The grant will be used in part to fund scholarships for public high school graduates matriculating at any public two- or four-year college or university in New York State. Say Yes to Education, which works to increase high school and college graduation rates among students in urban school districts and currently serves nearly sixty-five thousand K-12 students, has been working with Buffalo Public Schools since 2012 and the Syracuse City School District since 2008. The organization also announced that eleven colleges and universities — including Dartmouth, Cornell, Princeton, Rice, and Vanderbilt universities — have joined its Higher Education Compact and will offer free tuition to eligible students from low-income families.
"Say Yes represents a promising, citywide approach to the challenge of providing children with the broad base of support that will help them succeed," said Nancy Devine, director of the Learning and Enrichment Unit at the Wallace Foundation. "We are pleased to partner with Say Yes and look forward to learning important lessons that will benefit children in Buffalo and beyond."