Mary F. Vigue, Executive Director

Mary F. Vigue, Executive Director

Dr. Kristen Christman, Scholarship Director

Dr. Kristen Christman, Scholarship Director









NEWS RELEASE                                   

Oct. 19, 2015          


GUILFORD COUNTY, NC, Oct. 19 – Say Yes to Education Guilford, the non-profit partnership that has committed to provide Guilford County Schools’ students with access to college and other post-secondary scholarships, as well as support services in kindergarten through grade 12, today announced the appointment of Mary F. Vigue as the chapter’s Executive Director. Vigue served most recently as Assistant City Manager of the City of Greensboro.

Gene Chasin, the Chief Operating Officer of Say Yes’ national organization, said: “In interviews with Say Yes and with the community partners who served on a local screening committee, Mary Vigue impressed all of us with her obvious acumen as an administrator, her keen political antenna, her demonstrated ability to bring disparate groups together and, perhaps most of all, her appreciation for the mission and potential of Say Yes Guilford.”

Vigue has been Assistant City Manager of the City of Greensboro since November 2014. For nearly a year prior, she served in an interim capacity in that role. She has also been a Budget and Management Analyst for the City of Greensboro, as well as Assistant to the City Manager. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Bachelor’s of Public Administration from Florida International University in Miami.

The Say Yes Guilford partnership is working toward finalizing leases for offices for its administrative operations, one each in Greensboro and in High Point, and Vigue will have an office in each. Her position with Say Yes Guilford is effective Nov. 16.

“Say Yes offers so much to our community, to our children and to our future,” Vigue said. “I’m honored to be given such an amazing opportunity to lead this effort for Guilford County. We have tremendous momentum coming off a great launch to Say Yes Guilford and my job is to keep the ball rolling in implementing the program to the benefit of graduating seniors in 2016 and beyond. I could not be more excited to get started.”

As Executive Director, Vigue’s responsibilities will include managing, coordinating and overseeing the operations of Say Yes Guilford, as well as the chapter’s interactions with a range of audiences and partners across the Guilford County community.

Say Yes also announced the hiring of Dr. Kristen Christman, most recently Director of the UNCG Guarantee with the University of North Carolina Greensboro, to serve as the Scholarship Director for Say Yes Guilford. Dr. Christman will be charged with establishing the paperwork, processes and structures for Say Yes Guilford scholarship awards – whose initial recipients will be members of the high school graduating class of 2016.

“Those of us who have met Kristen are impressed with her deep experience helping students acclimate to the college experience, and to persist to the point of graduation,’’ Chasin said. “These are goals that are at the core of the Say Yes strategy, and we look forward to her work with the Say Yes Guilford partnership in this area.”

More information on Say Yes Guilford, including its scholarships, can be found at www.sayyesguilford.org.

About Say Yes to Education Guilford

Say Yes to Education Guilford was formally announced on Sept. 17, 2015. Guilford County vied with more than two dozen mid-sized cities and counties throughout the United States to become the next community partner of Say Yes to Education, Inc., a national nonprofit based in New York. Say Yes to Education Guilford seeks to help Guilford County Schools system students get the support they need to graduate from high school and be ready for post-secondary success. This support starts with the youngest learners and continues until students graduate from college or post-secondary programs. In addition, the program provides last-dollar tuition scholarships to Guilford County Schools graduates so they can afford to complete college or a postsecondary certificate.

As the program takes shape, Say Yes to Education Guilford will bring to a common table those in Guilford County with an interest in education, including representatives from throughout the Guilford County Schools, parents, students, government officials, labor and business leaders, philanthropists and faith-based organizations.

For more information, visit www.sayyesguilford.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Say Yes to Education (national)

Say Yes to Education was founded in 1987 by money manager George Weiss, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania who boldly promised 112 sixth graders at a Philadelphia public school that he would pay to send them to college if they graduated high school. In the years since, Say Yes has evolved into a national nonprofit that helps organize and galvanize entire communities around the goals of every public school student graduating high school prepared for a college or other postsecondary education – and with access to scholarships to make that education affordable. The organization works with nearly 140,000 public school students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Most are in communitywide chapters in the upstate New York cities of Syracuse (since 2008) and Buffalo (2012). More than 5,000 students have gone off to college with the support of Say Yes, most in the last three years. The organization announced the addition of its newest chapter, in Guilford County, North Carolina, which includes the cities of Greensboro and High Point, on Sept. 17, 2015. The organization, which expects to add its fourth community chapter in 2016, has smaller chapters in Harlem and Philadelphia. http://www.sayyestoeducationorg.insessionsite.com

About Guilford County Schools

Guilford County Schools, the third largest school district in North Carolina, serves nearly 72,200 K-12 students at 127 schools. With approximately 10,000 employees, the district’s mission is to graduate responsible citizens who are prepared to succeed in higher education or the career of their choice. Guilford County Schools is a national leader in providing specialized schools and instructional programs designed to meet the educational needs of a culturally diverse citizenship. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.gcsnc.com.


Media contacts

Say Yes to Education (National)

Jacques Steinberg

SVP, Higher Education

& Communications

917.847.3684 (M)

[email protected]


Sonja Smash

Higher Education & Communications Specialist

212.415.4590 (w)

[email protected] 

City of Greensboro

Donnie Turlington, APR,

Communications & Marketing Director

Office of the City Manager – 336-373-3769

[email protected]


Guilford County Schools

Wanda E. Mobley

Director of Communications

336-370-8997 (office)/336-669-8138 (cell)

[email protected]
























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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.