Year Up New York Celebrates Ten Years and Twentieth Graduating Class With Ceremony at BMCC

February 7, 2017

Celebrating ten years of providing access to livable-wage careers for low-income youth and its twentieth graduating class, the workforce development nonprofit Year Up New York held a graduation ceremony at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) on February 7, 2017.

The ceremony took place at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center at 199 Chambers Street from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. One hundred and twenty-six young adults received certificates from Year Up recognizing their successful completion of the year-long program.

Founded in Boston in 2000 and now located in 16 cities across the U.S., Year Up provides young adults (ages 18-24, without college degrees) with in-demand technical and professional skills training followed by professional internships at Fortune 500 firms. Year Up New York opened its Wall Street Campus in 2006 and its BMCC Campus last spring.

At the event, Year Up New York presented its Corporate Champion Award to David Castellani, Senior Vice President of New York Life Insurance Company. The award acknowledges Mr. Castellani and New York Life’s commitment to Year Up program participants, including their investments in interns’ professional development.


Year Up New York also presented its Community Ambassador Award to Deborah C. Harte (pictured below), Student Life Manager at the BMCC Single Stop office, and its Urban Empowerment Award to Dr. Antonio Pérez (pictured right), President of BMCC.

“At BMCC, we pride ourselves in ensuring our students leave BMCC with the knowledge and skills to continue in their field of study or enter a career in the city and nationwide,” said President Pérez. “Our partnership with Year Up New York provides minority and underserved students with an efficient pathway to a professional career and a college degree, and the first class of Year Up at BMCC graduates has proven how much these young adults can accomplish when given the opportunity.”

“New York Life has partnered with Year Up New York since 2006 to help meet our talent needs,” said Mr. Castellani. “We’re happy to provide young adults with the skills, experience, and encouragement that will empower them to reach their potential. We’ve seen firsthand the amazing things they can do when given the right level of support.”


Two students from Class 20 — Cory Tillman, who interned with Facebook, and Liz Taveras, who interned with Neuberger Berman — also spoke at the ceremony.

“This will be one of Year Up New York’s largest graduating classes to date,” said Michael Robinson, Executive Director at Year Up New York. “One hundred and twenty-six young adults will now be able to launch their careers in growing industries, with the skills and experience necessary to succeed both professionally and academically.”

Eighty-five percent of Year Up New York graduates are employed or attending college full time within four months of completing the program, with average starting salaries of $36,000 per year.

Year Up New York currently serves more than 320 young adults each year at campuses on Wall Street and at BMCC, where students also work towards completing an Associate’s Degree. Since 2006, Year Up New York has helped 1,950 of talented young adults gain professional and technical skills in areas such as Financial Operations, Business Operations, Information Technology, Risk Management and Compliance, and Sales and Customer Support. Learn more about Year Up New York by following us on Twitter @YearUpNewYork and on Facebook.

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 3,600 students annually across 21 cities in Arizona, Atlanta, Alpharetta, Baltimore, Bellevue, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Providence, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Woodbridge, & Wilmington. To learn more, visit, and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter: @YearUp

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  • Ceremony held at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Feb. 7
  • BMCC President Antonio Pérez receives Urban Empowerment Award and Deborah Harte receives Community Ambassador Award
  • Eight-five percent of Year Up New York graduates are employed or attending college full time within four months of completing program

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