John Carroll University today entered into a partnership with Say Yes to Education, a leading, national nonprofit organization that partners with communities around the goal of making a college degree affordable and attainable for every public high school graduate.

Say Yes to Education has selected Cleveland, Ohio, as the site of its next community chapter.

Michael Johnson and Mayor Frank Jackson at the announcement of Say Yes to Education.

President Michael Johnson, Ph.D. with Baldwin Wallace President Robert C. Helmer, Ph.D. (left) and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson (center) at the announcement event on Friday at John Marshall High School.

John Carroll University joins eight new partner institutions in Ohio including Ashland University, Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, College of Wooster, Notre Dame College, Ohio Northern University, Ohio Wesleyan University and the University of Dayton.

“We are so proud to invest in Cleveland’s future leaders through our partnership with Say Yes to Education, The Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District,” said Michael D. Johnson, Ph.D., president of John Carroll University. “This relationship highlights our University’s mission of developing men and women for and with others. Together, we will work to inspire students to be future leaders across our shared community.”

Through the partnership with Say Yes to Education, graduates of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District who meet residency and other requirements will have access to scholarships (up to the value of tuition and mandatory fees) to John Carroll University, dozens of private colleges and universities around the nation, as well as to in-state public colleges and universities (and industry-recognized credentialing programs) across Ohio.

Cleveland now joins three other Say Yes communities–Buffalo and Syracuse in New York, and Guilford County (Greensboro-High Point) in North Carolina–in committing to make college and other post secondary scholarships accessible to all eligible public high school graduates for years to come.

In addition to providing scholarships, John Carroll University and the other partner colleges and universities in the Say Yes National Higher Education Compact stand with Say Yes and its partners in creating a college-going culture in communities whose young people have been historically underrepresented at the nation’s higher education institutions.

Say Yes was founded by money manager George Weiss nearly 32 years ago with a promise to the entire sixth grade at a public school serving a low-income neighborhood in Philadelphia: if they graduated high school, he would personally pay to put them through college. In the three decades since, more than 13,000 public school students have gone off to two- and four-year institutions, as well as certificate-granting programs, with support from Say Yes, its partner communities and its partner colleges and universities.

“The members of the Say Yes National Board and I have been deeply impressed, and moved, by the efforts of the city of Cleveland to come together to offer its young people hope – an aspiration that has always served as a cornerstone of Say Yes to Education,’’ Weiss said.

He continued, “Our new partners in Cleveland recognize that it requires an enormous investment to raise the aspirations of all students, many of them seeking to become the first in their families to attend college – and, more importantly, to graduate,’’ Weiss added. “There is the obvious financial commitment. But fulfilling that promise also requires community buy-in, a willingness to believe that all children can succeed if they are given not only the opportunity, but the necessary support. That includes tutoring and mentoring as well as services to improve their health and social-emotional well-being.”

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Posted on January 18, 2019