Say Yes Guilford is taking steps to raise its public profile and let citizens know that the organization is back on its feet.

That message is being touted by Say Yes Guilford CEO Wendy Poteat, who took the job this summer. The group – which helps students in Guilford County schools pay for their college educations – is attempting to shake off some image issues that lingered for Say Yes after a highly public major financial fail three years ago.

In a Monday, Nov. 25 newsletter, Poteat stated in a personal message to the public that Say Yes Guilford has “made real progress” this year and added that Say Yes will be “sharing more of our vision” in the coming months.

While initially the scholarship program was intended to help all Guilford County Schools’ graduates regardless of family income, a severe financial miscalculation three years ago forced Say Yes Guilford to announce that it had to start using financial means testing to qualify only some students.

Many county students and parents were upset, and some may even have gotten the idea from all the bad news that the program had gone away entirely. Not much was heard out of Say Yes for two years – however, that’s now changing.

Poteat recently appeared on News 2 to promote the program and explain new developments, and Say Yes representatives have been making more speeches in the community and are actively letting it be known they’re available to do so. Say Yes Guilford is also one of the major sponsors of a “Running of the Turkeys 5k” at Greensboro Country Park on Thanksgiving Day and it has been sharing inspiring stories online of current Say Yes-backed students who are success stories.

The Nov. 25 newsletter noted a large recent breakfast event that helped get the word about the moves the program is making: “We filled the room at our first ‘Say Yes to Impact’ Breakfast earlier this month with representation from the City of Greensboro, Guilford County Government, Board of Education, Guilford County Legislative Delegation, federal representatives from the offices of Mark Walker and Thom Tillis, Say Yes Guilford donors and educators.”

According to Poteat, in the last school year more than 1,100 Guilford County Schools’ graduates benefited from Say Yes Guilford and Say Yes is now working closely with NC A&T University and Guilford Technical Community College to help more students graduate. Students from those two higher learning institutions go into Guilford County schools to tutor children and help them see the value of a college education.