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A Vision for the Future: Year Up’s New Campus in Washington, DC

Year Up’s New Campus in Washington, DC
More than 60,000 young adults in the DC metro area lack access to sustainable economic opportunity due to a lack of skills, credentials, degrees, and/or opportunity. This summer, Year Up opened its first campus within Washington, DC. With this expansion, we are building on 16 years of success in the DC metro area, but due to the location of our Virginia-based campuses, we have historically been unable to serve some communities that would benefit from Year Up. At the DC campus, Year Up is connecting talent to opportunity from across the DC metro area. By opening a campus on H Street, our proximity to these neighborhoods and to public transportation options offers an incredible opportunity for expanded impact in communities that have been historically excluded from meaningful opportunities to connect to living wage careers. Additionally, through our hybrid programming, we are reaching young adults from communities in and around Baltimore, MarylandWe thank Capital One and the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation for investing in our vision to launch a campus in DC. 

Talent for Tomorrow Alliance

At the DC location, Year Up is co-locating with four other nonprofit partners. Together, the five organizations comprise the “Talent for Tomorrow Alliance” (“the Alliance”). The Alliance partners (Year Up, Genesys Works, New Futures, Per Scholas, and Capital Partners for Education) are working purposefully together to close racial, income, and opportunity gaps and are contributing to the growth and success of the region through the development of a racially-diverse, skilled talent pipeline. The Alliance model is based upon the hypothesis that, through partnership, we can leverage the expertise of each organization to create a continuum of services that more fully supports the advancement of their shared population.

The new campus in DC is uniquely designed to build a culture of collaboration among Alliance partners, to adapt to the programming needs of the partner organizations, to deliver hybrid programming, and—importantly—to create a space where youth and young adults can build community and visualize pathways from high school to higher education and careers.  

In just a few short years since beginning the Alliance partnership, this collaboration has enabled strong outcomes for graduates. In particular, we have several years of data on the Year Up and Per Scholas partnership within the Alliance, through which we have seen increased wages for employed graduates. On average, graduates who attended Per Scholas (PS) earn $20/hour; those who attended Year Up (YU) earn $22/hour; those who attended PS and YU earn $25/hour; and those who attended PS, YU, AND earn a certification make $32/hour on average, with several examples of starting wages as high as $47/hour. 

In 2021, the Alliance aims to: 
   *Reach 445 young adults across Alliance partners 
   *Enroll 140 young adults across two or more partner organizations 
   *Offer workshops on college enrollment and financial aid to participants across partner organizations, and the chance to apply for scholarships to support tuition, transportation, technology, and other education-related expenses 

Looking Forward
As we look to deepen our collaborations, we are focused on both program excellence and operational sustainability. For example, we are looking to develop a collective fundraising strategy and to implement tech solutions that will allow for more consistent data tracking across organizations.  

Over the next five years, Year Up plans to test new, sustainable, and flexible service delivery models and explore partnership approaches that can be scaled to reach more young adults across the country. From the focus on partnership to the intentional design for hybrid programming, the DC campus is one such innovative model that holds exciting potential for informing Year Up’s way forward. The Alliance model is a central innovation Year Up has been testing and implementing since 2018. 


To learn more about Year Up’s programming in the DC metro area or the Talent for Tomorrow Alliance, please contact Mary Ellen Matheson, Director of Development, at or 703-879-5046.

We welcome the chance to share more about our work and are currently offering tours of the DC campus (with COVID-19 precautions in place) for members of the community.