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Say Yes Buffalo success highlighted at national event

WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

Say Yes Buffalo's success was presented to a national audience this week at the America's Promise Alliance summit.  America's Promise is working to increase graduation rates. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the leader of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo served on a panel discussion about how Buffalo is increasing its graduation rate.

“The Say Yes Buffalo partnership has been elevated nationally as a powerful example of how a community can come together across public, private and the non-profit sectors,” stated Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, president and CEO of the Community Foundation

Dedecker appeared in New York City for the Recommit to Kids | The Summit for America's FutureIt featured a panel discussion on supporting communities to make changes for children. That panel was moderated by NBC's Andrea Mitchell.

Dedecker tells WBFO News most interesting to the national partners was students of color, who are increasing graduation rates the fastest. 

“So they’re increasing by double digits, which means we are actually closing the achievement gap in Buffalo – that was of particular interest to the partners from around the country that are very interested in understanding how we are doing this work in Buffalo, New York,” Dedecker explained.   

Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley
Buffalo Public school students from Say Yes Buffalo working during a summer program.

Buffalo’s has improved its overall graduation rates since Say Yes was implemented a four years ago.

“In just the first four years we have increased the high school graduations rates by 15-percentage points,” noted Dedecker.

Say Yes Buffalo provides college tuition to all Buffalo Public School and city charter school students.

On Tuesday the national Say Yes program announced a new initiative with America's Promise Alliance. They’re created a new institution to assist communities around country with similar services that Buffalo's Say Yes program already provides. 

Say Yes Buffalo reaches a new milestone with the first batch of students about to graduate with bachelor degrees from college next month. 

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