Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is Keynote Speaker; Gala Features First Inductions into the Year Up Opportunity Hall of Fame

NEW YORK, NEW YORK; OCTOBER 05, 2015 – Celebrating fifteen years of its nationally-recognized program, the job training nonprofit Year Up will hold an Opportunity Gala today at the Chelsea Piers. Launched in 2000, Year Up has helped more than 10,000 young adults move from poverty to professional careers, while providing access to a skilled, motivated pipeline of talent for hundreds of businesses across the U.S.

Deval Patrick, former Massachusetts Governor and Managing Director of Bain Capital, will serve as the keynote speaker at the event, which begins at 6 pm at Pier Sixty. More than 800 Year Up stakeholders from around the country will be in attendance, helping Year Up meet its goal of raising $2.5 million in support of its programming.

“Over the past 15 years, Year Up has grown from serving 22 students in Boston to serving nearly 3,000 young adults in 14 cities every year,” said Deval Patrick. “I’m thrilled to help celebrate its accomplishments and the accomplishments of its amazing students and graduates, who are continuing to redefine what talent looks like — and where it comes from.”

The Gala will also feature the first-ever inductions into the Year Up Opportunity Hall of Fame, as well as announce the winner of the #MyYearUp student-submitted video contest.

“Our growth and success would not be possible without the inspiring efforts of our students and immeasurable support from forward-thinking individuals, foundations and corporations,” said Gerald Chertavian, Year Up Founder and CEO. “We want to honor their contributions to opening doors for more and more low-income young adults, and helping to close the Opportunity Divide.”

Opportunity Hall of Fame inductees include Anita and Joshua Bekenstein, Maureen and Timothy Dibble, Elizabeth and Phillip Gross, Joanna and Jonathon Jacobson, the Klarman Family Foundation, the Reeder Foundation, the Salem Foundation, Gail Snowden, Stephanie and Brian Spector, Pam and Alan Trefler, American Express, Bank of America, Facebook, Fidelity Investments, Hasbro, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft,, State Street, Highland Street Foundation, the Jenesis Group, the Lone Pine Foundation, New Profit, the Pershing Square Foundation, Robin Hood Foundation, Tiger Foundation, Tipping Point Community, Venture Philanthropy Partners, and Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation.

The Gala will show the four #MyYearUp videos that received the most online votes — submitted by Patrick Alvarez from Year Up New York; Kyle Calloway from Year Up Atlanta; Sotheara Yem from Year Up Bay Area; and Brandon Bailey, Melaku Belay, and Kristin Mari Pasive of Year Up National Capital Region — before the grand prize winner is chosen by a live audience vote. The winning student(s) will receive a $25,000 investment fund as well as the chance to work with a professional filmmaker on a new promotional video for Year Up.

Year Up students receive six months of technical and professional skills training, followed by a six-month internship at one of more than 250 corporate partner firms. Nationwide, 85 percent of Year Up graduates are employed or attending college full-time within four months of graduation, earning average starting salaries of $32,000/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 students’ professional and personal development to place these young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency. Year Up currently serves more than 2,700 students a year at sites in Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Jacksonville, the National Capital Region, New York City, Philadelphia, Providence, Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay Area, and South Florida. To learn more, visit or