Say Yes to Education at Medaille
Huber Hall 109
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Say Yes to Education at Medaille College supports students in earning a college degree. Through one-on-one personalized support, we assist in guiding students through the college experience, from start to finish. Say Yes students graduate from Medaille prepared to contribute to society in meaningful, impactful ways.
Say Yes to Education at Medaille College serves as a support for students from the moment they step on campus. It is our goal to empower students to be academically successful, as well as engaged in their campus community.
Say Yes will support the transition from high school to college, connect students to campus resources and help students develop self-advocacy and accountability skills, while providing support for goal achievement.
Say Yes to Education advocates are invested in nurturing individual talents and interests.
Our office serves as a safe space to discuss personal and academic challenges and, with our support, identify solutions.
Our team is invested and committed to every student achieving graduation.
We are pleased to announce that Say Yes to Education at Medaille College has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase access, support and opportunities to students from the City of Buffalo.
Meet the Team
Director, Say Yes at Medaille College
Michelle Sawyers holds a master's degree in higher education student affairs administration from SUNY Buffalo State College. A lifelong resident of Buffalo, NY, Michelle has built a career supporting students in achieving their educational goals. As a passionate advocate for student success, she has developed great collaborative relationships within the educational community. Michelle is excited to join the student support system and advocate for students at Medaille College. In her spare time, Michelle is active in her community, enjoys spending time with family and loves to read.
Student Advocate, Say Yes at Medaille College
With an educational background in sociology, Rachel Spink has spent the majority of her career working with underserved youth in the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, NY. She is passionate about ensuring every student receives the services needed to e successful, both in college and after graduation. Rachel's goal is to help each student realize the value they offer to the world. Outside of work, Rachel loves camping, hiking, her dog, Gracie, and is an avid member of #BillsMafia.
Student Advocate, Say Yes at Medaille College
Brianne Santana holds a master's degree in higher education and student affairs administration from SUNY Buffalo State College. Born and raised in New York City, Brianne has made Buffalo her home since 2010. Brianne states, "My goal for Say Yes Medaille is to advocate for students and guide them on their journey to use their voice, take advantage of the opportunities provided to them and to be successful. The ultimate goal is graduation and to have students feel and be ready to contribute to their family and community." Brianne equally enjoys eating at new restaurants and cooking at home.
Program Services Coordinator, Say Yes at Medaille College
With a penchant for planning and organization, Holly Ryan works to ensure the implementation and success of the Say Yes program. It is her belief that Say Yes at Medaille helps create an educational vision for every student that will inspire them to shape their own futures and to be successful. Holly is a graduate of Canisius College with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and has held administrative positions in the education and social services nonprofit sector. Whether biking, driving, or walking, Holly is an adventurous Buffalo, NY native who loves being out in the community, no matter what "side" of the city she ventures to!
Where to Find Us
Say Yes at Medaille Programming
Say Yes Summer Immersion Program (SIP)
The Say Yes Summer Immersion Program prepares incoming first-year students for their transition to college. This weeklong program engages Say Yes students in daily educational workshops focused on institutional resources, succeeding academically, self-awareness and self-improvement. Opportunities for service learning and fun activities are also incorporated into the daily schedule. Say Yes Medaille's goal is to build a community of learners who feel welcome and accepted on the Medaille College campus. SIP takes place during the month of August (specifics coming soon), operating Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Meet & Greet
Held every fall semester, the Say Yes annual meet & greet event is a chance for first-year students and the Say Yes team to get to know one another, socialize, and enjoy food and activities together. Say Yes students will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the office, as well as connect with Say Yes partners, Medaille College staff, and their peers.
Mayor Summer Youth Internship Program
Say Yes at Medaille partners with the City of Buffalo’s Mayor Summer Youth Program to provide youth the hands-on experience of working in a college environment. Learn more and apply.
Say Yes Community Resources
Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo (CFGB)
The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo offers Western New York college students financial assistance and scholarships towards their college education. Learn more and apply.
Say Yes Buffalo Internship & Career Pathways Program
The Internship & Career Pathways Program connects Say Yes Buffalo scholars with paid internships, networking events, and various professional development opportunities. We partner with area employers to provide meaningful professional experiences to create talent pipelines. Learn more and apply.
Say Yes Buffalo Near Peer Mentoring Program
The Say Yes Buffalo Near Peer Mentoring Program matches Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) high school students (mentees) with Say Yes peer mentors to help guide them through the transition from high school through their matriculation into post-secondary education. Learn more and apply.
Say Yes Scholar Mentoring Program
The Say Yes Scholar Mentoring Program is available to any Buffalo Public high school junior or senior that will become a Say Yes scholar, as well as current Say Yes scholars attending one of the ten local Say Yes partner schools (Medaille College included). Throughout the mentoring relationship, students receive advice, guidance and support to assist them in reaching their full potential. Learn more and apply.
Breaking Barriers: Boys & Men of Color Initiative
An initiative of the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable’s Boys and Men of Color Coalition, Breaking Barriers is aimed at accelerating positive outcomes for boys and young men of color across the cradle-to-career continuum. In partnership with the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable, the City of Buffalo and Buffalo Public Schools, and Say Yes Buffalo, Breaking Barriers will expand the capacity of boys and young men of color to improve life outcomes and empower them to become agents of change in our community. Learn more and apply.
Medaille College Resources
Medaille College Services
For more contact and office information, visit the Medaille College Office Directory.
Discover what it is to be a Say Yes student at Medaille College
The Say Yes Student Profile
Say Yes students at Medaille College are graduates from Syracuse and Buffalo Public, as well as partnering charter schools. There are over 250 Say Yes scholars on campus. Say Yes students are diverse, representing 16 different languages and dialects. With a wide variety of majors to choose from at Medaille, Say Yes students will have ample opportunity to decide what's best from them, including popular options like criminal justice, business and psychology. Our students are NCAA Division III athletes, participating on several of Medaille's sports teams, including basketball, volleyball and soccer. You'll find Say Yes scholars engaged in campus clubs as well, from Black Student Union (BSU) to the Student Activities Board (SAB).
Say Yes scholars are campus leaders, honor students, student ambassadors and peer mentors. Your Medaille College Say Yes team is excited to be a part of your educational journey. It's a great day to be a Maverick!
Say Yes Medaille is one of the best reasons why I enjoy waking up in the morning and going to school. They have been plenty of help to me and to other students. Their job is to make sure that we get through our education, give us any resources we might need, and help us with our classes and assignments. But, I don’t think that is the reason why I and so many students have formed such a close bond with our Say Yes team at Medaille. No... when I am at the office I don’t feel a student-teacher bond, more like a good friend who is always there to help us through anything.
I mentioned they help us with our school, classes, and homework but that’s just their job. What makes Say Yes special is that they go above and beyond to help us with our problems. They are there if we need to vent or if we just need someone to come and listen to us. Ms. Rachel, Ms. Michelle, and Ms. Brianne are what makes us students so excited to come to the Say Yes office. They are not just people who are there just to do their jobs. They formed a really strong bond with myself and other students. They are the main reason why I enjoy being a Say Yes student. They always motivate me and see the best in me. That makes me want to do well in my classes so I can come and tell them how good I am doing in school. I am a shy person who doesn’t even talk to my professors but with them I am myself. I can joke around with them and have the comfort of telling them anything. In school any teacher can give a student the answer to a problem in a book but it takes a special teacher who has a friendship with their students to help them– not just with school but even life problems. Say Yes is definitely special. That's why I enjoy being a Say Yes student.
– Mohamed Maalim, International Studies Major, Projected Graduation 2021
Say Yes represents hope, comfortability and guidance. Say Yes is a team who gives their absolute all when being attentive to their students. Say Yes gives communal solace amongst their students on a consistent basis. Say Yes has become an emotional outlet for my peers and me. Being around Say Yes gives you a feeling of security, confidentiality and comfort. The Say Yes team shows the same amount of engagement, attention and care towards every one of their students equally. Say Yes has taught me the importance of organization. Say Yes has given me the opportunity to expand my contacts. Say Yes has kept me on task and reminded me the importance of consistency every time I step in their office. Say Yes has given me support without me having to ask and they go out of their way to show compassion in a very passionate manner. Say Yes shows their affection consistently. Say Yes shows immense pride in their students. During each event Say Yes gives their all in making their students happy. Say Yes has proven that they care for their student’s futures and Say Yes is adored by their students alike. I am thankful for Say Yes because they are thankful for me.
– Emmanuel Wright, Criminal Justice Major, Projected Graduation 2023
Eligibility & Forms
Are you eligible for the Say Yes program at Medaille College? Find out here!
Disclaimer: Please visit Say Yes Buffalo for the most current list of colleges and eligibility requirements.