WXXI AM News

Buffalo Students Offered Scholarships as College Incentive

Dec 20, 2011

Buffalo public school kids are being offered quite an incentive: graduate and get into college, and the finances to pay for school will be available. That's what a new education partnership is promising city school kids.

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and Say Yes to Education, a national nonprofit, are teaming up for the initiative. The goal is to offer full or partial college scholarships to city school kids over a 20-year period.

Alphonso O’Neil White is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation.

He says the outcome of this partnership is two-fold. He says it will reform the Buffalo public school system while revitalizing the area economy, "We've had some evidence that housing values tend to go up, that crime goes down, dropout rates decrease, grad rates increase, all of those things have a positive economic impact if you will."

In addition to offering scholarships O'Neil While says the initiative will also provide a host of support services to the public school system to ensure kids are successful in school.

So far, $15 million has been raised with a goal of $100 million.

Graduates of Buffalo public schools and city charter schools are eligible and it is not needs-based. The class of 2013 will be the first to receive scholarships.

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