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