From the Publisher
"Engaging, with a touch of humor, the book most importantly shows what dedicated people and businesses are doing to make a difference today."
"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
"An inpiring tale of headstrong young people who beat the odds and their journeys from the inner city to college to 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 abut Year Up, a dynamic social venture that is helping so many young people lift themselves up. I have long believed that social entrpreneurs 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 adviser to foour US-presidents
Chertavian, founder and CEO of Year Up, a nonprofit organization geared toward low-income young adults, is on a mission to create employment prospects for people ages 18–24 who find themselves on the wrong side of the "opportunity divide." Year Up is a yearlong program in which qualified urban youth spend six months learning marketable job skills and professional business skills followed by six months in a full-time internship—all while earning a stipend. Chertavian tells a compelling story of the creation and growth of Year Up, from its start in 2001 with 22 students to today, with nine locations and more than 1300 students. He focuses not only on successful outcomes but also on the lessons he learned and the changes he made in the program. Interwoven with his firsthand account are the individual voices of one class of Year Up students, giving context to the program. VERDICT Highly recommended. 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. [See Prepub Alert, 2/5/12.]—Jane Scott, George Fox Univ. Lib., Newberg, OR
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.