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. The award, whose latest recipients were announced today, honors “esteemed individuals who have succeeded despite facing adversities” and who have encouraged young people to “pursue their dreams through higher education.”
Weiss, the son of Jewish immigrants who fled the Nazis’ advance in Eastern Europe in 1938, founded Say Yes to Education in 1987 with a promise to 112 sixth graders – comprising the entire sixth grade – at a Philadelphia elementary school: if they graduated high school, he would pay to put them through college, and to ensure they had the support necessary to succeed in graduating.
Over the more than three decades since, more than 13,000 students have gone off to college or other postsecondary education institutions with scholarships and other support from Say Yes and its partners. And more than 170,000 young people in public elementary schools, middle schools and high schools, most of them from low-income backgrounds, currently have access to the organization’s support services (and, ultimately, its scholarships) through its communitywide partnerships in Buffalo and Syracuse, New York; Guilford County (Greensboro-High Point), North Carolina and Cleveland, Ohio.
“George Weiss exemplifies the values the Horatio Alger Association holds dear,” said Terrance J. Giroux, executive director, Horatio Alger Association. “He understands that access to post-secondary education has the power to change lives and has spent much of his life championing this important mission. We couldn’t be prouder to welcome George as a 2020 Horatio Alger Member.”
Previous winners of the Horatio Alger Award have included Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan; Astronaut Buzz Aldrin; the poet and author Maya Angelou; and television icon Oprah Winfrey, among many others.
More information can be found at: https://horatioalger.org/haa_news/14-respected-business-civic-and-cultural-leaders-honored-with-prestigious-2020-horatio-alger-award/