On October 31, 2017, Marvin Blakely, Recruitment Director for Year Up, came to our campus to present to the Student Services Department at the Student Opportunity Center. Year Up is a program that was created by a former Wall Street broker by the name of Gerald Chertavian who initially was a Big Brother and later sold his company and created the Year Up Program. The program was established in Boston in 2000 and was established from a book written by Gerald Chertavian. The goal of the program was to meet the untapped potential and provide resources for a population of underrepresented adults ranging from the ages of 18-24.
The program, which is a year in length, is broken into two phases. Phase I, the students are enrolled in the business development phase of the program where they are earning 18 credit hours all taught by El Centro professors on their main campus in Dallas. The students are required to dress for success daily, which includes training in soft skills ranging from writing a resume, understanding the importance of time management, and how to send professional emails. During the Phase I sessions, the students also participate in Feedback Friday by participating in sharing feedback among one another as well as receiving feedback from colleagues. Phase I students receive a stipend of $200 and free public transportation passes to attend school.
Phase II is the second semester of the program where the students are placed in an internship program. According to the recruitment director, during this phase the students are building their professional muscle working with corporations. After the end of Phase II the students will graduate from the program and will be hired (pending how successful they were for the duration of their internship), and have the opportunity to earn $22/hr or $50,000-$60,000 per year.
Mr. Marvin Blakely will return to the SOC to speak with another group of our SOC students, and we strongly encourage our students who are eligible to apply if they are capable of getting back and forth to the El Centro campus daily.
In addition to the professors on campus, the Year Up program also provides the students with “high expectations and high support.” The El Centro staff in the Year Up program are also mentors for the students and there are two Social Workers on staff to also assist with personal struggles and as a resource for the students in need.
For more information about the Year-Up program, please refer to the links below.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw2_90N2464 (Year Up Overview)—60 Minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZP4SaDfgTo (Personal Story)