Keasya Hudgins standing in Nottingham High School

Say Yes to Education Syracuse – Keasya Hudgins

Keasya Hudgins credits her childhood imagination for inspiring her to want to further her education.

Keasya Hudgins credits her childhood imagination for inspiring her to want to further her education. Neither of her parents went beyond high school, but seeing what college had to offer in books, television and movies ignited her dreams for what was possible. 

During her time attending Nottingham High School in Syracuse, Keasya accomplished all the things that colleges look for — she earned good grades and participated in numerous extracurricular activities. But without the financial means to pay for higher education or acquire a student loan, her options were slim. That is where Say Yes to Education stepped in. Say Yes staff provided guidance on how to prepare for, choose and apply to college. The program was available to pay for the cost of her schooling after additional scholarships and financial aid were applied. 

In the end, Keasya utilized Say Yes scholarship funding to study hospitality management, receiving an associate’s degree from Onondaga Community College and a bachelor’s degree from Buffalo State College. She credits not only the academic learning environment but also her experiences on a college campus — surrounded by diverse cultures and backgrounds — for shaping her into who she is today. She now runs her own event planning business in New York City called justKayEvents. Her slogan, “Visionaries Only,” is a fitting tribute to her drive to succeed.

Say Yes to Education was designed to assist students just like Keasya: driven to succeed and motivated to go beyond what they have known, but in need of opportunities to help them get there. The program, which provides academic, health and family support services in addition to college scholarships, is built on the principle that all children can achieve academic success if the barriers they face are addressed.

In the end, Keasya credits the community’s support of Say Yes for her current success. 

“If it hadn’t been for Say Yes, I would probably be struggling — still in college while trying to pay for it,” she said. “People look at me and think I have it all together, but I really wouldn’t have, if it hadn’t been for the assistance I received from programs like Say Yes. It is really important to remember where you came from and I am so appreciative of this community for helping make me what I am today.”

Related Stories

hand holding growing money
Publications June 23, 2022

SPOTLIGHT ON: CHRISTOPHER HOYT, JD 

In anticipation of Professor Hoyt’s upcoming appearance in October, we’re sharing a few teasers from ...

News Releases June 18, 2022

LeadSafeCNY: A Look at our Neighborhood Investments

A new heat map demonstrates the impact of our neighborhood investments so far through the ...

Older woman sits at a table
Blogs June 15, 2022

Seniors Find Support for Unmet Needs

Interfaith Works has received $35,000 to assist low-income, older adults in the waning stages of ...

Nikki Jones
Stories June 1, 2022

Black Equity and Excellence: Nikki R. Jones

Nikki R. Jones is creating and trailblazing a path for black women in her community.

Peter A. Dunn
Publications May 19, 2022

Point of View

Giving Voice Spring 2022: Point of View

Publications May 19, 2022

Aligning Charitable Investments with Values

Giving Voice Spring 2022: Giving Matters

Women manning table
Publications May 19, 2022

Identifying Areas for Growth

Giving Voice Spring 2022: Granting Matters

What's Happening
Publications May 19, 2022

What's Happening

Giving Voice Spring 2022

hand holding growing money
Publications June 23, 2022

SPOTLIGHT ON: CHRISTOPHER HOYT, JD 

In anticipation of Professor Hoyt’s upcoming appearance in October, we’re sharing a few teasers from ...

News Releases June 18, 2022

LeadSafeCNY: A Look at our Neighborhood Investments

A new heat map demonstrates the impact of our neighborhood investments so far through the ...

Older woman sits at a table
Blogs June 15, 2022

Seniors Find Support for Unmet Needs

Interfaith Works has received $35,000 to assist low-income, older adults in the waning stages of ...

Nikki Jones
Stories June 1, 2022

Black Equity and Excellence: Nikki R. Jones

Nikki R. Jones is creating and trailblazing a path for black women in her community.

Peter A. Dunn
Publications May 19, 2022

Point of View

Giving Voice Spring 2022: Point of View

Publications May 19, 2022

Aligning Charitable Investments with Values

Giving Voice Spring 2022: Giving Matters

Women manning table
Publications May 19, 2022

Identifying Areas for Growth

Giving Voice Spring 2022: Granting Matters

What's Happening
Publications May 19, 2022

What's Happening

Giving Voice Spring 2022

View More