When we founded Year Up seventeen years ago,
we set out to close the Opportunity Divide in this country and provide more young adults with a pathway to upward economic mobility. As we reflect on 2017, we are proud to report strong progress toward this ambitious, necessary goal. Our continued growth and evolution would not be possible without the support of fervent supporters, dynamic collaborators, and innovative corporate partners, like you. We are honored to have you by our side, and we thank you for your unyielding belief in the potential of our young adults.
The past year brought new growth and our best outcomes to date. We have now served more than 19,500 young adults across 25 Year Up locations nationwide, and we grew to serve more than 3,600 young adults in 2017. Even as we grow, our outcomes have continued to rise, with 91% of our 2017 graduates employed and/or enrolled in postsecondary education within four months of program completion, and employed graduates earning an average starting salary of $39,000 per year. Our graduates are transforming our nation’s workforce and their local communities, making impressive contributions across a wide array of industries and proving themselves to be the social and economic assets we know them to be.
While we celebrate this progress, we continue to stay hyper-focused on our bold vision for the future. We will prioritize growth through our self-sustaining co-location model, to serve 8,500 young adults annually by 2021. At the same time, we have set our sights ever higher, ramping up our practice change work to create meaningful career pathways for an additional 100,000 Opportunity Youth through our work with employers and training providers. We know that the Year Up solution, both our direct service model and our work as a technical advisor and partner in creating Opportunity Youth talent pipelines across a broader array of careers and industries, is one that can work on a much larger scale. And with five million young adults still on the wrong side of the Opportunity Divide in America, it is our duty to scale.
Reaching this necessary scale is a challenge we are prepared to face head-on, and with our strong progress to date and your partnership, it is a goal we know we can achieve. It is such an honor to witness the potential of our young adults alongside you, and we are forever grateful for your investment of time, money, and expertise. Your support is instrumental in enabling thousands more motivated and talented young adults to move from minimum wage to meaningful careers and reach their full potential.
Thank you for being an important partner in our journey.
Gerald Chertavian Garrett Moran
Founder & CEO President