Fundraiser in Grant Park will support Year Up Greater Atlanta’s workforce development program for low-income youth

September 14, 2016 | Atlanta, Georgia

Low-income urban youth without college degrees face a persistent lack of economic opportunity that can have lifelong effects on their physical, mental, and economic well being. To draw attention to a program that can help youth to move from poverty to professional careers in just one year, Year Up Greater Atlanta (YUGA) announced today that it will host an Opportunity Run/Walk 5K at 8:00 am on Saturday, September 24, at Grant Park, 840 Cherokee Avenue SE Atlanta.

“More than 16,000 young adults in Fulton County ages 16 through 24 are out of school and out of work,” said Kim Williams, Executive Director of Year Up Greater Atlanta. “The Opportunity Run/Walk will help us expand our reach and bring attention to the lack of opportunity that is holding back so many young people in the Atlanta area.”

YUGA’s Leadership Council is sponsoring the race, with the goal of raising $10,000 in support of its workforce development program. The program provides low-income young adults in the Atlanta area with six months of in-demand technical and professional skills training followed by a six-month internship at a top company. Students earn weekly stipends and college credits throughout the year. Attorney Barbara Alexander, who co-chairs the Leadership Council, said, “Year Up Greater Atlanta makes a real and positive impact in our local community, which is a benefit to everyone who lives in the area. If you have never heard of the organization, the Opportunity Walk/Run is an easy and fun way to get involved.”

YUGA students will serve as volunteers for the race, and staff members are participating. More than 150 people have already signed up. To register, please visit and search for “Year Up Greater Atlanta 5K.”

Year Up Greater Atlanta currently serves more than 280 young adults each year, and plans to serve 410 students annually by 2018. Since its launch in 2009, Year Up Greater Atlanta has helped more than 1,200 adults ages 18–24, without college degrees) gain technical, professional and communication skills in areas such as Information Technology, Sales Support and Quality Assurance/Business Intelligence. Ninety-three percent of Year Up Greater Atlanta’s most recent graduating class was employed in an IT-related field or attending college full-time within four months of completing the yearlong program, with an average starting salary of $36,000/year.

About Year Up Inc.

Year Up’s mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Year Up achieves this mission through a high-support, high-expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships and college credits. Its holistic approach focuses on developing young people’s professional and personal skills to place them on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency. Visit our website to learn more about Year Up Greater Atlanta or follow us on Twitter @YearUpAtlanta and on Facebook.