Description: Year Up Chicago is a one-year, intensive training program that provides low-income young adults, ages 18-24, with a combination of hands-on skill development, college credits, and corporate internships. Year Up began in September 2010 and has a huge presence in Chicago and other states.
I am a huge advocate of volunteering and giving back to the community. I volunteer at many random events, but I always make sure to commit to a volunteer group that fulfills an area of my life I am passionate about. I’ll be honest, what drew me towards Year UP is the age bracket of the mentees. You seldom see a mentorship program that caters to young adults between the ages of 18-24. I happen to believe that’s when young adults need it most. At this point of your life you need someone to show you how to balance a check book, how to interview, ways to start your career, and most of all guidance in how to succeed in the corporate world.
Year Up philosophy to close the opportunity divide had me hooked! I first volunteered at their Epic Olympics program where the young adults competed in giving speeches, interviewing, and showcasing their networking skills. What a fun afternoon and they taught me a few things as well! I then took the next step into becoming a Mentor for a young adult. I mentored from February 2015 to July 2015. I know we’re all busy so making a commitment to mentor can be overwhelming at first. Trust me the time commitment wasn’t huge and it was well worth it. Here’s what you need to know:
– Be in contact with your mentee on a weekly basis. It can be through email or phone.
– Meet up with your mentee once a month. It can be grabbing coffee, dinner, etc….
– Attend the Mentee’s Year Up Graduation
How hard is that! Still not convinced??? Well there are other ways to get involved:
1) Spread the word! Especially to the Males. Year Up Chicago is IT focused and they have a higher male population enrolled. Definitely could use more male volunteers. With that said they still need females. All corporate backgrounds for mentors and volunteers are welcomed.
2) Mentor – Like I said above the commitment is minimal, but the advice and time you share really do last a life time for the Mentee. I also learned quite a few things myself from my mentee and the program in general.
3) Tutor – Stop by to provide academic guidance or to speak with a class
4) Corporate Internship – provide a place for the mentee to work at. Find out more by contacting 312-726-5300.
For more information on the program please click the link below.
If you want to know more regarding my experience and involvement with Year Up do not hesitate to reach out. firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s close the opportunity divide together!
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