A program in Baltimore that links students to work experience graduated its class of 2020 Friday.
More than 60 students graduated from the Year Up Baltimore program.
“I joined Year Up because I saw an opportunity,” said Justist Rice, a graduate.
The program allows students to start out in a classroom at Baltimore City Community College and end up with a corporate internship. For Rice, she got an internship with a major national bank.
“Most of the people in my neighborhood did not have the patience for blue- and white-collar jobs,
especially when some made the same amount of money in less time. Believe it or not, I was one of those people who lacked patience,” Rice said.
Jabari Greenidge, another Year Up graduate, is prepared to go from minimum wage to a meaningful career.
“I learned first-hand that in order to move up within any company, you needed a degree or considerable experience, and I had neither one of those,” Greenidge said.
Greenidge is grateful for a chance to be placed on a path to success and with a group of classmates to lean on.
“Many of us went through similar struggles, such as not having reliable transportation, looking after family members and a lack of confidence. My peers and learning community impact have helped me to grow at a personal and professional level, and I am very grateful for all of their support,” Greenidge said.
Administrators of the program, which started 10 years ago in Baltimore, said its graduates are ready for jobs.