Sunday, November 8, 2015

Say Yes to Education, Inc. (Say Yes), and Say Yes Guilford appears to be a legal Ponzi scheme and/or a Racket

"The main focus of Say Yes is to increase high school and college graduation rates by offering a range of support services to at-risk, economically disadvantaged youths and families, and by pledging full scholarships for a college or vocational education to children living in poverty.

Say Yes appears to be a legal Ponzi scheme,
enriching those who administer the program 
and the investment managers/foundations
holding/'managing' the contribution endowments,
while paying out monies to local cronies for 'services'
while they all join together to pilfer wealth 
from the high end of the community 
with a promise of helping the poorest among us, 
not unlike Mike Barber's First Tee of the Triad,
only different.

Say Yes is organized around local chapters and operates in the northeastern U.S. The organization also partners with other groups to provide services to disadvantaged students and their families.


Donations exceeded the initial goal of $28 million, 
with $32.5 million pledged toward a $70 million scholarship fund.

Susan Ladd

1 History

Starting with the Class of 2016, 
graduates of Guilford County Schools 
will have the opportunity to go to college and graduate 
without taking on crushing debt.

Susan Ladd, who appears to be a financial illiterate
who works for Greensboro's News and Record,
whose editors didn't edit, think or consider
what Susan was telling Guilford County's students

2 Chapters [most of which don't exist anymore]

Guilford County, with about 73,000 students, 
is the largest school system that Say Yes has taken on. 

That number exceeds the total students 
in Say Yes programs in Buffalo, N.Y., and Syracuse, N.Y., combined.

Susan Ladd
Greensboro's News and Record

2.1 Philadelphia, PA

Say Yes to Education, Inc Bryant Chapter

3440 Market Street, Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA, 19104, US

"Twelve years later, George Weiss—who could not attend the announcement himself because of a bad back—has spent more than $5 million on these students, for tutoring, counseling, social services, and college expenses. By some analysts’ reckoning, what he’s gotten for his money—so far, eleven Bachelor’s degrees, two Associate’s degrees, and seven vocational certificates—isn’t much.

73,000 Guilford County students / 12 grades = 6,083 per grade

...Despite Weiss’s fervor, he recognizes that the numbers are sobering. Even with all the extra help, just 68 of the 112 graduated from high school (although the graduation rate for the previous year’s class was less than one-third).

If 5,000 students graduate from high school each year
and 4,000 of them go to college
and each receives $1,000 from Say Yes Guilford,
the $32 million pledged, which may not actually be in hand,
but paid over time like the TPAC donations no one has seen,
would have to pay out $4 million per year.

4,000 students x $1,000 each = $4,000,000 

...More of the 112 are felons—20, at last count—than have college degrees.

...the entire group of students, now in their mid-twenties, has produced more than 90 children, a pregnancy epidemic that the program was at a loss to stem.

$4 million / $32 million = 12.5% per year paid out to students
before administrative, services and investment management fees 

...Only one had a path through college that was uninterrupted by travails such as parenthood, flunking out, academic trouble, discipline problems, and frequent changes of majors and schools. "

2.2 Hartford, CT

The Hartford Chapter of Say Yes closed in June 2005.


2.3 Cambridge, MA

Say Yes Program commemorates 17 years of success with final celebration

After 17 years in operation, the Cambridge Chapter of Say Yes to Education held its final celebration at Lesley University on June 27, 2008.

Say Yes will have offices in both Greensboro and High Point

Of the original 69 third graders, 61 students (88%) have earned a high school diploma or GED.

How much money did Weiss make on the contributions?

Of those, 57% have completed a post secondary program, and two more are expected to finish their degrees in 2008, bringing the total to 60% (relative to a 51.5% national graduation rate for the same year).

How much did the administrators and others make
from the 'services' side of the program
relative to what the kids received in scholarships?

Answer; Say Yes to Education won't say.

They have earned credentials ranging from certificates (9), associate’s degrees (5), bachelor’s degrees (19), master’s degree (1) and doctorate (1).

Doesn't seem to be much of an improvement
considering the millions spent on the program
most of which apparently didn't go to the kids,
but those running the show and managing the money

2.4 New York, NY

If the Community Foundation of Greensboro
and the Community Foundation of High Point
charge about 2% per year to 'manage' the money,
which would be about $640,000 of the $32 million
and Mary Vigue wants to manage about 30 employees
tack on another $900,000 per year at $30,000 a piece
before a single dollar lands in the hands
of a Guilford County graduate

2.5 Syracuse, NY
2.6 Buffalo, NY

The Say Yes to Education Website 
only lists Buffalo, NY, founded in 2012
Guilford County, NC, founded in 2015
and Syracuse, NY, founded in 2008

3 Approach
4 Impact
5 Partnerships

History (November 2010)

Businessman and philanthropist George A. Weiss founded Say Yes to Education, Inc. in 1987, initially making a promise to 112 sixth graders at Belmont Elementary School in Philadelphia that he would cover the expenses of their college tuition if they graduated from high school.  According to David Callahan, Weiss was "directly inspired by Eugene Lang, a philanthropist who made a similar promise to sixth-graders in Harlem, New York in 1981 and then set up the 'I Have a Dream' Foundation to spread this promise to more students."


Philadelphia, PA

Say Yes began in 1987 with the creation of the Belmont Program of the Philadelphia Chapter. The first students chosen to participate in the program were a group of 112 seventh grade students. Students in the Belmont Program received mentoring and tutoring services, and were provided with after-school and summer programs. Say Yes also focused on family outreach, offering social work and psychological services and administering free medical and dental care.

$4 million for the kids, 
plus $640,000 for investment management
plus another $900,000 for staff
plus another $300,000 for offices, insurance etc... per year
= $5,840,000 per year costs on $32 million in assets
= 18.25% of the principal per year going out

In 1990, the Jane and Robert Toll Program of the Philadelphia Chapter was formed.The program, sponsored by Toll Brothers' Chief Executive Officer Robert I. Toll and his wife, targeted 57 third graders at the Harrity Elementary School in West Philadelphia.

Hartford, CT

In October 1990, the Hartford Chapter of Say Yes began when 76 fifth grade students at Annie Fisher Elementary School received a "promise of assistance with tuition costs at either the University of Hartford or other accredited post-secondary institutions."[7] This gift from Hartford University was linked with what is now known as the Hartford Scholars Program, which provides Hartford Public School graduates with half-tuition at the university. The goals of the Hartford Chapter were to encourage and motivate at-risk students to graduate from high school and pursue post-secondary education or training; to help students learn how to make constructive decisions for their lives; and to help students become responsible, productive adults.

If the investment management
and new contributions don't make more than $5,840,000 per year
beginning with the first year's scholarships,
Say Yes Guilford will run out of Money
like the other ended 'chapters'

The chapter provided a number of support programs to help students reach these goals, including after-school tutoring, individual student support services, educational summer opportunities, and recognition of student achievement; organizing overnight retreats focusing on growth and development issues such as human sexuality, respect and responsibility within relationships, and conflict resolution; monitoring the academic and personal progress of students; arranging college visits; and providing assistance to families and students with the admission process.

If Say Yes Guilford doesn't raise a dime more
or makes money on it's investments,
it will disappear in about five and a half years
if the program costs about $5,840,000 per year

The Hartford Chapter of Say Yes closed in June 2005.

Cambridge, MA

The third Say Yes chapter was formed in June 1991 at the Harrington Elementary School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The original Say Yes group for the Cambridge Chapter consisted of 69 students who were beginning third grade at Harrington. The chapter was supported by a partnership between Lesley University and the Cambridge Public School District, and with funding from eight local sponsors. Lesley University provided various resources such as tutoring, counseling, academic materials, and professional development help to Harrington. The Cambridge Chapter assisted the school in its restructuring efforts by "working closely with the Harrington administration and faculty to develop strategies for team teaching and grade level cluster development, interdisciplinary and thematic teaching, career weeks, portfolio assessment, and before- and after-school programs."

New York, NY

The New York City Harlem Program was launched in 2004 through a $50 million initiative in five elementary schools: P.S. 57, 83, 161, 180, and 182.

Syracuse, NY

The Syracuse Say Yes to Education and Economic Development program is the first district-wide establishment of the organization. The program is a collaboration between Say Yes, Syracuse University, and the Syracuse City School District aimed at bridging the achievement gap between urban and suburban children by focusing on academic, social-emotional, health, and financial obstacles facing low-income students.

The following support systems are offered through the Syracuse Say Yes to Education program: annual and regularly reviewed individual student growth plans; tutoring; identification of strengths and weaknesses through student diagnostic testing; inclusive settings, curriculum, and support for students with disabilities and English language learners; after-school and summer school programs; counseling and family engagement; research-based academic programs such as International Baccalaureate often found in suburban schools; financial aid and college selection counseling; and mentoring...

Buffalo, NY

In December 2011, Say Yes to Education announced that Buffalo would be its second Say Yes City in the United States.


Say Yes uses its services to target what the organization views as four major problem areas affecting low-income students from having access to post-secondary education: social/emotional obstacles, health obstacles, academic obstacles, and financial obstacles.

To target academic obstacles, Say Yes uses a diagnostic assessment to provide early intervention by determining the support needed for students based on each individual's strengths and weaknesses. Other services provided include after-school programs, "Power Hour" tutoring for students with the most risk of not advancing to the next grade level, encouraged parental participation, summer programs, career exploration, professional development for teachers, and Say Yes involvement in all students' Individual Education Plans.

To target health obstacles, Say Yes has "structured partnerships with hospitals and other health care providers to offer physical and mental health services as well as dental care."

For financial obstacles, Say Yes offers the students in its program scholarships to vocational institutes and two and four-year colleges. Financial assistance is also provided at these same post-secondary institutes to parents and siblings of Say Yes students.

Say Yes targets social/emotional obstacles with services such as counseling, intervention, and conflict resolution. Say Yes Program Managers, who are often licensed social workers, conduct family outreach through home visits and meetings. Program Managers "also provide information and support for Say Yes families and youth to help them select appropriate courses and navigate the college admissions process."
"A "Racket" as "a service that is fraudulently offered to solve a problem, such as for a problem that does not actually exist, that will not be put into effect, or that would not otherwise exist if the racket did not exist. 

Conducting a racket is racketeering.

Particularly, the potential problem may be caused by the same party that offers to solve it, although that fact may be concealed, with the specific intent to engender continual patronage for this party...

...The purpose of the RICO Act was stated as "the elimination of the infiltration of organized crime and racketeering into legitimate organizations operating in interstate commerce"...

Out of the 112 Belmont Program students offered a free college education in 1987, 65 graduated high school, and 5 more received a GED.  This accounts for more than 62% of the Say Yes cohort, while 26% of the students in classes preceding the group and 28% of students following the group completed high school.  44 of these 70 students pursued a post-secondary education, with 21 completing bachelor's degrees, 9 receiving associate's degrees, and 14 earning trade certificates.[4] 34 of the original 112 students dropped out of school, and 8 students died, all but one in a violent manner.

Of the 76 students in the Hartford Chapter, 79% received a high school diploma or GED. Those students went on to complete 11 trade certificates, 7 associate's degrees, 20 bachelor's degrees, and 4 master's degrees.[7] From the Cambridge Chapter, 87% of the original 69 students completed high school, with 72% of those graduates completing a post-secondary education.[9]

Some of the criticism directed at Say Yes has been that while the program "might have been a noble experiment that changed lives, its results have not approached its cost."[6] Others have argued that young, at-risk students promised a free post-secondary education "could not begin to comprehend how they were supposed to use the 'abstract' gift to graduate from college."[17]

If you graduate and get accepted to college, 
your tuition will be paid to the last dollar.

Susan Ladd
to a random high school student

Say Yes also has partnerships with the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching; the Dean Hope Center for Psychological and Educational Services; the Reading Specialist Program; and the Science Education Program from Teachers College, Columbia University.[11]
'Ponzi Scheme'

A fraudulent investing scam promising high rates of return [“If you graduate and get accepted to college, your tuition will be paid to the last dollar”] with little risk to investors [contributors/suckers/].  The Ponzi scheme generates returns for older investors by acquiring new investors.  This scam actually yields the promised returns to earlier investors, as long as there are more new investors. These schemes usually collapse on themselves when the new investments stop.
With Bill Cosby;

Say Yes to Education information request for Guilford County Schools

Say Yes to Education Red Flag; Mary Vigue; She is about to be in charge of more than $25 million for a 'non-profit' after shafting City of Greensboro employees out of investment fee cuts

Say Yes to Education Independent Contractor Compensation the News and Record's Susan Ladd failed to report

David Colin; Just Say Yes raises lots of questions

Are our local Realtors saying Say Yes to Education is going to pay for everyone in Guilford County's college?

The salaries of some Yes to Education Executives, which just took Guilford County for more than $25 million

Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey; President at Say Yes to Education, Inc.; Professional Fundraising Organization