Baltimore— Students in the “Year Up” program's first Baltimore City cohort had lots to celebrate at their graduation ceremony February 8, 2013 as they continue building their real-world experience at some of the most recognized business firms in the country.
The class of January 2013 "group of 13" completed their internships with such companies as Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, Morgan Stanley, T. Rowe Price, and Domino Brands.
Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler spoke to the graduates at the Radisson Hotel at Cross Keys located at 5100 Falls Road in Baltimore. He was an early advocate of the Year Up-Baltimore City Community College partnership.
Year Up, started by former technology entrepreneur and Wall Street banker Gerald Chertavian, is a nonprofit group devoted to closing what it sees as an "Opportunity Divide" for urban young adults, who possess immense talent but all too often are stranded outside the economic mainstream.
Year Up students range in age from 18 to 24 and must have a GED or high school diploma. They are recruited from a pipeline of area social service and neighborhood organizations, churches, high schools and the Mayor's Office of Employment Development. As part of their work, they earn college credits, professional and technical skills training, personal development coaching and access to internships at Fortune 500 companies, many of which turn into full-time jobs. All are based at Baltimore City Community College and have access to the same resources as any other student of the college.
"We're very proud of our students and the way they have been able to succeed in such a short period of time," said Lameteria Hall, site director. "Quite often the problem with young adults, as they attempt to succeed both in education and at work, is self-sabotage— either the belief they can't do it or a lack of focus on what they're trying to achieve. At Year Up we tell them that's not an option."
Recent graduate Chaz Faltz said the Year Up helped him fulfill his dreams. “This program gives you the opportunity that you think you would never have, with the places that you can work, the future that you can have,” he stated. “I am standing where I never thought I'd be standing today, and Year Up has done that. I did my internship at Morgan Stanley, and they are bringing me on full time once I graduate."
Students enter the program under a contract agreement to ensure every student knows the rules and is working positively toward a common set of goals, which puts them in a position to practice the expected minimum standards of professional behavior.
The program runs one year and includes a stipend of $200 per month for the first six months and $600 per month thereafter. The first half is a classroom-based learning and development phase; the second half is an intensive hands-on internship covering information technology. A few of the students are placed at financial-based operations.
Nationally, 87 percent of Year Up students who complete the program go on to continue their education or are employed within 60 days of graduation.
“We applaud and support our Year Up students, who recognize success is a combination of personal discipline, preparation and relationships,” said Carolyn Anderson, Ed.D., BCCC interim president. “It's exciting to see what people can accomplish in the community college setting as education and work experience become increasingly intertwined.”
For more information, contact the BCCC Institutional Advancement office or Anthony Larkins, Year Up admissions and outreach manager, at 410-462-8531.