Back to press releases

Year Up’s Annual Alumni Summit Focuses on “Bridging the Gap” to Increase Access to Opportunity

Jul 21, 2024

Tennessee State Representative Justin J. Pearson will serve as the keynote speaker; Year Up alumni will participate in community service at local nonprofits

Boston, MA – September 13, 2023 – The national workforce development organization Year Up announced today that its twelfth annual Alumni Summit will take place at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel in Dallas, TX from September 14th to September 16th. Tennessee State Representative Justin J. Pearson, who previously served as Special Assistant to the CEO of Year Up, will speak at the Summit about his experiences harnessing the power of advocacy, and about leveraging personal and professional interests to create change.

Hundreds of Year Up graduates, as well as Year Up staff and partners, will convene to advance Year Up’s mission of closing the Opportunity Divide that separates young people in underserved communities from companies in need of skilled, motivated talent.

“As organizations increasingly shift towards skills-based hiring, Year Up alumni remain the best advocates for why more employers should invest in this approach,” said Year Up Founder and CEO Gerald Chertavian. “The theme of this year’s Summit is ‘Bridging the Gap,’ and I’m thrilled that our graduates can come together to learn from and support one another as they continue growing professionally and contributing to the success of Year Up’s alumni movement more broadly.” 

The National Alumni Summit is an annual gathering where Year Up alumni from around the country share how they’re working to advance in their careers and education, connect and network with their peers, access professional resources, and develop plans to continue engaging alumni in their local markets.

This year’s attendees will participate in community service within the Dallas area with the following organizations: Empowering the Masses, For Oak Cliff, Mark Cuban Heroes Basketball Center, Mill City Community Association, The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, Viola's House Baby Boutique, and Youth With Faces.

“One of the reasons I felt so strongly about creating a space to bring Year Up alumni together each year is because I’ve seen and experienced how impactful this community can be in helping individuals access opportunities. This access enables alumni to build better lives as well as transform businesses and communities,” said Greg Walton, Vice Chair of the Year Up National Board, Co-Founder of the Year Up Alumni Summit, and Year Up Greater Boston graduate. “This year’s volunteer effort at local nonprofits throughout Dallas is just one example of our dedication to this work.”

YUPRO Placement, the industry-leading skills-first talent placement firm and a subsidiary of Year Up, is sponsoring the event.

About Year Up Inc.
Year Up is a national 501(c)3 workforce development organization committed to ensuring equitable access to economic opportunity, education, and justice for all young adults—no matter their background, income, or zip code. Year Up utilizes a high-expectations, high support model where students learn in-demand technical and professional skills to help them effectively navigate a modern work environment. Year Up has served more than 40,000 young adults across 35 campuses since its founding in 2000 and has been voted one of the "Best Non-Profits to Work For" by The NonProfit Times. To learn more, visit, and follow us on LinkedInFacebookInstagramTwitter and TikTok.