Say Yes to Education will host a forum and luncheon this Wednesday in the heart of Capitol Hill to share with a broader audience the lessons we’ve learned though our work changing the trajectories of schools and communities.
The event, entitled Urban School Improvement and Regional Renewal in Tough Economic Times, will highlight the work we’ve undertaken over the past 25 years to improve high school and college graduation rates for inner-city youth in an effort to generate city-wide change. We are honored that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has graciously agreed to be the keynote speaker for Wednesday’s event.
At the event, we also will release a new report by Gene Maeroff, author and former New York Times education reporter, documenting lessons learned from the implementation of Say Yes in Syracuse.
To achieve this goal of city-wide revitalization, we have formed various cross-government collaborations that work alongside partnering education institutions and community organizations. This approach allows Say Yes to offer various support services all of which help students succeed both in and out of the classroom.
The Say Yes promise challenges conventional wisdom about what can be done within a city—the new generation of scholars who are changing the face of Syracuse are a testament to that. We believe our experience, especially in Syracuse and now in Buffalo, demonstrates how systematic community engagement can lead to impactful urban renewal.
We are looking forward to sharing Say Yes’ mission with the legislative and education leaders in the Washington policy community and hosting a thought-provoking discussion on how to improve schools and address all the challenges confronting today’s urban young people and their families.