HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Community Foundation today announced that a local family has pledged $2 million in support of bringing the Say Yes to Education initiative to Guilford County – the second large commitment from High Point for this ongoing county-wide effort.

The pledge, from a local family who wish to remain anonymous, brings the total of pledged support so far to $12 million of an initial $28-million fundraising effort.

“We believe in the power and impact of public education,” the High Point donors said. “Every community must own their public schools and that means supporting them with our leadership, time, energy and resources. We feel privileged to be able to help Say Yes impact our children for generations to come.”  

All pledges are contingent on Say Yes to Education officially selecting Guilford County as the nation’s next Say Yes community. In January, Say Yes notified Guilford that it is the leading candidate for this designation. To be officially selected, Guilford County must achieve several remaining goals – one being fundraising. Say Yes is aiming to make a decision by this fall.

“This remarkable High Point family has been a very loyal and committed supporter and advocate of our public schools,” said Paul Lessard, president of the High Point Community Foundation. “Their children have thrived in our local schools and they believe that supporting public education is not only the right thing to do, it is also a sound economic investment in a community they love.  I’m so proud of this family for everything they have done over the years and especially for this key leadership gift to Say Yes.”

Since early 2014, when area leaders began exploring a potential partnership between Say Yes and Guilford, everyone has stressed that not only would Say Yes serve all corners of the county, but that the effort to secure the opportunity would be a community-wide endeavor, as well.

“High Point is a generous community,” High Point Mayor Bill Bencini said. “And Say Yes provides an unprecedented opportunity to work with partners across the county to make a dynamic change in educational outcomes for our students. This is critical as we continue to work to revitalize our city and the economy across the region.”

In early 2014, Guilford County Schools and the Guilford Education Alliance – with the support and assistance of The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro and the High Point Community Foundation – launched an exploration of a potential partnership with Say Yes to Education.

Founded in 1987, Say Yes is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that organizes and galvanizes communities around the goal of every student in the public school system graduating high school, and then helps those students access, afford and complete a college or other post-secondary education. A key component of a Say Yes partnership focuses on how a community addresses the social, emotional and financial barriers that prevent students from achieving this goal.

“Young people are our future and education is their passport to a future filled with success and framed with significance. Say Yes is an extraordinary program carefully structured to ensure that Guilford County students can achieve a brighter tomorrow.” said David Miller, High Point community leader and philanthropist. “We are proud to be teaming up with our friends in Greensboro to make all Guilford County schools a place where every child has the opportunity and the tools to reach their fullest potential.”

People can follow Guilford’s Say Yes efforts at GuilfordSaysYes.org and on Facebook at facebook.com/Guilford-says-yes.

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