Year Up

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Year Up is a nonprofit organization based in Boston, Massachusetts. Year Up was founded in 2000 by Bowdoin College and Harvard Business School graduate Gerald Chertavian, and currently has sites in Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, New York, Providence, Puget Sound (Seattle), Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.


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.

How it works

Year Up's intensive one-year program provides high school graduates and GED recipients between the ages of 18-24 with a combination of hands-on skill development and corporate internship opportunities.

Year Up's high-expectation, high-support program combines marketable job skills, stipends, paid internships, and up to 18 earned college credits while being dually enrolled with a community college at some sites. It addresses students' social and emotional development and provides the appropriate support to place these young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency.

During the first six months of the program (21 weeks), students attend classes at Year Up, learning technical and professional skills that prepare them for success in a corporate environment. During the second six months (26 weeks), Year Up students gain experience in internships at leading companies around the country.

After graduation, Year Up students continue to receive support and build their professional networks through Year Up's Alumni Association.

Year Up currently serves more than 1,300 students per year nationwide.

Classes taught and skills learned

Partial list of Information Technology classes:

  • Networking
    • TCP/IP
    • Active Directory
    • OSI model
  • Operating Systems
    • Windows
    • Linux Virtualization
  • Hardware Skills
    • Internal components
    • Networking
    • CompTIA A+ Hardware skills
    • PC / Laptop troubleshooting and repair
  • Front End Web Development
    • CSS
    • JavaScript
    • HTML / HTML5
  • Quality Assurance
    • Critical Thinking
    • Iterative Design
    • Testing
      • Black Box / White Box
      • Load Balancing
      • UI

Partial list of Financial Operations skills classes;

  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Capital Formation
  • Ratio Analysis
  • Financial Markets and Capital Markets
  • Regulation
  • Trade Settlement and Clearing
  • N.A.V. and Mutual Funds

Partial list of professional and business skills classes:

  • Writing skills
  • Working in teams
  • Time management
  • Workplace norms
  • Professional networking
  • Writing a professional email
  • Introduction to business
  • Communicating clearly and effectively
  • Personal finance
  • Conflict Management

Support systems

Year Up surrounds its students with resources to support them during and after the program, assisting them in their transitions to careers and higher education.

  • Advisors: Staff members act as student advisors, meeting with students weekly to advise them on professional and personal issues.
  • Mentors: Each student is assigned a mentor from the business community to further support his or her development.
  • Tutors: Each student has access to one-on-one tutoring, if needed.

Achieving results

The impact that Year Up has made on the students and communities it serves has been measured:

  • 100% internship placement
  • 95% corporate partner satisfaction
  • 84% of graduates employed or in college full-time within 4 months after graduation
  • $30,000/year average starting salary


Year Up has been the recipient of awards:

  • Philanthropedia Top 17 National Nonprofits (September 2010)
  • Corporate Voices for Working Families Nonprofit Partner of the Year Award (2009)
  • International Ashoka Fellowship (2008)
  • Fast Company and Monitor Group's "Social Capitalist" Award (January 2005, January 2007)
  • The Freedom House Archie R. Williams, Jr. Technology Award (May 2005)
  • The Commonwealth Corporation's Excellence in Partnership Awards: Dr. Stanley Z. Koplik Commitment to Learning Award (June 2004)
  • The Manhattan Institute Social Entrepreneurship Award (Fall 2003)
  • In 2008, Year Up was selected as the target non-profit of Doing IT for Good, a corporate philanthropy program created by venture capital firm Landmark Ventures, that holds annual networking events.[1]

Further information

Related links


  1. [1]. June 24, 2008.