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Say Yes Buffalo update: 995 from class of 2014 in college

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WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Say Yes Buffalo issued an update on the number of city public school students who headed to college this school year. WBFO'S Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley says the report was issued during the organization's Community Leadership Council.

"We have 995 students that went off to college on Say Yes to Buffalo supports," said David Rust, Executive Director of Say Yes Buffalo.

More than $1-million in scholarship funds helped to send city students from the class of 2014  to college this semester.  Say Yes Buffalo guarantees Buffalo Public School and charter students living in the city a tuition free college education if they qualify.

Rust updated the Community Leadership Council on the progress Wednesday.  Rust noted that for two years in a row they've had the same number of students attending college. His report was positive, but admitted much more needs to be accomplishment to create measurable, long-term successes.      

"This is a long-term game and there's things we can do better.  I think what is going to be important down the road is more extended learning programs in the K-through-12 buildings, continuing to launch our student management system, which gives data on every student in the district, then when they get to, giving them supports that they need to get through," stated Rust. 

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Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Bulletin board at International Prep School in Buffalo.

WBFO News asked if some students have dropped out of college since the program started.

"Of course. We have students that certainly have dropped out. We have a good return rate and we will be releasing that in March," said Rust.  

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is one of the five co-chairs of Say Yes council.  "And we want to continue to move that needle in a positive direction," said Mayor Brown.

Brown reports mayors from other cities are asking him about Buffalo's Say Yes success.

"I've given them my prospective that this is a game changing initiative," said Brown.

The Community Leadership Council  is made up of area civic leaders, like the Mayor helping to monitor Say Yes Buffalo  outcomes.

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