If You Are Looking For Training & Employment With A Major Firm This Hot Innovative Program Is Just For You

By Charles Fisher and Randy Fisher @HHSYC

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Here at the Source Magazine we are always looking for ways to educate and empower young citizens that are looking to succeed but lack the skills, contacts and resources to accomplish their goals.  The unemployment rate in some minority communities can be as high as 50% and without the right preparation it is always hard to find meaningful employment.  Shamefully our government has yet to pass any legislation addressing youth unemployment—if you want to stop gun and gang violence all you have to do is provide jobs and programs to local communities.  We are living in a tough economy and believe it or not, jobs are available, but there are not enough qualified skilled workers to take them.  Recently the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council launched Operation FLEET (Financial Literacy, Employment, Entrepreneurship & Training) to help address this problem.

Poverty in NYC


According to the Bloomberg administration in 2011, the population of the city living in or near poverty levels rose three points from 2009, reaching an astounding 46 percent.  That means that nearly 3 million inhabitants came within 150 percent of the poverty threshold two years ago.  While the federal number amounts to $22,841, the city defines poverty as making below $30,949 in a two-adult, two-child family. With that being said, the 150 percent above that is $46,416, given the same socioeconomic scenario.  That makes sense once you take into account the high cost of living in NYC.   The city’s measure balances the added value of tax credits, food stamps, rent subsidies and other benefits against expenses like health and day care, housing and commuting that reflect New York’s high living standards.  The poverty threshold is a benchmark used to describe people who are not officially poor but still struggle to get by.  As you can see it’s hard to survive in the “Big Apple,” even with a job.


Charmain Peart-HoSang, Senior Director of Programs for Year Up

We caught up with a long time friend, Charmaine Peart-HoSang, Senior Director of Programs for Year Up INC.  She has always worked very hard to help young citizens navigate through the trials and tribulations they are confronted with in life.  While visiting her we got a chance to meet with some very dynamic students and staff members like Domenick Propati and Geri Evans with real vision and were amazed at the wealth of opportunities being offered to individuals who some may have written off in life.  We have seen a lot of programs in our time, but knew this one had the full potential to help students land a quality job and achieve their financial independence.  Here is how the interview went.

Q–Hello Charmaine, how are you doing?

A–Very well, we recently graduated our 13th Class with 101 crossing the stage at New York University.  It was an inspiring and amazing event.

Q–We have known you for years from your great work at the Youth Line of the Department of Youth & Community Development, what would make you leave such an important job?

A--Year Up INC.

Q–How long have you been there and tell me about the Agency.

A–I started with Year Up New York over 6 years ago and it has been quite the exciting experience.  During my time here we have grown from serving 65 students to 270 every year.  We have over 700 of alumni working in corporations around New York City—including top NY partners.

Our founder and CEO Gerald Chertavian started Year Up after seeing the Opportunity Divide that exists in this nation through a relationship with his 10-year-old “Little Brother,” David.  Gerald was inspired by David’s hard work and dedication but saw he and others in his neighborhood, did not have access to the right opportunities to reach their potential.  Year Up was born from the idea that with high support and high expectations all young adults can achieve great things.  Year Up was founded in 2000 and opened its door to 22 students in Boston in 2001.  Year Up New York opened its doors in 2006 and has offices both in lower Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn.

Q–What about the Mission and Goals? 

YearUp2A–Year Up’s goal is to empower young adults to go from poverty to professional careers in one year.  Millions of young adults struggle to gain market relevant skills and break into the US labor market, while at the same time corporations all over the country are struggling to fill what will be an estimated 14 million jobs by 2020.  Despite high unemployment rates, these vacant jobs require specific skills that employers cannot find in the current pool of job seekers.

This is where Year Up comes in, we help 18-24 year olds gain the hard skills, soft skills and knowledge of today’s business demand, putting them on a path to professional careers and economic self-sufficiency.   Every day our students and alumni change the perceptions surrounding urban young adults, proving they are economic assets, not social liabilities.  Our alumni are working hard and succeeding, with over 85% of our graduates employed or enrolled in school four months after graduating.

How many students are enrolled each cycle?

A–In New York we are currently enrolling 135 students per cohort—and growing! Nationally enrollment varies by site and we start a new cohort of students in March and September.  We have a rolling admissions process and our admissions teams are always looking for new students who are ready to work hard.

Q–What is offered?

A–For the first half of the year, participants take classes in a variety of technical, professional and communication skills.  Then, students go on to a corporate internship, where they practice these skills and have a real job experience.  Students also earn a stipend and college credit during their time at Year Up.  To make sure our young adults have the support they need, they have advisors who work with them every day, business mentors from the community, and access to additional prep like tutoring and mock interviews.

Q–Who are some of your partners?

A–We have internship partnerships with over 250 companies nationally, such as Facebook, Linkedin, Microsoft, Google and JP Morgan Chase.

Q–Do you have other sites?

YearUp3A–Yes, we have 12 sites across United States and annually serve over 1,900 young adults.  We currently have 9 core sites (Boston, Providence, Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Puget Sound, San Jose) plus 3 college pilot program sites (Baltimore, Miami, Philadelphia).

Q–When does the next cycle start?

A–Early September and then again in March. All our sites are always actively recruiting new talent.

Q–How does someone out there reading this get info and/or enroll?

A–Check us out at www.yearup.org.  You can reach our New York site admissions team at admissionsnyc@yearup.org or (347) 296-0210.  We recruit on a rolling basis.  Our applicants attend an open house and then are invited for a learning assessment. Satisfactory completion of this step leads to an invitation for an interview.  If you’re between the ages of 18-24 and are looking to engage your professional and technical skills attend an open house! Let us be your vehicle to close the opportunity divide.

For additional information on this program, as well as job and training opportunities hit us up at: hiphopsyc@aol.com.