Year Up Tampa Bay Class 1 Graduation Ceremony to be Held at the Palladium Theater on January 9th; Year Up Founder and CEO Gerald Chertavian and Graduate Elijah Rhodes to Speak at the Event


ST. PETERSBURG, FLA (PRWEB) – JANUARY 09, 2020 – Celebrating the success of its inaugural class of students, the nonprofit Year Up Tampa Bay announced today that it will be holding a graduation ceremony at 6:30 pm on January 9th at the Palladium Theater (253 5th Ave N). A reception will be held prior to the ceremony at 5 pm.

Year Up Founder and CEO Gerald Chertavian will speak at the event, recognizing the hard work and determination of the young adults who completed the yearlong program at St. Petersburg College’s Midtown Campus.

“It is an honor to join this community in celebrating the first graduating class of Year Up Tampa Bay,” said Chertavian. “Over the past year these young adults have been preparing to launch incredible and meaningful careers at top companies like Bank of America and New York Life. I look forward to following and celebrating their accomplishments as we continue to do the work of closing the Opportunity Divide in Tampa Bay.”

Year Up Tampa Bay graduate Elijah Rhodes will give the keynote student speech, describing how he earned a fulltime job at New York Life through Year Up’s free, proven program.

“I joined Year Up to lead a better life for my loved ones,” said Rhodes. “During my time here, I learned how to become a great leader and an effective communicator, and gained access to more opportunities than I could imagine.”

Year Up Tampa Bay, which opened its doors last February, provides free job training to talented and motivated youth, ages 18-24, without college degrees at its campus at St. Petersburg College. Students gain in-demand technical and professional skills in the first semester, then participate in a semester-long, credit-bearing internship at a top local company. Throughout the year, young adults earn college credits and a weekly financial stipend.

“As companies continue to face hiring challenges due to the low unemployment rate, Year Up Tampa Bay students and graduates will provide a valuable pipeline of skilled, motivated talent for employers in the region,” said Morris Applewhite, Executive Director of Year Up Tampa Bay. “We will continue expanding our reach and impact with every new class, ensuring that our young adults go on to ‘lift while they climb’ and help their peers access the tools, connections and support they need to be successful.”

In 2018, the federally-sponsored Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) evaluation of Year Up showed a 53% increase in initial earnings for young adults randomly assigned to Year Up compared with similar young adults in a control group—the largest impact on earnings reported to date for a workforce program tested in a randomized controlled trial.

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About Year Up

Year Up is an award-winning, national 501(c)3 organization that enables motivated young adults ages 18-24 to move from minimum wage to meaningful careers in just one year by providing the skills, experience, and support they need to reach their full potential.Through a one-year, intensive program, Year Up utilizes a high-expectations, high-support model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, coursework eligible for college credit, and corporate internships at more than 250 top companies. Its holistic approach focuses on students’ professional and personal development to enable young adults with a viable path to economic self-sufficiency and meaningful careers. Year Up has served more than 26,000 young adults since its founding in 2000, and will serve more than 4,700 young adults in 2019 across 25 U.S. cities including Arizona, Baltimore, Bay Area, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Greater Atlanta, Greater Boston, Greater Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, the National Capital Region, New York City/Jersey City, Puget Sound, Rhode Island, South Florida, Tampa Bay, and Wilmington. Year Up has been voted one of the “Best Non-Profits to Work For” by The NonProfit Times for eight consecutive years, and rated a 4-star charity by CharityNavigator for twelve consecutive years, placing them in the top 1% of tracked organizations.
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