Say Yes to Education Awards HBCU Scholarships to 13 Students




Contact: Donnie Turlington

Phone: 336-991-7711

Say Yes to Education Awards HBCU Scholarships to 13 Students

Seven different HBCU’s represented among the scholars

NEW YORK (August 16, 2018) –Say Yes to Education, a leading national nonprofit organization that helps revitalize communities by giving public school students access to postsecondary opportunities, has selected 13 students entering college this fall as recipients of its inaugural Historically Black College or University (HBCU) $10,000 scholarship. The students can use the $10,000 to pay toward the cost of attendance, including – but not limited to – tuition.

Funding for the scholarships has been made available through generous donations from the KeyBank Foundation and BMO Capital Markets. “Say Yes is about the future and success of our children and communities,” said Margot Copeland, Chairman and CEO of the KeyBank Foundation. “The KeyBank Foundation invests in Say Yes because it allows students to thrive on their own terms, and reinvest their successes with families, friends and communities. I cannot wait to see how that comes to life with this impressive class of HBCU scholarship award winners.”

“We are proud to support an organization that creates such a deep and lasting impact within the communities it serves,” said Carl Kirst, Managing Director and Head, U.S. Equity Research, BMO Capital Markets. “Say Yes to Education’s HBCU scholarship celebrates outstanding academic and personal achievement, and we look forward to following the recipients’ journeys through their post-secondary schooling and beyond.”

According to Say Yes President and Chief Operating Officer Gene Chasin, partnerships like the collaboration with Key Bank and BMO Capital Markets is about opening more doors for students. “A cornerstone of the Say Yes to Education approach is facilitating an array of postsecondary opportunities for our Scholars, including those at the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities,’’ said Chasin. “We congratulate the Say Yes HBCU Scholarship award winners, and thank KeyBank Foundation and BMO Capital Markets for helping make those scholarships possible.”

The HBCU scholarship recipients were selected by representatives from the scholarship boards of each of the three Say Yes communitywide chapters (Buffalo and Syracuse in New York, and Guilford County in North Carolina) along with staff from the national Say Yes to Education office. More than 70 applications were received from the three chapters and the students were evaluated on their academic preparation and success potential, financial and other need for the scholarship, and potential match to the HBCU of their choice. The listing below includes the students’ names, Say Yes chapter affiliation and college where they plan to attend this fall.

Name                                      Say Yes Chapter       HBCU of Choice

Bianca Briscoe                       Say Yes Guilford         Howard University

Christian Curry                       Say Yes Syracuse      Virginia State University

Kenneth Fling                          Say Yes Buffalo          Howard University

Yasmine Gibson                     Say Yes Guilford         Clark Atlanta University

Boaz Gordon                          Say Yes Buffalo          Howard University

Kayla Harwell                          Say Yes Buffalo          Howard University

LaMya Hedgepeth                  Say Yes Buffalo          Morgan State University

Kyrah Lymas                          Say Yes Guilford         Bethune-Cookman University

Arionna Merriweather             Say Yes Guilford         Spelman College

Florence Mihigo                      Say Yes Syracuse      Tuskegee University

Jordyn Starr                            Say Yes Guilford         Spelman College

Dè Tafari                                 Say Yes Guilford         Morgan State University

Cameron Wilson                     Say Yes Buffalo          Morgan State University

The Say Yes HBCU Scholars were eligible to attend any HBCU in the nation, public or private, with the following exception: In instances in which students have been admitted to an in-state public college or university that is designated as an HBCU, or to Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, or Simmons College of Kentucky – two private HBCU’s that are members of the Say Yes National Higher Education Compact – then Say Yes’s last-dollar tuition policy at these institutions takes precedence. The HBCU scholarship awards up to $10,000 per year for each of the selected students. The students have up to five years to complete the eight semesters of a college degree covered by the scholarship.


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About the Say Yes to Education National organization

Founded in 1987, Say Yes to Education is a nonprofit that partners with communities around the goal of every public school student not only graduating high school – but doing so prepared for a college or other postsecondary education, and with access to resources to make that education affordable and equitable. At the heart of Say Yes is a powerful incentive for families and communities: the prospect of a college scholarship. Say Yes and its partners ensure that students have the support outside the classroom to clear the path to academic achievement. Say Yes works with its community partners to bring together local stakeholders and arm that coalition with the tools to boost postsecondary participation and success. Those systems and structures enable the work of the local Say Yes partnership to go to scale and be sustained through predictable transitions in leadership, and historically unpredictable funding from state and local sources. The organization’s support services are available to tens of thousands of public school students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. www.SayYestoEducation.org


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.