Alumni Spotlight

Deja Middlebrook

Deja Middlebrook remembers when she first heard about Say Yes Buffalo’s promise of a postsecondary scholarship. “When I first heard about Say Yes, it was surreal just to think that I can go to whatever college in New York that I get accepted to, that was a big deal for me,” Deja said.

Born and raised in Buffalo, Deja attended City Honors and McKinley High School. She moved from high school to eight years of college, collecting a law degree and Master’s in Social Work along the way. At each step, there was Say Yes.

“Say Yes launched and swooped right in to help me figure which colleges I wanted to apply to, helped me to ensure I did my SATs and they helped me from there even through grad school,” she said.

Deja is currently a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo and a member of the Say Yes Buffalo Alumni Network because she knows firsthand how impactful the work of Say Yes Buffalo is in the community.

“I can tell just from the generations below me from the internships, even young kids are becoming conditioned to the fact that they can go to college. I don’t think that’s how it was before 2013,” she said. “I think this is the change: the education that allows kindergarteners to go to college and be whatever they want to be. It’s that hope, it’s that dream, it’s attainable for all of us. I would say definitely donate, please donate. It makes a difference.”

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