High Earnings: Economic Justice Through Coding

We believe that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. Your support helps transition young adults from poverty to successful careers in one year.

Currently, only 16% of children growing up in poverty are no longer poor by their late twenties. Year Up helps young adults, ages 18 to 24, to escape the poverty trap. We combine college classes, stipends, and social services with professional internships. Most importantly, our students intern in positions that companies are trying to fill. Last year, 87% of our graduates were successful (i.e. gainfully employed, enrolled in college, or both, within 4 months of graduation). The Harvard Business Review calls Year Up, “A breakthrough way to source entry-level talent.” The average starting salary for Year Up graduates is $39,400.

What is the community need that this idea addresses?

In Philadelphia, there are 115,000 young adults who have been systematically disconnected from the mainstream economy due to their address, ethnicity, education and family’s income, representing 59% of the young adult population in the area. A large percentage of these individuals are minorities. Many individuals have demonstrated their grit and critical thinking skills outside of an office and classroom. Yet, they are rarely called for interviews, because they lack the professional experience and post-secondary education. Our goal is to address the root causes of poverty by providing young adults with real skills for real jobs with real success. Our year-long program provides young adults with the technical skills, job opportunity and hope to succeed.

What is the solution that is currently in place?

In 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services released the PACE study, a seven year research project involving 2,500 young adults.  The report concluded that Year Up had the highest impact on earnings among PACE participants and the highest impact on earnings among workforce development studies in U.S. history.  In short, Year Up’s model leads to more hours worked and higher wages per hour.  We partner with Peirce College and corporate leaders to prepare young adults for careers in financial operations, cyber security, project management support, quality assurance, customer service, accounting, investment operations, help desk and network support. Most importantly, our students intern in positions that companies are trying to fill. The average starting salary for Year Up graduates is $39,400.

How will a Key to Community Grant help?

Year Up is requesting support to replicate our most successful career track in Philadelphia. In Wilmington, Delaware, we partner with Zip Code to train young adults for internships as junior program developers. The students learn Java Coding, one of the one of the highest paying languages in the industry. Currently, there is no similar program in Philadelphia.

Zip Code has committed to teaching the program in Philadelphia, to developing the curriculum and to managing the instructors. Year Up will recruit the students, internship seats, corporate partners and help the graduates find jobs. The program will be based at Peirce College. The students will receive 366 hours of instruction in computer math, hardware storage, hardware memory, hardware servers, object-oriented programming and design. In Delaware, the average starting salary for Year Up graduates specializing in coding is $60,010. In Philadelphia, your support benefits our students, their families and communities.

Idea Submitted by:

Year Up

Year Up’s goal is to close the Opportunity Divide, the vast gap that exists between young adults from traditionally underserved neighborhoods who have the motivation to succeed but lack access and resources to achieve their full potential, and Fortune 1000 companies who have sizable human capital needs and lack access to a viable pool of motivated and diverse talent. Our evidence-based model allows young adults to attend college at no cost, earn up to 24 college credits, receive a modest stipend, intern at a leading company and achieve gainful employment. Our students experience multiple risk factors including; unstable housing (30%), substance abuse (36%), single parent (10%), and basic needs (91%). Overall, 89% of our graduates are successful. The average starting salary for Year Up graduates is $39,400.