National Results

Cohort Successes

More than 75 percent of all participating students graduated from high school. Additionally, more than 50 percent of all participating students achieved a postsecondary degree.

In Cambridge where the program began with students in 3rd grade, the results are even more impressive: almost 90 percent completing high school, over 64 percent of the cohort completing a postsecondary degree program, and fully half of these students receiving a four-year bachelors (BA or BS) degree.

In Hartford, statewide gains on mathematics, reading and writing exams were bested by Say Yes 6th graders in every category.

In New York City, Say Yes 4th graders surpassed city and district averages on state math and language arts exams.

The Philadelphia chapter’s Say Yes 9th graders, who began with the program in kindergarten, all finished their freshman year in a district where nearly one-fifth of 9th graders dropped out.

Since the early 1990s (when the first Say Yes class became eligible for college attendance), Say Yes students have attended more than 140 different higher education institutions across the nation, including Brown, Colgate, Cornell, Fordham University, Morgan State, New York University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Syracuse City-Wide Results

Economic Development 

  • 240 college students were hired to work as Youth Enrichment Specialists in Say Yes extended year programs this summer.
  • Say Yes has given out more than $2.5 million in Say Yes scholarships over three years.
  • Syracuse home values have risen 3.5 percent since 2009.
  • More than $43 million dollars have been raised, during the worst economic downturn in a generation, to create positive change in the lives of urban youth.

Academic Growth

  • Nearly 2,000 Say Yes students have enrolled in 2- and 4-year colleges (public and private) since the fall of 2009
  • More than 200 students in grades 9 to 12 received tutoring and SAT prep services at no cost each week during the 2011-2012 school year through the Say Yes Collegiate Preparatory Academy.
  • 5,100 SCSD students were enrolled in Say Yes extended day programs in 2011-2012 and approximately 2,200 students will attend Say Yes extended year programs this summer.
  • 9th grade dropout rates decreased by 44 percent from 2009 to 2010.
  • 9th grade algebra Regents exam passing rates are up by more than 30 percent.

 Community Engagement

  • More than 100 volunteers were engaged in Say Yes in various capacities during the 2011-2012 school year.
  • The number of county children in foster care has decreased by 45 percent since 2005.  The number of foster children living in high-intensive, high-cost institutional care has decreased by 43 percent since 2006.
  • All elementary and K-8 schools now have social workers, providing a 200:1 ratio v. 500:1 prior to the implementation of Say Yes.
  • As part of the Promise Zone commitment, SCSD, Say Yes, the Onondaga County Department of Mental Health, and community-based organizations are working toward their collective goal of having one mental health clinic in every school in the district by 2013. 
  • Seven Say Yes legal clinics are now open in all quadrants of SCSD and are staffed by five local law firms to provide free legal advice, free service, and referrals to families.
  • Of the 315 students who did not have health insurance in 2009, 91 percent have now completed an application through Say Yes in partnership with the Salvation Army.