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Year Up

Year Upís 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.  This mission is achieved through a one-year, intensive training program based on a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, apprenticeships, college credits, a behavior management system and several levels of support to place these young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency.

Year Up ( was founded in October 2000 by Gerald Chertavian, a HBS graduate, after selling Conduit Communications, a company he co-founded in 1993.  Gerald is building an outstanding young management team and manages the organization like a business while maintaining the passion of a non-profit.

During the first six months of the program, participants focus on skill mastery in one of two areas: 1) Desktop Support / IT Help Desk; 2) Investment Operations.  Equal emphasis is placed on developing the professional skills required in today's workplace such as effective communication, leadership, and teamwork.  During the second six months of the program, students are placed in apprenticeships with local partner companies. A stipend is provided to all participants throughout the one-year program.

Year Up has achieved excellent results to date:

  • 100% placement of qualified students into apprenticeships
  • 83% student retention
  • 90% of apprentices meet or exceed apprenticeship partner expectations
  • 87% of graduates placed in full or part-time positions within 4 months of graduation
  • $15/hr average wage at placement

Year Up currently serves more than 350 students a year. With its established sites in Boston, Cambridge, and Providence and its two new sites in Washington, D.C. and New York City, Year Up will serve more than 450 students in 2007.  In addition to working with the existing sites, Partners of í63 are assisting Year Up to expand nationally, beginning with entry into Atlanta and Chicago.

Partners of '63 Role

Ralph Linsalata manages our program team and is seeking the involvement of additional Partners to assist in the existing sites or the expansion to new cities.

Ralph Linsalata concentrates on headquarters work with Gerald and is helping on a deliberately paced expansion into additional markets and the operation in Boston, while Charley Ellis helps on fundraising in NYC, and Cecil Conlee and John McDonald are exploring an expansion in Atlanta.

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