"Chertavian demonstrates that an investment in America’s young people is an investment in America’s future"
"A must-read account of the origins and growth of Year Up, a groundbreaking employment program."
— Kirkus Review
A must-read account of the origins and growth of Year Up, a groundbreaking employment program.
Year Up founder and CEO Chertavian debuts with this memoir about his nationwide program, which is aimed at "closing the ever-widening Opportunity Divide in this country." As evidence of his success, he proudly cites growth rates over the 10 years from the program's start-up, but he also provides references from the 400 or so major corporations that have opened their doors to program participants as interns, and then employees. Year Up, writes Chertavian, offers a unique mixture of educational, social support and mentoring opportunities—not to mention health coverage. The program works closely with corporations, especially in the finance and technology fields, to develop curricula that meet the companies' emerging needs, and participants also learn the social skills they will need in their new lives. Entry-level jobs for program graduates average twice the minimum wage, or about $30,000 a year. Chertavian builds financial support from the corporations who underwrite the internship program, and he encourages networks within communities to refer promising candidates. He is also beginning to partner with community colleges to “connect young adults with living wage employment.” 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.
Among recent publications on unemployment and education, this is a standout.
"Engaging, with a touch of humor"
— Publishers Weekly
“An inspiring tale of headstrong young people who beat the odds and their journeys from the inner city to college and 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 about Year Up, a dynamic social venture that is helping so many young people lift themselves up. I have long believed that social entrepreneurs 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 Advisor to four U.S. Presidents
"Gerald Chertavian brings to light the stories of Year Up's students, which are both heart-breaking and inspiring. He demonstrates that with hard work and the right supports over the long haul, young adults can overcome even the toughest of circumstances. This is a must-read for anyone concerned about the future of children in America’s poorest urban neighborhoods."
— Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO, Harlem Children's Zone
"An important book for anyone who wants to leave the world better than they found it. Read it—and be inspired."
— Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce.com
"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
"Chertavian’s inspirational blueprint for successful social entrepreneurship serves students as an on-ramp to the economic mainstream while compensating for flaws in the education system. The story of Year Up is moving, the insights noteworthy, and the results laudable."
— Library Journal
"A Year Up is a wonderful program worthy of emulation across the United States and elsewhere"
— Dr Joseph S Maresca, blogcritics.org