What if an entire community came together to ensure that each of its children had the opportunity — and the support — to go to college, and succeed in completing that education? That is the bold promise of Say Yes to Education.

Say Yes Buffalo Granted $2.9M from Gates Foundation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is investing $2.9 million in Say Yes Buffalo for efforts that help city students prepare for, and succeed in, college.

Say Yes President and Chief Operating Officer, Gene Chasin Responds to Protests Ignited by the Death of George Floyd

As so many vent their frustration and rage at our nation’s deep-seated and ongoing inequities, those of us at Say Yes to Education have been watching and listening.

Say Yes to Education Founder George Weiss to Receive 2020 Horatio Alger Award

WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 10 -- Say Yes to Education founder George Weiss is one of 14 business, civic and cultural leaders who will be honored with the 2020 Horatio Alger Award.

Say Yes Response to College and University Efforts to Curb Spread of Coronavirus

As Say Yes partner communities reach out to students about the impact of the coronavirus on colleges, some points for families to bear in mind.


Building a Say Yes Community

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.

Post-Secondary Completion


More than 170,000 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 15 percentage points, to 64%


Every dollar invested by Say Yes in its Buffalo community partnership has leveraged an average of $15.11 in external investments

Where we work

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), Guilford County (Greensboro-High Point), North Carolina (2015) and Cleveland (2019).

Meet Our Scholars

Katie Martinez

Hear Say Yes Harlem alum, Katie’s Martinez’s developmental pathway story of success.

Katie Martinez

Hear Say Yes Harlem alum, Katie’s Martinez’s developmental pathway story of success.

Our Partners

In the News

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…