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Year Up empowers low-income young adults to go from poverty to professional careers in a single year .

Photo of Sandy Fischer
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Year Up’s mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing low-income young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.

6 million bright young adults are without access to opportunities to connect to the economic mainstream. Meanwhile, over the next decade, American companies will face a shortage of over 12 million qualified workers

Year Up empowers low-income young adults to go from povertyto professional careers in a single year .

85% of Year Up graduates are employed within 4 months of completing the program

Quote from graduate

"All I knew was that they would pay me to come to school, and that was enough for me. Little did I know, I was about to embark on a life-altering journey."


Specifically, please check all that apply:

  • An Individual

Tell us about your work experience:

Designer, Parent, Supporter of Year Up

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Millions of young adults in the US have talent and motivation, but lack opportunity. At the same time, companies have opportunities available, but lack the talent they need to succeed.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kate Rushton

Thank you for sharing this, Sandy! What a great program! I really like the fact that students earn a stipend while studying and that there are a range of partners e.g. Accenture to World Fuel Services. Do you know anyone who has completed the program? It would be great to have their perspective and know about what on-the-job training they received after completing the course. Perhaps you might like to add a link to the Yearup website ( so we can learn more about this project?

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Thanks for sharing this great program.  There was also a post about it in a previous challenge.  It seems there are two paths - one is for youth to attend Year Up and train in some form of tech, as a cohort/learning community, for the year.  The other path is one in which Year Up partners with a community college.  Students study for a term, then do their "Year Up" as an internship, and then continue on to complete their 2 year associates degree.
I like that there are two paths simply because it opens up this amazing opportunity to more youth audiences.
 It would be great to see this model expanded.   It seems like a great way to learn skills, to jump start a career without the burden of loans.  One can then decide what further educational path to take, perhaps in a position to either save up for future expenses, or to take advantage of any educational stipend that might be available from an employer.

Here is the other post -

Photo of Sandy Fischer

I briefly  interviewed a friend who volunteers for the program as mentor and tutor.  She said the program also coaches students on interviewing skill and business culture. They had a free store where students can acquire business attire. She is gong to try to find a student for me to interview. Once in the program, the students are encouraged to stay involved for life and provide others the same opportunities they benefited from.

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