52 Reasons

Year Up

Year Up empowers low-income young adults to go from poverty to professional careers in a single year. 85% of Year Up graduates are employed or enrolled in postsecondary education within four months of completing the program.

In this episode, we chat with Darryl, the Site Director for Year Up Puget Sound at Bellevue College in the Seattle, Washington area. Darryl and I dive into a conversation about the Opportunity Divide and what that means for youth facing poverty in America today.

Year Up is a one-year, intensive training program that provides low-income young adults, ages 18-24, with a combination of hands-on skills development, coursework eligible for college credit, corporate internships, and wraparound support. The Year Up program emphasizes academic and professional rigor, setting expectations high for quality of work and professional behavior. A strong structure guides students through the steps necessary for achieving success in the classroom and the workplace.

The Year Up approach focuses on students’ professional and personal development, beyond the classroom, to help them achieve long term success. After the students spend six months focusing on technical and professional skills, then they have the opportunity to apply those skills in an internship with Year Up’s corporate partners such as AOL, Microsoft and JP Morgan Chase. Students take coursework eligible for college credit, earn an educational stipend, and are supported by staff advisors, professional mentors, dedicated social services staff, and a powerful network of community-based partners.

Year Up offers many opportunities for listeners to get involved in their work, including mentorship opportunities, volunteer opportunities and the chance to speak to a class of Year Up students. We encourage all of our listeners to review these opportunities and get involved today!





Ways You Can Act

  1. Help Year Up raise awareness about the Opportunity Divide and the potential of urban young adults. Join Year Up on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or LINKEDIN and share their updates with your network.
  2. Become a Year Up Mentor and help guide students to lifelong success.
  3. Encourage your employer to become a Year Up partner and help more youth break the cycle of the Opportunity Divide.

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