Say Yes Guilford, which stunned the community several years ago with the announcement of a giant financial shortfall, has been quietly gaining steam again in its attempt to see that area high school graduates get the financial help they need to attend college.

A message this week from Say Yes Guilford CEO Wendy Poteat expressed optimism about the group’s 2020 plans and let people know that Say Yes Guilford is chugging along.

While initially the scholarship program was intended to help all graduates of Guilford County Schools regardless of family income, a very large funding miscalculation several years ago forced the organization to announce that it had to start using financial means testing to qualify only some students. Since then, however, the local chapter of the non-profit program that was started in 1987 by Philadelphia billionaire George Weiss has been working to continue to help graduates of Guilford County Schools afford college.

In her message to the community, Poteat pointed out that the year 2019 closed out with four full classes of “Say Yes Guilford scholars” working toward post-secondary degrees. Last year, she noted, was also the year when the organization implemented specialized tutoring and other programs in Guilford County Schools meant to prepare students for college.

“Say Yes Guilford delivered more than 3,300 new books to local elementary schools, hosted two college exam prep courses and more than a dozen information sessions,” Poteat stated, adding that last year the group also conducted workshops and met with 200 donors and community stakeholders at the first “Say Yes to Impact Breakfast.”

“With our partners we reached more than 3,500 families in the first half of the school year,” she stated.

According to Poteat, the organization is looking to provide even more help to area students in the New Year.

“We begin 2020 with a renewed purpose to inspire, prepare and support Guilford County Schools students on the path to college and careers,” she stated while asking supporters to help spread the word that the organization is alive and well – and that it’s having a real and positive effect on the community.

Say Yes Guilford has three upcoming college planning workshops on its slate. One on choosing the right college will be held on Thursday, Feb. 13 at the Union Square Campus in Greensboro. Another, on available college scholarship opportunities, will be held on Thursday, March 12 at the Jamestown Campus of Guilford Technical Community College, and a third workshop, on preparing students mentally for college, will take place on Thursday, April 23, also on GTCC’s Jamestown campus. More information can be found at

Poteat is asking everyone to help out in any way they can.

“Volunteer in one of our schools, share the work we are doing with your school, church or civic club or make a pledge toward our endowment,” she encouraged.