April 06, 2009

Senator Gillibrand Joins Local Officials, Community Leaders, Educators and Students for “Say Yes to Education” Roundtable in Syracuse

Promotes Groundbreaking Community Education Effort to Improve Education, Increase Graduation Rates

Syracuse, N.Y.--U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today joined Congressman Dan Maffei, Syracuse Mayor Matthew Driscoll and Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor, along with Syracuse-area educators and students to promote "Syracuse Say Yes to Education" at a roundtable in Syracuse.

"Say Yes to Education" is a non-profit education foundation committed to significantly increasing high school and college graduation rates among inner-city youth. Syracuse's "Say Yes" program brings together local educators, elected officials, community and business leaders to provide comprehensive support for students, including the promise of a full college or vocational education.

"I am so proud that Syracuse will be the first city in the nation to offer a kindergarten-to-high school program promising free college tuition," Senator Gillibrand said. "Where you grow up and how much money you have should not define your potential and opportunity to thrive.  In these trying economic times, our nation and our state cannot afford to lose tomorrow's doctors and scientists and teachers.  Investing in education is one of the most important investments we can make."

Participating in today's roundtable were Syracuse "Say Yes" high school students who will be attending college in the fall, along with Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, Syracuse City School District Superintendent Daniel Lowengard and "Say Yes to Education" President Mary Anne Schmitt Carey.

The group talked about the groundbreaking effort to support Syracuse students, and ways they can work together at every level to provide students with every opportunity they need to be successful in their lives and academic careers.

As a working mother of two, Senator Gillibrand is a strong voice for New York schools and students. Earlier this year, she helped pass President Obama's economic plan, which makes critical investments in education to save teaching jobs, reform and improve our education system, and prepare our students for the jobs of the future.