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. We achieve this mission through a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships and college credits. Our holistic approach focuses on students’ professional and personal development to place these young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency. It fuels our vision to ensure that “In the future, every urban young adult will have access to the education, experiences, and guidance required to realize his or her true potential.” Year Up South Florida is a one-year high expectation, high support program for 18-24 year old young adults. We endeavor to create higher education and career pathways for our participants, many of whom have lacked access to the resources that would place them on the traditional “college-to-career” trajectory.
Year Up; Working In Partnership To Close The Opportunity Divide.
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'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.
Year Up South Florida Graduation is a celebration of our students’ achievements. They have successfully completed the requirements of the Year Up program and earned their positions in the Alumni Association. Graduation also serves as an opportunity for corporate partners, community partners and Year Up supporters to network and establish relationships that will contribute to closing the Opportunity Divide in South Florida.
"We're not getting internships, we are earning them. I've learned to take opportunities as they come, to make the most out of right now, so that tomorrow can be worth what I worked for today." Navid Fernandez, July 2018 Graduate
"The opportunities Year Up has given me are beyond comprehension. This milestone is dedicated to my community, the same community that has never stopped believing in me." Brayan Vazquez, July 2016 Graduate
As of 2016, over 85% of Year Up's South Florida graduates are either fully employed or attending college.
Year Up Program; Learning and Development / Experiential Learning
The Year Up program provides urban young adults, ages 18-24, with a rigorous 12-month program that combines an academic courses with the hands-on technical and professional skill development needed to achieve a higher degree, perform in a professional workplace, and obtain real-world job experience. It affords the opportunity to build the kind of professional network that opens the door to a successful career and economic stability. Students are enrolled in college, attend courses and tailored training aligned with current, in-demand career tracks, receive a stipend, all while earning up to 31 credits towards a college degree. Year Up utilizes a cohort-based approach to our program, which encourages motivation, support, and accountability among peers and staff. Throughout the program, young adults are prepared for positions that offer career mobility, family-sustaining wages, and future earnings gains.
Year Up National Alumni Association
When a student graduates from the Year Up program, they automatically become a member of a nationwide alumni network called the National Alumni Association (NAA). The NAA is made up of Year Up leaders committed to lift while they climb and change the narrative of young adults in America. The alumni vision is a collaborative partnership between Year Up alumni and staff, focused across three key areas: 1) Advancing Careers and Education; 2) Actively Contributing to Year Up’s Success; and 3) Taking Action in the Opportunity Movement. The network provides life-long resources that are designed to connect graduates with career advancing placements and professional development, like individual coaching, mock interviews, and resume and cover letter reviews. In addition, alumni have a dedicated team of Year Up staff support, representation through both a national and local site Alumni Boards.
Year Up Influence Strategy
In addition to our direct service programming, Year Up is also engaged in systems change work to accomplish the following goals: 1) shift the perception of urban young adults from social liabilities to economic assets; 2) change employer practices around talent sourcing and hiring; and 3) support public policies that promote effective pathways to education and work for young adults; and the direction of resources to the most promising solutions. Examples include Year Up collaborating with private and public partners to create support structures for graduates that ensure enduring positive outcomes; working closely with our community college and education partners to increase graduation rates and successful transitions into the labor market; advocating for tax credits for employers who hire opportunity youth; and engaging a broad range of employers, providers, and policymakers to share best practices and create Year Up-like opportunities for many more young adults than Year Up could ever serve alone.