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National Nonprofit Year Up Arizona Continues To Grow Throughout Arizona

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Below is our recent interview with Jonathan Stanley from Year Up Arizona:

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Year Up Arizona?

A: Year Up Arizona is part of a national nonprofit with a mission to close the Opportunity Divide – the gap that exists between the 5 million talented young adults looking for a chance to succeed in today’s economy, and the 12 million middle-skill jobs that businesses will need to fill in order to prosper.

The program is geared towards young adults (ages 18-24, without college degrees) interested in developing the skills needed to reach their potential to succeed in today’s professional business world. Year Up is a yearlong program where students receive six months of technical and professional skills training, followed by a six month internship at a corporate partner.

Year Up Arizona is located at Gateway Community College’s Central City Campus at 1245 E. Buckeye Road in Phoenix. Year Up students are enrolled in school and earn college credits that they can use to complete an Associate’s Degree the following year.

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Q: What do you offer to your students?

A: Year Up Arizona provides hands-on training in business operations and financial services, IT, computer programming and cyber security. Throughout the program, students can earn up to transferable 30 college credits from GateWay Community College.

Students apply their skills and gain valuable professional experience through paid internships with one of Year Up Arizona’s 21 corporate partners in the Greater Phoenix area. Some of our partners include, American Express, Arizona Federal Credit Union, PayPal and JPMorgan Chase.

Q: What makes your approach unique?

A: Throughout our program, students earn a weekly educational stipend to help defray living expenses, and receive ongoing, individualized and peer‐group professional coaching. Upon program completion, students will have earned up to 30 transferable college credits and six months of direct experience in their career.

Year Up Arizona students are talented, motivated, young adults who yearn for an opportunity to enter the economic mainstream, but lack the resources to follow the traditional “college-to-career” trajectory. They come from different backgrounds, cultures and cities throughout the Valley.

Q: Pathways Education Award; could you tell us something more?

A: In December, Year Up Arizona received the 2017 Pathways to Postsecondary Education Award from the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education. It recognizes college access programs across the State that assist students and families as they prepare for, transition to or succeed inpostsecondary education. The awards are meant to not only honor the outstanding programs, but recognize the good work being done in college access with the hope the work being done can be replicated to assist other students to succeed in postsecondary education.

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Q: What are your plans for the future for the Arizona location?

A: We hope to continue to grow throughout Arizona. Currently, we’re able to enroll approximately 240 students a year and ideally some day we’d like to expand our reach by adding another campus. According to the Opportunity Index, of America’s 25 largest cities, Phoenix has one of the highest rates of “disconnected youth,” that is, young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not enrolled in school and not employed. In the Metro Phoenix area, disconnected youth comprise nearly one-in-five young people (18.8%), compared to a national average of one-in-seven (14.7%), which means we still have a lot of work to do!

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