A millionaire philanthropist from Boston has kept a promise he made 17 years ago and, along with other donors, helped a group of mostly low-income children with special needs attend college.
The children were second graders at the Charles G. Herrington School in Cambridge in 1991 when George Weiss extended them an invitation to the "Say Yes to Education" program and its offer of a free college education. Thirty-five of the original 69 students are now college graduates; the student who went the furthest graduated this spring with a doctoral degree in pharmacy. All but eight students earned high school diplomas or geds.
The Cambridge program has now closed its doors, but similar programs continue to run in Philadelphia, New York, and Hartford, Conn. The estimated cost to Weiss: $35 million.