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State provides $10M for Say Yes Buffalo

WBFO News photo by Avery Schneider

New York State Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul delivered a $10-million state gift to Say Yes Buffalo Friday. WBFO’s senior reporter Eileen Buckley explains how this funding boost will help Say Yes Scholars. 

"And what that will do is guarentee that every baby born in the city of Buffalo will have the opporutnity to go to college," declared Lt. Governor Hochul.

Hochul appeared Friday morning at McKinley High School in Buffalo. Lt. Governor Hochul said the funding is from 'Buffalo Billion' part-two.

Say Yes offer fund to eligible students, how are living on SUNY/CUNY campuses, with the most financial need, to help pay for non-tuition expenses, such as books and fees.  

Say Yes Chair Alphonso O’Neil-White said they’ve been working closely with the state the past year to make sure Say Yes and the state’s Excelsior scholarships work "seamlessly."

Credit WBFO News photo by Avery Schneider
Say Yes Buffalo Chair Alphonso O’Neil-White.

"And this is good news, and it's an investment worthy of celebrating as it stays true to Say Yes's goal of keeping access to college uncomplicatedl," said O'Neil-White.

Credit WBFO News photo by Avery Schneider
Say Yes scholar Myles Griffin of Buffalo.

Since Say Yes started providing tuition in 2013, 5,000 students have benefited. Myles Griffin of Buffalo recently graduated from SUNY Erie Community College and is now headed to SUNY Buffalo State.

"It's kind of hard doing school work knowing that you are struggling and you're going to have to worry about all this other stuff before you can even sit down, so what they are doing with the $10-million is really beneficial and that's going to ease a lot of peoples minds - I'm sure," responded Griffin.
The Lt. Governor said this state funding is an investment in “human capital”. On average, in New York State, students have racked up $30,000 in college debt.

Avery began his broadcasting career as a disc jockey for WRUB, the University at Buffalo’s student-run radio station.
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