From an inspiring friendship to a thriving program.

“I thought it was so wrong that the opportunities he had access to in life could be limited due to things like his zip code, the color of his skin, the bank balance of his mother, or the school system he attended. We are wasting so much talent in a country where we have no one to waste.”

As a recent college graduate, Gerald Chertavian was introduced to his 10-year-old “Little Brother,” David Heredia. David’s situation and the friendship that developed between them inspired Gerald to found Year Up.

Year Up Timeline


  • Year Up is founded in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Year Up incorporates as a 501(c) 3 in October.
  • Alta Communications gives Year Up its first space on the 5th floor of the Hancock Tower, Boston, MA.


  • Year Up moves to 93 Summer Street.
  • The Year Up program enrolls its first cohort, 22 students.


  • In January, first internships begin. Corporate partners include: Abt Associates, Amerivault, Aquent, Bain & Company, CitySoft, Digitas, Every network, Fidelity, Hale & Dorr, Partners Healthcare, Putnam Investments and Upromise.
  • The first Year Up class graduates!


  • Year Up has 100 alumni on the books.


  • Year Up Providence, RI opens, and becomes the first site outside of Boston.


  • Year Up launches the Investment Operations curriculum track.
  • Year Up National Capital Region launches.
  • Year Up New York launches.


  • Microsoft commits to $10M in multiyear support to Year Up.


  • Year Up Bay Area opens.
  • Year Up begins its Diversity and Cultural Competency Initiative to build a more diverse organization responsive to our student and staff needs.


  • Year Up Atlanta opens.
  • The “Serve America Act” is signed into law. Year Up is a founding member of America Forward, the coalition that spearheaded this effort.


  • Year Up Chicago opens.
  • Year Up holds the first-annual Walk for Opportunity to support economic and educational opportunities for young adults.
  • Year Up Baltimore, a pilot program in partnership with the Community College of Baltimore County, launches.
  • Greg Walton becomes the first Year Up alumnus to join the National Board.


  • Year Up Puget Sound opens.


  • Year Up Miami, a pilot program in partnership with Miami Dade Community College, launches.


  • Year Up Philadelphia, a pilot program in partnership with Peirce College, launches.
  • Year Up Bay Area – Silicon Valley opens.


  • Year Up Arizona opens.
  • Year Up Jacksonville opens.
  • 10,000 total students served.


  • Year Up Dallas/Fort Worth opens.
  • Year Up Los Angeles opens.


  • Year Up Wilmington opens.


  • Year Up Tampa Bay opens.
  • Year Up  Bay Area – Facebook Campus opens.
  • Year Up South Florida – Wolfson Campus opens.
  • Year Up NCR – Alexandria Campus opens.



The “Opportunity Divide”

Talent in America is spread evenly, but opportunity is not. Today, over 5 million young adults are cut off from any real path to a stable career, despite having the talent and drive to achieve more. At the same time, American businesses face a crippling skills gap of 12 million jobs through 2025 and desperately need more skilled workers. The good news is there is a proven solution.

Discover more about the “Opportunity Divide” and how Year Up, our partners, and supporters are making a difference.

Closing the Divide

By providing young adults with the professional and technical skills hiring companies need, we ensure they can launch successful professional careers, while providing American businesses an untapped source for bright, motivated young talent.

A Proven Path

Every $1 invested in Year Up, generates an estimated $35 for the young people in our program — launching careers, supporting families, and strengthening communities.