Welcome to the Say Yes...Forever Campaign

Investing in Buffalo's future leaders today.

THE COVID-19 FUND WILL PROVIDE RELIABLE TECHNOLOGY TO OUR SCHOLARS!

While staying healthy and safe remains our top priority, Say Yes Buffalo is committed to identifying creative ways to support the needs of our scholars, students, and families during this COVID-19 crisis.

Our Say Yes teams have adapted all programming to best serve our community during this uncertain time. Right now, our team is making well check calls to Buffalo Public Schools high school seniors and our over 2,000 Say Yes scholars to assess and support their mental health, technology, and basic needs.

During the past month, an immediate and critical need has risen to the surface — many of our scholars are in dire need for reliable technology in order to continue their online studies. As a result of this discovery, Say Yes Buffalo is launching a COVID-19 Technology Campaign with a goal of funding a computer to as many Say Yes scholars as possible.

The needs of our scholars are significant — 50% of our Say Yes scholars have a family income below $25,000, and 70% are below $50,000. Additionally, our data tells us that a postsecondary degree puts our young people on a path to employment and a brighter future. Without the proper technology, our students will face yet another barrier to success.

Many of you have reached out to ask how you can help. Thank you!

In response, we hope you will consider making a gift to the Say Yes Buffalo COVID-19 Fund. A gift of $260 will cover a laptop for a Say Yes scholar plus a dollar-for-dollar matching gift to our scholarship endowment. Help keep our scholars on course — support the COVID-19 Fund today!

Please donate to the Talking Leaves fund at Say Yes Buffalo.

Every dollar donated will be used to buy $25 gift certificates at Talking Leaves designated for graduating Buffalo students receiving assistance from Say Yes to attend college in the fall.

Talking Leaves is more than a store. Since 1971 it has played a crucial role in Buffalo’s thriving literary scene: supporting local writers, bringing national talents to town, and amplifying voices too often left out by corporate bookselling.  Owners Martha Russell and Jonathon Welch, along with their expert and gracious staff, led by Lucy Kogler and Alicia Michielli, have dedicated their lives to enriching our community.  Buffalo cannot do without Talking Leaves!

Imagine the joy of the recent graduate visiting Talking Leaves to pick out a book, and imagine the joy of Talking Leaves, once it reopens, as a new young customer enters the store.

Your gift to the Say Yes… Forever Scholarship Endowment Fund helps make a bachelor’s, associate’s or certificate degree attainable for Buffalo Public or Charter school students. Plus, when you support this campaign a $25 million challenge grant gifts $1 for every $3 raised!

Giving Buffalo’s Students a Tuition-Free Postsecondary Education for Years to Come

What if an entire community came together to ensure that each of its children had the opportunity, support, and resources to go to college? That is the bold promise of Say Yes Buffalo. Say Yes Buffalo scholarships and grants are available to graduates of Buffalo Public and Charter schools and are privately funded by individuals, families, businesses, and organizations like you.

Every child in Buffalo has a dream.

Watch our video and learn the importance of making an impact for the future of our economy.

The Say Yes Buffalo Scholarship Endowment

Say Yes Buffalo launched a five-year, $100 million endowment campaign – “Say Yes… Forever” – to secure funding for postsecondary scholarships in perpetuity for all Buffalo Public and Charter School graduates. The campaign was seeded by an anonymous $25 million challenge gift from one individual donor, one of the single largest donations from an individual in the city’s history.

About Say Yes Buffalo

Impact Dashboard

Impact

High School Graduation Rate

0 %
From 49%

17 percentage point increase in high school graduation rate since the launch of Say Yes Buffalo (2012-2019)

Post-Secondary Matriculation Rate

0 %
From 57%

8 percentage point average increase in post-secondary enrollment rate since the launch of Say Yes Buffalo (2012-2018)

Say Yes Scholar Graduates

0 +
Since the Launch of Say Yes Buffalo

(National average time enrolled for associate’s and bachelor’s degree earners is 3.3 and 5.1 years, respectively)

Fundraising

Scholarship Endowment

Raise $100 Million by 2023
$60.5M Left to Raise
$39.5M Raised

This campaign will ensure the scholarship is available forever (assumes $5 million per year to be paid in scholarships). Local donor committed $25M challenge grant toward endowment with $20.5M left to be raised locally and $40M nationally.

Scholarships

0
Students Funded Since Launch
$ 0 M
Given in Scholarships
0
Schools Attended

Goals

Invest in Buffalo's future workforce and strengthen the Western New York community and economy.

  • School-Based Social Services
  • Early Childhood Development Program
  • Community Schools and Parent Centers
  • Mental and Primary Health Care
  • Legal Clinics
  • Buffalo College Success Network
  • Internship and Career Pathways Program
  • Scholar Mentoring Program
  • Scholar Ambassador Program
  • Boys and Men of Color Program
  • Summer Camps/Extended Learning Time
Cheyenne Ketter w/Icon Image

Meet Say Yes Buffalo Scholar Graduate

Cheyenne Ketter-Franklin

Cheyenne graduated from Bennett High School in 2013 as her class valedictorian, and never stopped achieving. Cheyenne recently graduated from the University of Buffalo’s 3+2 Masters of Business Administration program, with a concentration in Marketing. Her coursework in business began during her years at the Bennett High School Business Magnet program. “In that program, I was able to take an array of business classes that provided a strong foundation and information that I still find useful today,” said Cheyenne.

Cheyenne , now the Communications and Content Coordinator at the Buffalo History Museum, is thrilled to have launched her career in the marketing field. “I’ve always been drawn to marketing because, when effective, it can help deliver much needed products and services. I know the local marketing community is vast and highly engaged in the Buffalo community, so I’m excited to have joined the ranks,” added Cheyenne.

“I wouldn’t be the person I am today without all the people, such as teachers and guidance counselors, and organizations who have helped me along the way,” said Cheyenne. “Say Yes Buffalo is one of these organizations and I’m proud of all that they’ve done for myself and my peers.”

Donors

Thank you to our Say Yes Buffalo Endowment Fund Investors!

  • Anonymous (8)
  • Adams Actuarial LLC
  • David H. and Joan B. Alexander
  • Joyce and Stuart Angert
  • Monica Angle and Sam Magavern
  • Baillie Lumber Company
  • Bank on Buffalo
  • Allan and Melissa Baumgart
  • Lauren Baynes
  • Dr. Maura Belliveau
  • Barbara Billings and Peter Neal
  • Mrs. Beverly Blue in memory of Mrs. Sandree Blue
  • Tommie E. Blunt
  • Boland + Partners Real Estate
  • Kari and Paul Bonaro
  • Robert and Mary Ann Budin
  • Buffalo Bills Foundation
  • E.J. and Karen Butler
  • Peter and Sandy Cammarata
  • Chur Family Foundation
  • The Robert and Patricia Colby Foundation
  • Betsy Constantine & Joe Janowski
  • Joseph Contes
  • Linda Cornelius and Drew Neisser
  • Eileen Crotty in memory of Mary Ellen Crotty
  • Shanna Cramp-Owens
  • Curbell, Inc.
  • The Davis Family Foundation
  • Clotilde and Adrian Dedecker III
  • Leah Dokos
  • Dr. Bonita Durand in memory of Dr. Henry J. Durand
  • Kevin D. and Mary Dobson McDonald, in memory of Susan R. Bean
  • Hon. Susan and James Eagan
  • Ross and Mary Alice Eckert
  • Edison Street Baptist Church
  • Robert Elardo
  • Evans Bank
  • John and Paula Feroleto
  • First Shiloh Baptist Church
  • Lawrence and Deborah Franco
  • Gallogly Family Foundation
  • Sue S. Gardner, in memory of Arnold B. Gardner
  • The Joseph and Anna Gartner Foundation
  • Scott W. and Dr. Danis J. Gehl
  • Gerald Kelly Capital Corporation
  • Mr. Robert Glaser
  • Dr. Philip Glick and Dr. Drucy Borowitz
  • Grant Golden, MD and Deborah Goldman
  • The Josephine Goodyear Foundation
  • Ellen E. Grant, Ph.D., LCSW-R
  • Molly and Rob Greene in honor of Emily Wyckoff
  • Denise Gueli
  • Harvard Business School Club of Buffalo
  • The Carlos and Elizabeth Heath Foundation, James M. Wadsworth, Trustee
  • Jerilyn J. Hickey and Eric R. Frasch in honor of Morgan Williams-Bryant
  • Thomas Hunt and Laurie Dann
  • Hope Jay
  • Xanthe John
  • Bruce and Gail Johnstone
  • Todd Joseph and Barbara Ostfeld
  • Bill and Anne Joyce
  • Dr. Jeanette Jurasek
  • Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth R. Kahn
  • Dan and Leslie Keane
  • Kathie A. Keller
  • Cheyenne Ketter-Franklin
  • Will and Debra Keresztes
  • Andrew Kist and Jacob Segal
  • The Seymour H. Knox Foundation
  • The Kenneth L. and Katherine G. Koessler Foundation
  • James and Leslie Kramer Family
  • Rev. Stephen Lane
  • Lawley Insurance
  • Myra S. Lawrence
  • The Lewis Family Fund
  • Catherine and Matt Lincoln
  • Florine Luhr in memory of Patricia Sheehan Evans
  • Bill and Linda* Magavern
  • Kate and Tony Masiello
  • Jeffrey Meyer
  • Sally Marks
  • Arlene & Ruth Mathews Fund
  • Carol and Kirk Maurer
  • Mr. and Mrs. John A. Mayo
  • Nancy McNamara
  • Elizabeth McPartland
  • Blythe Merrill and Jeffrey Lebsack
  • Miracle Missions Full Gospel Church
  • Alex Montante
  • The Mulroy Family Foundation, James M. Wadsworth, Trustee
  • Paul Murrett and Jane Siebert
  • Jerri Nevilles
  • Phyllis and Harry Newman
  • Sanford and Margery Nobel
  • Kinsey O’Brien
  • Alphonso and Marcia O’Neil-White
  • David and Ann Pawlik
  • Tara Petrozzi and Thomas Silvestrini
  • The Pierce Family Charitable Foundation
  • James and Danae Pieri
  • The Pike Company, Inc.
  • The Pinto Family Foundation
  • Dr. Kevin and Merle Pranikoff
  • Print2Web, LLC
  • Linda Ray
  • Bonnie Redder
  • Rachelle & Kevin Robinson
  • Hugh and Linda Russ
  • David and Jennifer Rust
  • Melinda R. Saran
  • Say Yes to Education
  • Robert A. Scharf and Dr. Lawrence Van Heusen
  • Susan B. Schoellkopf
  • Drs. Mary Schohn and Larry Lantinga
  • Drs. Mary Schohn and Larry Lantinga
  • Susan and David Schubbe, in honor of Vincent and Mary Walsh
  • Hon. Hugh and Trudy Scott
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Chip Berry
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Kevin Brinkworth
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Gary Burns
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Christopher and Mary Collins
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Philip Corwin
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of John Militello and Duane Cady
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Walid Daham
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Edmund Eaves
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Tom Fahland
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Richard Ferranti
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Todd and Cindy Goldstein
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Gordon Gross
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of John Grabski
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Mark Jauquet
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Kenneth Edward Barrett
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Kert King
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Lee Marc
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Larry Mattar
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Luis and Natalie Mendez
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Michael Militello
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Anthony Nanula
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Philip Nanula
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Steven Nanula
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Christopher O’Donnell
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Mark Ogiony
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Paul Nanula
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Eric Reich
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of William and Carol Lorenz
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Lisa Williams
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Tony Zinaty
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Marian McCarthy
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Rachid Cheaib
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of George Churakod
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Michael Hook
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Savino and Virginia Nanula
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Roger Hungerford
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Karen Pritzker
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Gerald Cornish
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Scott McCarthy
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Michael Glick
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Bill Paxon
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate in honor of Lee O. Signs
  • SJM3 Fund
  • Nicholas and Courtney Sinatra
  • Leonard Skrill
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Clarence
  • Dr. Richard A. Stockton, Jr.
  • James and Cheryl Swiezy
  • Steve and Nicole Swift
  • Nancy Tobin and David* B. Filvaroff
  • Dr. Francisco and Janet Vasquez
  • Vogt Family Foundation
  • Debbie and Michael Walsh
  • Edward and Claire White
  • Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Matching Grants Program
  • Janet K. Wisbaum
  • Kevin Wyckoff
  • Zenner and Ritter, Inc.
  • The Reverend Vicki Zust

*Deceased

Named Endowment Funds that benefit the Say Yes Buffalo Scholarship Fund

  • Charles G. Duffy Jr. and Virginia Leahy Duffy Scholarship Fund
  • Gary M. Crosby Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Jacobs Endowment Fund
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Learn

Say Yes Buffalo seeks to transform the Western New York economy by investing in its future workforce — Buffalo’s young people.

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Partner

Join us by becoming a mentor or connecting us to your business to provide internships for Say Yes Scholars.

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DONATE

Join us by investing in our scholarship and help us and help us spread the word about Say Yes Buffalo and the Say Yes Forever campaign.

Want to create your own personal online fundraising campaign in support of Say Yes Forever?
Contact Tanice Pendergrass at: tpendergrass@sayyestoeducation.org or call 716-247-5310.