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Governance

A breakthrough component of Say Yes Syracuse is the transparent, collaborative governance structure that guides all efforts and reports on progress to the public at large.

Governance Structure

When Say Yes to Education established a Syracuse chapter in 2008 to ensure that all Syracuse City School District (SCSD) students would have the opportunity to obtain a post-secondary education, the long-term goal was for the chapter to become independently governed and administered at the local level. That day came on July 1, 2020 when the Central New York Community Foundation assumed the governance of Say Yes scholarships and personnel from Say Yes to Education, Inc.

Say Yes Syracuse continues to offer a fully endowed last-dollar tuition guarantee scholarship to all eligible SCSD students. All wrap-around supports, including family support specialists, mental health clinics and legal services continue unchanged. We are excited to begin this new phase based in local guidance and expertise, which is sure to benefit Syracuse children for generations to come.

In addition to the work of the Community Foundation, Say Yes Syracuse is governed through a partnership between the Syracuse City School District, Onondaga County, the city of Syracuse, Syracuse University, Onondaga Community College, college and university partners, the Syracuse Teachers’ Association, the Syracuse Association of Administrators and Supervisors, the American Institutes for Research, and a diverse group of Syracuse area corporate, non-profit, and philanthropic organizations. This collaborative, cross-government approach provides holistic, year-round support to Syracuse City School District students during their K-12 years and beyond.

Operating Committee

  • Syracuse City Schools Superintendent Jaime Alicea
  • Syracuse Teachers Association President Bill Scott
  • Syracuse City Mayor Ben Walsh
  • Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon
  • CNY Community Foundation CEO Peter Dunn
  • Syracuse University School of Education Dean Joanna Masingila
  • Onondaga Community College President Casey Crabill
  • Say Yes to Education Chapter Executive Director Ahmeed Turner

Community Advisory Group

  • Syracuse City Schools Superintendent Jaime Alicea
  • Syracuse Teachers Association President Bill Scott
  • Syracuse City Mayor Ben Walsh
  • Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon
  • CNY Community Foundation CEO Peter Dunn
  • Syracuse University School of Education Dean Joanna Masingila
  • Onondaga Community College President Casey Crabill

Contact Us

Are you inspired by the goals and approach of Say Yes or have questions about scholarships? We invite you to subscribe to our mailing list, set an appointment, or reach out to and learn more about how you can get involved.

Ahmeed Turner, Executive Director

Dana Lyons, Manager, Post-Secondary Scholarship Access and Completion