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News Release

Say Yes Guilford Receives $1M from Duke Energy Foundation

GREENSBORO, NC (July 13, 2016) – The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant to Say Yes Guilford to support educational wraparound and support services. The grant is a portion of $2.7 million in investments made by Duke Energy in more than 50 innovative education programs and initiatives across the state this year.

“We like to say that Say Yes Guilford helps Guilford County Schools’ students get to and through college,” says Say Yes Guilford Executive Director Mary Vigue. “However, it’s really about how we help students and families find success in whatever endeavor they choose. We appreciate the Duke Energy Foundation and other like-minded organizations who believe enhancing education and critical supports will improve the chances for success for our County’s public school children and will lead to a more robust workforce in the future.”

According to the Duke Energy Foundation, its grant to Say Yes Guilford is to support rigorous education activity within the Guilford County Schools’ system and provide tutoring, mentoring, health and social services, after school programming, and other services for families and students. “It is essential that our children are well-equipped with the skills needed to thrive in the classroom and in life,” says Duke Energy Foundation President Shawn Heath. “We recognize that a strong educational foundation for all students is essential for our state’s competitive edge, which is why we’re excited to make this important investment in Say Yes Guilford.”

Say Yes Guilford, currently in its first year in providing last-dollar tuition scholarships to eligible Guilford County Schools’ graduates, is implementing a support system to provide services to students and families from kindergarten through graduation.  The supports are provided in partnership with Guilford County Schools, community service providers, and via $15 million donated by Say Yes National over five years to fund the necessary services needed to help local students succeed. In other Say Yes communities, the support services have included free legal and mental health clinics, after-school tutoring and advanced academic assistance, among other activities.

“We are appreciative of the Duke Energy Foundation for this significant contribution to Say Yes Guilford,” says Guilford County Board of Education Chairman Alan Duncan. “Through this donation, and others like it, we have the opportunity to enhance the level of services and support our students receive in Guilford County.”

This grant brings the total of funds raised for Say Yes Guilford to more than $36 million. The funds will go to support scholarships and program implementation that provide services and support to students and families with a goal of increasing postsecondary education completion. Ongoing fundraising efforts are aimed at securing an endowment of $70 million or more to sustain the Say Yes Guilford program in the future.

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