The novel coronavirus has forced major changes in the way just about everyone and every organization operates, and that’s also true of Say Yes Guilford – the four-year-old non-profit that attempts to help students in Guilford County Schools afford college by offering them everything from direct grants to assistance in finding financial aid from other sources.
On Saturday, March 28, Say Yes Guilford CEO Wendy Poteat released a statement that outlined some of the ways the organization is adjusting – and is trying to help students – during the current crisis, which has meant a closure of all county schools.
“During these uncertain times in education,” Poteat stated, “I want you to know Say Yes Guilford remains committed to providing equitable access to learning for all GCS [Guilford County Schools] students.”
According to Poteat, the organization has been moving many of its services online and it has helped guarantee that the county’s students stay connected no matter what their economic situation.
“We helped to provide laptops to families without access to technology; we increased our online resources for students including videos and webinars, we are reaching out to our Say Yes scholars by phone and email,” the statement reads.
She also stated that the organization is planning additional ways to help students in the coming school year.
Poteat included the most recent stats covering the extent to which Say Yes has been able to help students in Guilford County Schools recently. In the academic year of 2018-19, there were 1,194 graduates – representing every high school in the system – who received scholarship support from Say Yes. She boasted of a “$20 million scholarship impact” through Say Yes Guilford since the organization began in 2016.
According to Poteat’s statement, Say Yes has also helped students with their Free Application for Federal Student Aid– FAFSA forms – and those applications saw a 15 percent increase in the current academic year.