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.
“A must-read account of the origins and growth of Year Up, a groundbreaking employment program…In addition to highlighting his many successes, Chertavian recounts the difficulties students face in rising above difficult, and often brutal, circumstances to keep moving forward. The individuals profiled here are sure to inspire.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“An incredibly engaging, powerful story that brings to life the amazing potential of urban youth and what we must do to empower them to succeed.”—Wendy Kopp, CEO and founder, Teach for America
“An inpiring tale of headstrong young people who beat the odds and their journeys from the inner city to college to corporate America.”—Kenneth Chenault, chairman and CEO, American Express
“Gerald Chertavian is one of America’s leading pioneers for social change. Especially at a time of economic hardship, it is inspiring to read his story abut Year Up, a dynamic social venture that is helping so many young people lift themselves up. I have long believed that social entrpreneurs are at the vanguard of a second civil rights movement–one that again seeks equal opportunity for all of our people.”—David Gergen, professor of public service, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government; senior political analyst, CNN; former adviser to four US presidents