Gerald Chertavian founded Year Up in 2000, with the audacious goal of closing the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support to empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Twenty-two brave, motivated young adults walked through our doors in Boston that first year, bringing a little faith in an unproven program and a lot of determination to make the most of the opportunity.
Fifteen years later, Year Up has created pathways for over over 10,000 young adults to take their places at companies in 14 cities that badly need their talent. Our students spend six months developing technical and professional skills, then spend the next six months putting their skills to work at an internship with one of Year Up’s corporate partners. Now, we know the model works, and our graduates’ success is a testament to the fact that social and economic justice result in economic prosperity for our young adults and employer partners alike.
With fifteen years of proven success, we’re now looking to future: in the coming years, Year Up will grow to serve 10,000 students annually. Despite our demonstrated success and ambitious growth trajectory, we know that it still requires an act of bravery for each student to walk through the front door on their first day of class. We’ll continue to honor that bravery by making sure that when they rise to the challenge of crossing the Opportunity Divide, the door is open for them.
In the future, every urban young adult will have access to the education, experiences, and guidance required to realize his or her true potential.
Year Up’s mission is to close the
Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.
Our six core values guide all aspects of our work:
– Respect and value others
– Build trust, be honest
– Be accountable
– Engage and embrace diversity
– Strive to learn
– Work hard and have fun