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Shaleya Tucker Finds Her Community as a Year Up Staff Member

Location | Dallas / Fort Worth

The Year Up Dallas/Fort Worth alumna accomplishes more in one year than she ever dreamed possible.


"What do I have to lose? You can do anything in a year."

These were the words Shaleya Tucker told herself as she filled out her application for the Year Up Dallas/Fort Worth program.

This wasn’t the route Shaleya always saw for herself. Several years prior, she had earned a full scholarship to Alabama State University. However, life had other plans, and she only ended up finishing one year.

Everything that was preached to me throughout my whole life was that this was it. I’m not going to reach my full potential because I haven’t completed my four-year degree. I’m going to be stuck working paycheck to paycheck and just kind of struggling.

Shaleya Tucker
Western Regional Alumni Engagement Manager, Year Up

After leaving behind a network of family and friends in Chicago and moving to Dallas with her husband and 2-year-old son, Shaleya was finally ready to put down some roots and reignite the flame she had for herself. It was only when Year Up came across her radar for the third time through a friend, that Shaleya decided to take a leap of faith. Little did Shaleya know that in just one year, she would be able to accomplish more at Year Up than she ever dreamed was possible.

“I was probably one of the people who had a few flags…single mom, new to the city, didn’t do too well in school,” Shaleya said. “But they saw something in me,” she added.

Thanks to her hard work in the program’s learning and development phase and her initiative in volunteering as a student ambassador, Shaleya was offered an internship and eventually, a full-time position at the very organization where she became a student. Because of her ability to build strong relationships with the recruitment team, Shaleya was offered a full-time role in recruitment at Year Up.

I got to be a part of a lot of peoples’ journeys…I got to be what someone was for me when I got into this program. To have an opportunity to work at a place where I can continue to make an impact on other peoples’ lives is a dream come true.

Shaleya Tucker
Western Regional Alumni Engagement Manager, Year Up

As both a student, volunteer, and intern, Shaleya dove deeper than most into the connections she made – and it paid off. Today, Shaleya is an Alumni Engagement Manager on the Alumni Relations Team, where she supports local alumni leaders and helps foster engagement through meaningful alumni-focused activities.

“Through her work, she has helped to grow and strengthen alumni communities across the country. She shows up every day with an optimistic attitude and a commitment to serve Year Up alumni,” said Erin Mann, Director of Alumni Engagement at Year Up.

Shaleya arrived in Dallas – a new city, with no job or friend network. After discovering Year Up, she soon had a community of like-minded people who would support her and inspire her to continue climbing to new heights – and she knew she would continue supporting others to do the same.

“This community is unlike anything else,” Shaleya said. “There’s so much talent, and there’s no one who is left behind. There are so many people who say, ‘I am a single mom,’ or ‘I come from a foster home,’ or ‘I didn’t go the traditional college route,’ and they don’t realize their potential. At Year Up, we make sure that everybody continues to keep that fire lit within them and take every opportunity that comes their way. It’s like having brothers and sisters for life.”