Our Strategy

With over 30-plus years of experience, Say Yes works with cities and counties to transform civic infrastructure around the goals of every public school student not only graduating high school — but doing so with the preparation and support to attain, afford and complete a postsecondary education. Say Yes builds on strengths — the strengths of every child, whose interests and talents are nurtured; and the strengths of communities, whose existing assets serve as the foundation for a comprehensive (and sustainable) set of services to help ensure students achieve developmental milestones on the path to success in college, career and life.


Postsecondary Access and Success for All


Data-Driven, Continuous Improvement


Pathway to Success (Prenatal to Career)


Cross-Sector and Cross-Government Collaboration


Scale and Sustainability

City Government

Mayors and other elected (and appointed) city officials play critical roles in driving the local Say Yes strategy.

Corporate Leaders

Business partners and leaders help raise money for local Say Yes scholarship funds, & benefit from a more educated workforce.


Families not only have access to scholarships and support services, but parent leaders help drive the Say Yes partnership.


With corporate leaders, local philanthropic groups help raise millions for scholarships & align investments to address specific pinch points.

Professional Associations

Leadership from teachers unions and other professional organizations serve as problem solvers and key partners for Say Yes.

School District

District leaders & teachers are represented in Say Yes governance, aligning & driving improvement strategies for classroom & school to support all.

Higher Education

Local Say Yes partnerships are comprehensive, with college and university leaders working side by side with those from K-12.

Community Based Organizations

Local CBOs play a leadership role; deliver supports to ensure postsecondary readiness and participate in the Say Yes Postsecondary Planning System.

County Government

County government aligns existing resources to goals of postsecondary readiness & success, including support to school-based family support specialist

Religious Leaders

Religious leaders help spread the word about scholarships & services, and where possible provide supports (such as tutoring) at houses of worship

The Say Yes Theory of Action

Say Yes recognizes the critical roles of structures, strategies and culture in changing postsecondary completion outcomes — sustainably, and at scale. The following five elements comprise its Theory of Action in each of its partner communities:


100% Tuition Scholarships & $15M Seed Capital


Cross-Government & Sector Collaboration + Strategic Data Approach


Comprehensive academic, health, financial and social/emotional supports

Post-Secondary Completion