years.
—Mary Anne Schmitt Carey, President, and Eugene Chasin, Chief Operating Officer