More than 70 university students attended the Say Yes to Education volunteer meeting held on the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 26, at Syracuse University.
The program that offers free college tuition to all students who qualify in the Syracuse City School District is seeking volunteers for its kindergarten through fourth-grade after school programs.
“You should never be denied access to education because your parents can’t afford it,” said Executive Director Rachael Gazdick to the auditorium of students.
She encouraged students to integrate their academic majors with their volunteer experience. However, personal gain was not the main motivation for all.
At the end of the presentation one student stood-up to address his peers. “Don’t think of what you can get,” he said. “Think of the impact you have on one child.”
International student Manish Kumar aspires to bring the Say Yes program back to his home country.
“I was interested in this program from the first time I heard about it. There are no similar programs in India. I had friends that couldn’t afford to continue their education and it pained me,” Kumar shared.
Although studying medical engineering is a full-time job, he plans to volunteer and learn more about Say Yes before he returns to India.
Volunteering is not limited to university students, anyone who would like to help is encouraged to apply.
“We are always looking for community engagement,” Gazdick said. “This is an initiative the takes the entire city to succeed.”
For more information, visit the Say Yes Web site.