On Wednesday, February 8th, I attended Year Up Providence's graduation for Class 23. It was a motivational morning filled with inspirational stories of personal perseverance and the celebration of professional accomplishments.
During the ceremony, the following video was played. From my experience, it thoughtfully captures the essence of the organization and the impact of their mission. If you haven't yet, please check out the video, produced by Jai Communications Group, before continuing...
Before focusing on Pretty Knotty full time, I worked as an instructor at Year Up, so this was the eighth graduation that I've attended over the years. Every graduation is special. Each student has a story about why they applied for Year Up, what motivated them to complete the challenging program, and what they plan to achieve as an alumni. Yesterday was no exception. It was a day of optimism about what the future holds for these young professionals with such great potential.
Year Up is a nonprofit workforce development program that empowers low-income young adults to go from poverty to a professional career in a single year. The program involves college courses, IT training, mentoring, professional coaching, and a six month corporate internship. It's a rigorous program that focuses on placing high expectations on students while providing high support. This support ranges from professional clothing, to personal coaching, and much more.
Does Year Up work? Within 6 months of graduation, 85% of students are in professional careers earning an average of $36k.
Below are a few pictures from my time at Year Up as an instructor and now as a mentor:
To the new alumni who graduated yesterday, congratulations! Wishing you the best with your new jobs. To the students in Class 24 who just started their internships, try your best and call your advisor and mentor when you need help.
...and to the staff, keep doing good work.
How far will your ripples go?
Hair Up, Game On,