Say Yes to Education

Stephen Sartori / Say Yes to Education

Say Yes to Education is slightly short of its goal to being independently financially sustainable six years after its start.

Say Yes is a national nonprofit that opened a chapter in the Syracuse school district in 2008. It offers a different strategy to improve urban education with a promise of free college tuition to graduating high school seniors.

Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

About thirty women stood on the steps of city hall in Syracuse Monday with democratic leader Nancy McCarty, showing their support for Syracuse City Councilman Pat Hogan for mayor.

Led by McCarty, a former city councilwoman and school board commissioner, the women voiced their support for Hogan's educational platform which includes full-day pre-kindergarten. Joanne Batalia, a retired teacher's assistant with the Syracuse City Schools, said President Barack Obama came to Syracuse because the Say Yes to Education program has been somewhat successful.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse mayoral hopeful Pat Hogan is proposing a ten-point education program for the Syracuse City School District. He's one of four candidates in a Democratic primary for mayor that includes incumbent Stephanie Miner.

Hogan calls education the elephant in the room when it comes to issues facing the city today. He says it's the perceived state of the city schools that drives many families to the suburbs.   

Stephen Sartori / Say Yes to Education

Non-profit education initiative Say Yes to Education marked five years in the Syracuse school district by touting increases in college enrollment and adding some top schools to the program.

Say Yes entered Syracuse schools in 2009 with the goal of overhauling urban education and increasing the city's chronically poor graduation rates. Syracuse was the first city-wide implementation of the program.

Stephen Sartori / Say Yes to Education

Instead of trying to have as much pre-college life fun as possible, or maybe earning some spending cash for the upcoming semester, one of group of college-bound Syracuse teens spent the summer months getting a head start on college. They were rewarded for their efforts during a small ceremony at Onondaga Community College (OCC), where the 29 students are currently hitting the books, with a small ceremony.