About Say Yes Cleveland

Say Yes was founded in 1987 by money manager George Weiss who promised to prepare 112 Philadelphia sixth graders for college and to pay their college tuition if they graduated high school. In 2008, Say Yes grew to help entire communities make a similar commitment to every public high school student. Say Yes Cleveland, which launched in January 2019, is the fourth community chapter in the country.

Cleveland's Path

Six leading organizations – City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Cleveland Foundation, College Now Greater Cleveland, United Way of Greater Cleveland – convened the community to bring Say Yes to Education to Cleveland so our children have the opportunity to dream – and succeed – through post-secondary education.

After work by over 100 community representatives over 18 months, Say Yes Cleveland launched in January 2019.


Say Yes Cleveland is led by executive director Diane Downing and a local Operating Committee.

Say Yes Cleveland Scholarship Inc. is a local nonprofit that sets scholarship criteria and oversees the administration of Say Yes Cleveland scholarships. College Now Greater Cleveland administers the scholarship and mentor program.

Say Yes National

Say Yes to Education is a nonprofit that revitalizes communities by helping them give every public high school graduate access to college or other post-secondary scholarships. Say Yes community partnerships also make available supports and services to develop the gifts and talents of each child. Visit the national site for more information on the entire Say Yes to Education community.