Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – The specifics of President Obama’s visit to Henninger High School in Syracuse on Thursday are still coming together.
It's likely no accident that the president picked a Syracuse City School as he will be talking about his goal of making higher education more affordable.
The high rate of underperformance the past several years in the Syracuse City School District has been well chronicled.
Less publicized is the fact that many of the students come from some of the most impoverished neighborhoods in America and that has made higher education out of reach for some students.
The Say Yes program in Syracuse has been doing the very thing the president is here to talk about, making college affordable and more realistic for many high school students.
The head of the program says Obama's visit will shed more light on what they're doing and how other communities can do it.
"It’s certainly an honor for the City of Syracuse and its students and families with the Syracuse City School District. The President has been very consistent in his message about affordability for all for college and that is something we've done here in a collective manner since 2008," said Local Operations Director of Say Yes Syracuse, Pat Driscoll.
Driscoll says it takes all the partners involved with Say Yes to make it successful and says it’s noteworthy to mention the Republican controlled County government is helping out a Democratically controlled city government with its school district.
"For a group of managing partners with maybe different political ideologies to come around the table every two weeks to say, we're going to make this work, we're going to find a way to help students, is very powerful," Driscoll said.
Driscoll says the first group of Say Yes students to graduate from four year schools this past spring is a shining example of what the program is about and says they will be ambassadors for the Say Yes program going forward.
He hasn't heard if any Say Yes students will be part of the President's visit, but he says it would be great if they were part of his stop.