Say Yes, Growing College Access Program, Gets Boost from Wallace Foundation

Say Yes To Education, a nonprofit with chapters in six northeast cities that is dedicated to increasing high school and college graduation rates for students in urban school districts, will expand its program in Upstate New York, and has added 11 new colleges to its Higher Education Compact.

The Wallace Foundation has awarded the organization with a 4 year, $4.5 million grant to support its programming in Buffalo with the public school system. The organization’s partnership with Buffalo Public Schools provides students with academic tutoring, legal assistance, mental health counseling, and medical care as a way to remove obstacles to academic success.

The Wallace funding will support after-school and summer learning programs, professional development of community-based organizations, and communications.

In 2011, Wallace made a similar grant of $3.75 million, to the Say Yes program in Syracuse, an $88 million partnership between the national organization, the city and Syracuse University.

Say Yes also recently announced the addition of 11 private colleges and universities to its Higher Education Compact. The compact is a partnership between the organization and higher education Institutions, to provide full tuition to accepted Say Yes scholars whose annual family income is at or below $75,000.

The new schools are Cornell University, Hamilton College, Paul Smith’s College, Dartmouth College, Princeton University, Rice University, Pomona College, Denison University, Rhodes College, Sewanee: The University of the South, and Vanderbilt University.

With the addition of the 11 new schools, 54 colleges and universities are now part of the compact.

The other Say Yes chapters are located in New York City (Harlem), Hartford, Conn., Philadelphia and Cambridge, Mass.

Judith Fenlon is the Money & Business manager for The Chronicle of Social Change. For more articles like this, click here.

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Judith Fenlon
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Money & Business Editor for The Chronicle of Social Change


  1. The Wallace Foundation is a national foundation and does fund education initiatives outside of the state of New York. They focus on innovative approaches to service gaps in education. With that said, they are a good resource for educational support programs for foster youth in California.

    The Say Yes to Education organization, serves youth in local chapters located in New York City (Harlem), Syracuse and Buffalo, N.Y., Hartford, Conn., Philadelphia and Cambridge, Mass. They have college and university partners located around the country.

  2. Does the Wallace Foundation fund outside of New York? If so there are many a worthy program to help foster youth get to, and through, college in California.

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