The post below is from Marquez Taylor, Year Up alum and former Dream Project student.
I want to start off by saying that everyone has their own journey; it’s up to you to go with it and embrace every moment of happiness, pain, sadness, or blankness. It will teach you more about yourself than the journey you have come through. Me, my journey started in the winter of 2010. I went through the storm and my fight is yet to be finished. However, I thank God for where I am now 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. During this downhill spiral in my life, I noticed a group of young adults dressed professionally everyday, and I wanted to know what that was about. They informed me that they were part of a program called Year Up.
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 was 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.
The internship seats vary on where you are in the United States. Where I am in Seattle, we have seats with Microsoft, Google, Nordstrom, 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, being 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 – 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.
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.
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.
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.
- Marquez Taylor
Year Up Alum ’12 & past Dream Project Student