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  • Writer's pictureTraci Dority-Shanklin

YearUp: A Pipeline to Opportunity

I loved learning about YearUp, the youth mentoring program that Roberts & Ryan president, Brian Rathjen, mentioned on the podcast. In this clip from Doing Well by Doing Good, Brian gives listeners a high-level overview of the YearUp program and why the work that they do is so important:

To listen to the full episode, click HERE

The YearUp program lasts twelve months. During the first six months, students go through intense professional and technical training and spend the last six months of the program interning with one of YearUp’s corporate partners. The list of corporate partners reads like a regular Who’s Who: American Express, Capital One, the Carlyle Group, JP Morgan Chase, Fannie Mae, Facebook, LinkedIn, PayPal, etc.

YearUp does not guarantee job placement, but after four months of completing the program, 90% of graduates are either employed or pursuing higher education.

Economically challenged students miss out on their full potential not because they lack talent or drive, but because they will never see or hear about these opportunities. Lack of access to opportunities is the biggest hurdle that many economically disadvantaged students must overcome. YearUp identifies this as the “opportunity divide.” Luck should not determine anyone’s success, and these students won’t even have the chance to interview or to apply because they don’t live in the right zip code or school district.

Closing the Opportunity Divide

When I visited the YearUp website, I was first struck by their clear and powerful statement on Black Lives Matter and systemic racism. Their statement doesn’t just stand up for equality and against police brutality, but it also reaffirms YearUp’s mission statement of working to create opportunities and remove obstacles in our deeply flawed system.

With thirty-five campuses across the US, YearUp is seeking to close this opportunity divide. So far, they’ve served over 29,000 students with an average annual starting salary of $42,000.

Their website is easy to navigate whether you’re a student looking to enroll, a business interested in becoming a corporate partner, or you’re someone wanting to show some support by donating or volunteering. There’s even a locator to type in your zip code and see if there’s a YearUp program near you or in your neighboring state.

I would encourage you to check out YearUp and get involved. It’s just one click away:

Be informed. Be inspired. Be part of the change!

About The World of Multiemployer Benefit Funds Podcast:

To listen to the full podcast with Traci and Brian Rathjen on Doing Well by Doing Good, click HERE.

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