New group will explore how Say Yes can do more

Say Yes Buffalo has made a commitment to the students in the Buffalo Public Schools that has never been made before. This education-based initiative is providing a powerful engine for long-term economic development through strengthening Buffalo’s public schools and providing postsecondary scholarships (funded privately by local donors) for all eligible graduates.

Our comprehensive community effort is a game-changer for this region and will provide college tuition for tens of thousands of Buffalo’s young people. What it is not, is a silver bullet that can help all students in all situations. Rod Watson’s recent column highlighted a specific example where our Scholarship Board ruled that, given legal and financial implications, it is not able to provide scholarship support to a student who is not in this country legally. We are pleased to share that as a result of Watson’s column, an anonymous donor has stepped forward to cover this particular student’s college tuition.

Recognizing that this is only one solution to what is a much more complicated issue, Say Yes has invited Mike Taheri (who was quoted in Watson’s column and is a known and respected advocate for undocumented students) and other local experts on immigration and education issues to join our Legal Task Force. This group will explore how Say Yes and other community partners can be a lever for good – ultimately with the goal of finding solutions to the root causes of legal issues like this one that present obstacles to our community’s young people as they strive to obtain vocational or college degrees.

David Rust

Executive Director

Say Yes to Education, Buffalo