Say Yes Buffalo is expanding its college tuition scholarship program and has added new colleges and universities partners. Students attending the Charter School for Applied Technologies middle school in Buffalo are now eligible to receive scholarships to college.
Applied Technologies students were previously not eligible for Say Yes because the school is located in Kenmore, but this school year the charter school expanded and moved its middle school into the former Holy Angles Academy building in north Buffalo. This means 8th graders at the school, who are city of Buffalo residents, will now be eligible to receive college tuition in 2019.
Students were elated as they gathered in their school athletic center off Hertel Avenue Wednesday morning for the Say Yes announcement. Students chanted "Say Yes", waving and cheering like they were at a pep rally.
"Starting with students who are in the 8th grade now and every class behind them, are now eligible for financial assistance from Say Yes when the graduate form high school. We've done this because your school leadership has chosen to make an investment in our city by moving your middle school to this beautiful campus in north Buffalo," said Bill Joyce, Vice Chair, Say Yes Buffalo Scholarship Board addressing students Wednesday morning.
Efrain Martinez, Superintendent of Charter School for Applied Technologies, said a mass majority of their students are from the city of Buffalo.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown was cheered like a rock star as he entered the gym at the school. "It is important that you are here today to Say Yes to a good education," said Brown as he addressed students. "It starts with staying focused in school, working hard in school, making sure you are attending school so you can graduate from high school."
Say Yes Buffalo Executive Director David Rust also announced that it has brand new partners -- ten out of town colleges and universities have committed to its Private College Compact.
"The ten new institutions added to the Compact are: Colorado College, Davidson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Lycoming College, Occidental College, Pitzer College, Stanford University, Texas Christian University, Tufts University and the University of Southern California," said Rust.
Two of the schools, Colorado College and Standford University, are going to provide more than just tuition for Say Yes students. They schools pledge to cover the full cost of attendance.
"Room and board, books, fees, etc, the whole pack," said Rust.
There are now 63 private colleges and universities that are providing Say Yes Buffalo scholarships.