Pedro Noguera


New York City

Year Up wasn’t in existence when I graduated from high school. I came from a poor, immigrant family and neither of my parents even graduated from high school, so I wasn’t able to turn to them to financial support. Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about paying tuition because I had scholarships and Pell grants. However, that wasn’t enough to cover my entire bill so I worked my way through college at a minimum wage job, working as a custodian at a bakery (the hardest job I’ve ever had) and later a gardner’s assistant. Today, I am a distinguished professor at UCLA and have enormous opportunities available to me because of the work I do.

Today, young people need both college and career training if they are going to be successful. Year Up is an excellent way to make both available. I encourage you to support Year Up. It’s one of the most tangible things we can do today to expand opportunity and break the cycle of poverty.

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