​Efforts like Say Yes to Education need support from civic leaders, funders, institutions of higher education and policymakers to serve more cities and counties – all in pursuit of developing the gifts and talents of young people. We believe that when a community comes together, it has the capacity to effectively and sustainably redefine expectations and to build pathways to postsecondary education and careers. ​


Say Yes to Education believes that public initiatives related to postsecondary access and success affect everyone in the community. The Say Yes strategy provides a new approach to addressing the needs of cities and counties by convening leadership from across sectors – including from business and philanthropy — and realigning civic systems to deliver services more strategically and effectively. In order to be successful, we need to draw on multiple perspectives and to engage a range of partners in the process and implementation.


Over its 30-plus year history, Say Yes has touched the lives of thousands of students and their families, initially in small cohorts and now across communities. More than 13,000 students have gone to college with the support of Say Yes, most since 2013.

Community Support

Since the chapter’s beginning, Say Yes Buffalo has raised $25 million, toward the ten-year goal and $35 million toward the endowment to support college scholarships. Over that time, the number of city high school graduates enrolling in college increased by 10 percentage points.

After-School Programming

For less than what it costs the community to house a teenager for two nights in a Buffalo juvenile detention center – nearly $1,700 – Say Yes can give a student a year of after-school programming (2 hours per day, 5 days per week).

Employment with Bachelor's Degrees

Americans with bachelor’s degrees earn, on average, 65 percent more each year than those with only high school diplomas; those with high school diplomas are unemployed at a rate close to double those with at least a bachelor’s degree.


As it seeks to expand to additional communities in the coming years, Say Yes is eager to hear from cities and counties around the nation that would be interested in learning more about our community wide strategy.


The Say Yes Higher Education Compact, with a membership of over 120 private colleges and universities, seeks to provide the organization’s scholars with a range of options – including by size, selectivity, academic offerings and location. Institutions interested in learning more about how to join the Compact should ‘Read More’ below.

Meet Our Scholar

Buffalo, NY


Say Yes believes that the moral and economic future of our nation depends on the success and well-being of all young people. Please click here to learn more about how you can support our movement.

Contact Us

Are you inspired by the goals and approach of Say Yes? We invite you to reach out to the Say Yes National office or to a Say Yes chapter, to learn more about how you can get involved.