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Mandel Foundation pledges $500K to Say Yes Cleveland education services

The program will help city students prepare themselves for college.

CLEVELAND — The Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation has committed $500,000 to Say Yes Cleveland, pledging to help thousands of students in the city obtain a quality education.

The money provided by the foundation will pay for various support services at local schools, including family assistance for postsecondary planning, mental health services, extracurriculars, and even legal advice.

"Say Yes Cleveland is doing work that helps students and families today and will also help to improve Cleveland’s economy, neighborhoods, and workforce over the coming decades," Mandel Foundation CEO Jehuda Reinharz said in a statement. "It’s a strategy perfectly aligned with the Mandel Foundation’s commitment to urban engagement."

George Weiss' Say Yes program came to Cleveland in 2019, and seeks to make college tuition virtually free for city students over the next 25 years. The program says more than 1,000 CMSD students have been able to go to college thanks to those scholarships, assistance services also in place to help achieve those goals.

"We are extremely grateful to the Mandel Foundation for their generous support of Say Yes Cleveland’s support services," Say Yes Cleveland Executive Director Diane Downing wrote. "While Say Yes Cleveland’s postsecondary scholarships often get the most attention, support services are the cornerstone of our long-term work."

So far, those services are in more than 40 combined public and charter schools in Cleveland. Say Yes claims they will be in 100% of such schools by 2023.

"This generous donation from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation will help countless students in the City of Cleveland striving to attain success in higher education," Mayor Frank G. Jackson said. "On behalf of all Clevelanders, I thank the Foundation for this important investment in our children."

RELATED: Cuyahoga County, Mandel Foundation give $200,000 to Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center amid coronavirus

FROM 2019: Longtime Cleveland businessman, philanthropist Morton Mandel dies at 98