More than five million young adults in the U.S. have only a high school education and are facing an "opportunity divide" that strands motivated workers outside the economic mainstream. In 2000, Gerald Chertavian, a visionary businessman, former Wall Street investment banker, and longtime mentor with the Big Brother program, created Year Up to address these challenges and help close the "opportunity divide."
Year Up makes available extensive, job-focused education to underserved and marginalized urban young adults, ages 18-24, equipping them with the skills needed to enter a market starving for entry level talent. This intensive program, with a unique combination of technical and professional skills, provides training, mentorship, internships, and college credits, resulting in real jobs that corporations need to fill. Today, Year Up serves more than 1400 students annually in nine cities, including Baltimore.