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Summary

The inspiring story of a pioneering program that is redefining urban young adults as economic assets, not deficits.

During Gerald Chertavian’s many years as a Big Brother, the former technology entrepreneur realized that our nation’s "Opportunity Divide" strands millions of young, disadvantaged, yet motivated workers at the bottom of the job ladder. In 2000 Chertavian dedicated his life to closing that divide, and Year Up was born.

Year Up is an intensive program that offers low-income young adults training, mentorship, internships, and ultimately, real jobs—often with Fortune 500 companies. Eighty-five percent of program graduates are employed or in full-time college within four months of graduation. Today, Year Up serves more than 1,300 students in nine cities across the nation.

Following a Year Up class from admissions through graduation, A Year Up lets students share—in their own words—the challenges, failures, and personal successes they’ve experienced during their program year. This deeply moving and inspirational story also explains Chertavian’s philosophy and the program’s genesis, offering a road map for real change in our country and a beacon for young adults who want the opportunity to enter the economic mainstream.

©2012 Gerald Chertavian (P)2012 Penguin

Critic reviews

"Engaging, with a touch of humor, the book most importantly shows what dedicated people and businesses are doing to make a difference today." (Publishers Weekly)

"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)

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  • Benjamin
  • 03-01-15

A lot of personal anecdotes

A great look into an interesting program through the stories of their students. If you are looking for more of the info about the nuts and bolts of the Year Up program, they're in there, but buried within the MANY stories. I personally enjoyed the storytelling, but it did seen a bit redundant at times. A great listen for those interested in social justice programs that have real results.