GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Edward M. Armfield, Sr. Foundation today announced it will pledge up to $5 million in support of Guilford County’s potential partnership with the national Say Yes to Education initiative.

“It is time to ‘say yes’ – for Guilford County to take the leap to say yes to

Mindy Oakley

Mindy Oakley

an opportunity that will transform our community,” said Mindy Oakley, executive director of the Armfield Foundation. “We believe wholeheartedly in the ability of Say Yes to align services to meet the needs of students where they are today, while navigating a path and plan for each student to achieve a bright and promising future. The combination of support services and scholarships will enable students to excel while in our district, and enter college with the tools, confidence and resources to succeed. Guilford County is thinking big, and the Armfield Foundation is excited to play a role in this game-changing community investment.”

Initially, the Armfield Foundation will put forward $2.5 million – contingent on Guilford being selected as a Say Yes community. An additional $2.5 million is pledged contingent on the achievement of established educational benchmarks. Those benchmarks would be set once the program is launched and would be created in concert with Say Yes local and national leadership.

The Armfield Foundation’s commitment brings to $17 million the total of pledges announced to date in an ongoing $28-million Say Yes fundraising effort. Last month, The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro pledged $1 million, and the High Point Community Foundation announced a $2-million pledge from an anonymous donor in High Point. Earlier pledges included $5 million from the Phillips Foundation, $2 million from VF Corp., $1 million from United Guaranty Corp. and $1 million from another anonymous donor in High Point. All pledges are contingent on Say Yes officially selecting Guilford as its next Say Yes community. To be selected, Guilford County must achieve several remaining goals – one being fundraising. Say Yes is aiming to make a decision by this fall.

“This is an outstanding and generous example of support for something that promises to change the very fabric of our community and its future,” said Walker Sanders, president of The Community Foundation. “

In early 2014, Guilford County Schools and the Guilford Education Alliance – with the support and assistance of The Community Foundation 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.

“I believe we can have no higher calling than to build a child centered community,” said Alan Duncan, chair of the Guilford County Board of Education. “This work in partnership with Say Yes and this extraordinary commitment from the Armfield Foundation help us do that. I am deeply grateful for their investment in Guilford County Schools students. I know our students will not disappoint them.” 

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

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About The Edward M. Armfield, Sr. Foundation

The Edward M. Armfield, Sr. Foundation was established in 1999 to make grants in Surry, Randolph and Guilford counties, with a primary focus on education.