Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Improve Educational Achievement for Low-Income Students

Successful strategies that create and support economic self-sufficiency include improving educational attainment and increasing the assets of low-income families.

That is why the Community Foundation is proud to be the largest provider of college scholarships in Western New York. Our donors provided over $2 million in 2012 making it possible for more than 1,800 students to continue their education.

The Community Foundation continues to help many more students attain post-secondary education as a partner, supporter, and advocate of Say Yes Buffalo.

Launched in December of 2011, Say Yes Buffalo is an education-based initiative that provides a powerful engine for long-term economic development and radically improves the life course of an entire generation of public school students in the City of Buffalo.

Catalyzed by a universal scholarship program, Say Yes Buffalo will increase educational attainment by students in the Buffalo Public Schools, providing up to 100% of their tuition at any participating public or private post-secondary institution.

Why it Matters

  • The under-18 poverty rate is 42% in Buffalo and 30.2% in Niagara Falls.
  • 30% or 65,000 adults in the City of Buffalo are illiterate.
  • In Buffalo’s Public Schools, one in three students entering ninth grade won’t graduate with their classmates in four years.
  • A young person who does not graduate from high school is twice as likely to be unemployed in the future.
  • A high school graduate earns approximately $6,700 more annually than someone who did not complete high school.
  • A college graduate earns approximately $10.00 more per hour than a high school graduate.
  • In Erie County, 22.5% of all families living in poverty had a head of household with less than a high school diploma; 38% for Buffalo.

Our Strategy

The Foundation focuses on four key solutions within self-sufficiency to address this tremendous need in our community and provides grants to organizations that do the following:

  1. Increase educational attainment for low-income children and adults
  2. Increase the number of low-income residents obtaining jobs that support economic self-sufficiency
  3. Increase financial assets for low-income residents
  4. Research and advocacy related to the above solutions

Learn more by reading our Community Impact Report on this topic:

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