Program that Works


Year Up empowers urban, economically-disadvantaged youth through a one-year education and training program. The first half of the program emphasizes business and technical training to prepare students for middle-skill jobs and the development of soft skills, while the second half involves a six-month internship. Since 2000, Year Up has served over 4,000 young adults and has placed 100 percent of those qualified into internships. Approximately 84 percent of Year Up students are employed or attending college full-time within four months of completing the program.

Target Population

Low-income young adults with high school degrees, ages 18-24.


To close the “opportunity divide” by providing urban young adults with the skills, experiences and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.

Program Highlights

  • Six months of technical training (e.g., word processing, presentation software) in alignment with the needs of corporate partners.
  • Classes in business writing and communications, and instruction in professional “soft skills” (e.g., appropriate dress, interaction with co-workers), with opportunity to earn up to 18 college credits with Year Up’s college partners.
  • Six-month internship with Year Up’s internship partners.
  • Weekly stipend tied to a performance contract.

The Facts

Ten sites
Approximately $50,000 per student, per year


Higher Education

  • Cambridge College
  • Pace University
  • Northern Virginia Community College
  • At least 9 others


  • AT&T
  • Bank of America
  • CVS Caremark
  • At least 200 others

Non-Profit / Philanthropy

  • Amelia Peabody Foundation
  • Boston Foundation
  • Ford Foundation
  • At least 20 others


  • Department of Agriculture
  • White House

Evidence of Impact

Level 3 – Statistically significant differences were found between Year Up and control groups’ hourly wage after program completion, ability to obtain jobs in targeted fields, and estimated lifetime salary.

A Promising Start: Year Up’s Initial Impacts on Low-Income Young Adults’ Careers. Reports on a randomized control trial showing that, compared to a control group, Year Up students had higher-paying jobs and obtain jobs in targeted fields, while the two groups were equally likely to enroll in college.

One commissioned program evaluation used randomized control trial methodology to show statistically significant differences between Year Up and control groups. Additionally, two business consulting reports suggest that Year Up participants will earn significantly more income over their careers than those never enrolled in the program.
Positive gains have been demonstrated in at least ten sites nationwide.

Contact Information

[Email Hidden - Click to View]
93 Summer Street
5th Floor
Boston,  MA  02110

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