Say Yes Cleveland: Higher Education for All

The Say Yes Cleveland project offers free education to unfortunate high school students from Cleveland.

The Say Yes program

Thomas Aston is one of the many students who graduated from John Hay High School in Cleveland last spring. He always dreamed of going to college, finish a degree, and get a well-earning job afterward.

Aston’s only option to go to college is joining the football varsity team, but unfortunately, he missed the cut. Now, Thomas joins the thousands of students from Cleveland who are having a hard time figuring out a way into college.

But, just last January, students and parents from all over Cleveland gathered in John Marshall High School. Community leaders from Cleveland, Cleveland Foundation, and the United Way of Greater Cleveland facilitated the gathering to announce a big surprise. The Say Yes Cleveland was founded, with a very bold mission to support every high school graduate in their college education.

The Say Yes Cleveland is a foundation funded by Say Yes Education, a non-profit organization seeking to improve inner-city education.

Inspiring students in Cleveland

The surprise from the Say Yes Cleveland filled the gathering with joy and excitement. Cleveland had a rapid decline in the rate of college enrollment between 2011 till 2017, from 54 percent down to 40 percent.

Students like Thomas grew hope when they heard about the announcement. Thomas is now part of the 300 graduating students from Cleveland Metropolitan School District granted with a college scholarship with financial support from the Say Yes Cleveland foundation.

The program is giving kids throughout the city an extra glimmer of hope.

Over 170,000 students benefitted

The Say Yes Education, a non-profit organization, has funded several other Say Yes foundations all across other states. Cleveland is its recent addition along with other education support systems found in cities like Syracuse, New York, Buffalo, and North Carlina.

With the addition of 37,000 students from Cleveland, over 170,000 students are now benefitting from the help coming from the Say Yes Education programs.

The Say Yes Education program also contributes to other social benefiting programs aside from scholarships like social-emotional welfare support, health and wellness advocacies, and also supporting K-12 academics.