John B. and Lillian E. Neff College of Business and Innovation



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The Y.E.S. Program strives to break the cycle of generational poverty

Every year, millions of children fall through the cracks of a broken system and lose hope for a fulfilling, prosperous life. Education is integral to intellectual, emotional and physical development — and academic failure is at the crux of cyclical poverty. We cannot address one without the other.

Program Background and Structure

The University of Toledo’s Y.E.S. Program is a collaboration between UToledo’s Neff College of Business and Innovation and Jones Leadership Academy of Business (JLAB) in Toledo, Ohio. The program was established in 2017 to help cultivate the academic potential of underrepresented students, preparing them for success in higher education.

Each academic year, junior and senior students from JLAB participate in monthly workshops that cover leadership development, real-life business etiquette and college prep skills. These involve powerful mentorship relationships.

Participation in this program is life-changing. Breaking down barriers for students of color, this program connects local students to UToledo and the College of Business and Innovation. Participants gain access to academic and career opportunities thanks to Y.E.S.!

Help Break Down Barriers

After two years of running the program, it became obvious that additional barriers prevented students from moving to the next level of higher education.

Students from low-income families face significant educational setbacks and need more assistance than students from higher-income homes. With rising numbers of low-income students, it can be a struggle to ensure that these students receive the attention, care and resources they need to achieve educational success.

Our goal is that generational poverty is never a barrier for motivated students with a passion for business at The University of Toledo.

Commitment to Closing the Achievement Gap

Additional resources are needed to help talented, hard-working students earn a UToledo diploma. Many of these young people are first-generation college students, and some may even be the first in their family to graduate high school.

Your support will not only help us expand the high school program to additional schools, but it will help us provide a continuum of wrap-around services to those Y.E.S. Program graduates who choose to attend The University of Toledo. Some of these additional services include:

  • Peer Tutors
  • Mentoring Programs 
  • Full Careers Arc Programming

Together we can help ensure that access to a high-quality education is a reality for all students, no matter their socioeconomic status. Together, we can help break the cycle of poverty.

For additional information, please contact:

Craig A. Turner, M.Ed.
Director, Y.E.S. Program

Last Updated: 8/14/23