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A Year Up: Helping Young Adults Move from Poverty to Professional Careers in a Single Yearby Gerald Chertavian
Synopses & Reviews
The inspiring story of a pioneering program that is redefining urban young adults as economic assets, not deficits
During Gerald Chertavian’s many years as a Big Brother, the former technology entrepreneur realized that our nation’s "Opportunity Divide" strands millions of young, disadvantaged, yet motivated workers at the bottom of the job ladder. In 2000, Chertavian dedicated his life to closing that divide and Year Up was born.
Year Up is an intensive program that offers low income young adults training, mentorship, internships, and ultimately real jobs—often with Fortune 500 companies. 85 percent of program graduates are employed or in full-time college within four months of graduation. Today, Year Up serves more than 1,300 students in nine cities across the nation.
Following a Year Up class from admissions through graduation, A Year Up lets students share—in their own words—the challenges, failures, and personal successes they’ve experienced during their program year. This deeply moving and inspirational story also explains Chertavian’s philosophy and the program’s genesis, offering a road map for real change in our country and a beacon for young adults who want the opportunity to enter the economic mainstream.
“[Chertavian] demonstrates that with hard work and the right supports … young adults can overcome even the toughest of circumstances.” —Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO, Harlem Children’s Zone
There are many good jobs in America—and many urban young adults eager to take them—if they can bridge the Opportunity Divide that strands many motivated workers at the bottom of the job ladder.
In 2000, Gerald Chertavian, a successful technology entrepreneur and banker, dedicated his life and business expertise to founding Year Up, an intensive one-year program that provides otherwise stranded young adults with training, mentorship, internships, and ultimately real jobs. Following a single Year Up class from admission through graduation, A Year Up lets students share – in their own words- the challenges, failures, and personal successes they experience during the program. It is the inspiring story of a pioneering program that is bridging the Opportunity Divide, with results that can fuel our economy and revive the American ideal of equal opportunity for all.
About the Author
Gerald Chertavian is the founder and CEO of Year Up. He serves on the boards of Bowdoin College, the Boston Foundation, the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative, and the Massachusetts State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. A graduate of Bowdoin College and Harvard Business School, he lives in Boston with his wife and three children.
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