I want to start off by saying, everyone has their own journey its up to you to go with it and embrace every moment of happiness, pain, sadness, or blankness. It will teach you more about yourself then the journey you have came through. Me, my journey started in the winter of 2010. I have came through the storm and my fight still is yet to be finished. However where I am now I thank God for and I'm embracing every opportunity I get my hands on.
My journey started when I got suspended from school in my senior year over a decision that would change my whole plan on life. The decision I made forced me to change schools and put me in a bunch of legal trouble. I soon ended up in juve and lost all of my football scholarships. I became a statistic, but it was up to me to either keep getting booked or get my life right.
While I was on "vacation" I did a lot of reading and transcending. I had to make decisions on whether to enter the workforce or to pursue an education. I initially tried to get into school but without any federal aid I was unable to. I then had to take a job as a painter in downtown Seattle. While doing that I noticed a group of young adults everyday dressed professionally and I wanted to know what that was about, so I asked what they was doing everyday. They informed me that they were part of a program called Year Up. And not "Europe".
This program was described to me as a "tuition free, post secondary, education and training program that provides low-income young adults, ages 18-24, with a combination of hands-on skill development, college credits, and corporate internships."
To me, this sounded good. I get to still attend school and earn an internship. What I didn't know that this program consists of 2 main phases. The learning and development phase and the internship phase. The learning and development phase consists of tuition-free classes for computer skills with software and hardware as well as 2 classes for business communications and professional skills. These classes will teach you how to behave in a professional environment as well as how to communicate effectively with business men and women. With these taught skills you will be well prepared to enter the workforce as well as your corporate internships with Year Up.
The internship seats vary on where you are in the United States. Where I am in Seattle, we have seats with Microsoft, Am-docs Big Fish Games, Liberty Mutual and Dream Box Learning, just to name a few. I was lucky enough to earn an internship seat with PopCap Games.
However the journey to get the internship was hard. They have rules to challenge you. Rules like being on time to every class, be accountable for your actions, dress professionally, and just stay on top of your game. Both phases of the programs are about 6 months so this is a commitment.
The best part of the program is that this is all PAID for. Now since this this is a non-profit it doesn't have the capital to pay that well but it does work. And for those people still sleeping all day not doing shit with their lives, this is a great opportunity to get your mind right and EARN your own money. For the first phase you can earn up to $150 a week and for the second phase you can earn up to $200 per week. In addition to this Year Up is nation-wide. With offices in Baltimore, New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Miami, DC, Providence (Rhode Island), Seattle, and San Francisco we have helped countless amounts of young adults.
I personally recommend people sign up for this program, because they can help you get a foot in the door in almost any industry. Just how we have internships at technology based companies here in Seattle, the location in New York focuses more on financial internships. Whether you are in college now, or even high school, Year Up can give you the confidence and support you need to succeed in a country where employers want to hire and we have young people out of work. Year Up can close that divide and we are striving everyday to do so.
Since starting in 2001 84% of our Year Up alumni are succeeding. We define succeeding as, after you graduate within 4 months you are in full time school or employed full time at a competitive wage with upward mobility (possible advancement). As for me, I was hired as a Full Time contract Help Desk Analyst. I am succeeding in my eyes and i encourage you all to take that first step.
Year Up may be able to help you, it has helped me. I leave you with this, Don't judge me on my past but where I am now and where I am striving to be. I am making steps to leave a positive legacy and I challenge you all to do the same.
If this sounds appealing to you and you are within those areas go find out if it will work with you. Or if you want to learn more contact me and we can talk about it, or you can read more stories of students success.
Here is the link to their YouTube page to view some more media.
Here is a link to hear some personal stories that you may be able to relate to.
Here is my story.