David Blutcher, Year Up Intern at Bank of America
Ellen McClain, Chief Financial Officer, Year Up National
Tyrone Russell, Chief Executive Officer, Faces International Marketing and Development, LLC.
Winter 2021 Graduate Speakers
Presentation of Certificates
Year Up Greater Atlanta Program Team
Amber Mitchell Ikpe, Year Up Graduate January 2017, Data Analyst/Project Coordinator at ITSMF
Sharonda Holmes, Site Director, Year Up Greater Atlanta
Chief Executive Officer
Faces International Marketing and Development, LLC.
Letter from the Site Director
Dear Winter 2021 Graduates, It is with great excitement that I write to you today. One of the best feelings I have in this organization is being able to say to you all: CONGRATULATIONS! Today marks the end of one journey, and the beginning of another. On this day, we recognize and celebrate your many accomplishments achieved over this past year.
Nearly one year ago, you decided to embark upon this Year Up journey. You applied, interviewed, completed pre-work, and attended the numerous mandatory Admissions events. Following this, you were officially accepted into Year Up Greater Atlanta. This was no accident. It was by design that you joined the January 2021 cohort, and now you are officially graduates. In this endeavor, you all learned new skills during the Learning & Development phase. You smoothly transitioned to the Internship phase and made a lasting impact on our corporate partners’ teams. Then, when COVID-19 made an appearance in the Metro Atlanta area, this group effectively shifted to a virtual environment.
There is a level of dedication that you have demonstrated over the year that speaks volumes. You have attended Monday Morning Opener, Friday Feedback, Internship Seminar and all the classes and events in between. You did this every week; demonstrating that you are indeed E.P.I.C. (empowered, professional, in demand, career-ready). At this juncture, you have victoriously made it to graduation. We honor these accomplishments.
Year Up is a MOVEMENT. This movement is dedicated to closing the Opportunity Divide, and positively impacting the lives of young people across this country. Here in Atlanta, our goal is, and always has been, to provide a strong foundation for our scholars. I hope that each of you walk away from your Year Up experience feeling supported, and sure of yourselves. Sure that you are able to transform your lives; the lives of your families; and the communities in which we serve. You ARE the movement.
My wish for each of you, is that you boldly walk into the next phase of your adult lives. Set seemingly impossible goals. Then execute with the assiduity that you’ve shown over the past year within Year Up. Class of Winter 2021, I am extremely proud of the resilience that you have shown to make it to this point. The time is now to blaze new trails. On your next journey, please remember to lift as you climb, while continuing to do the work to close the Opportunity Divide.
Site Director, Year Up Greater Atlanta
I PLEDGE that as a member of the Year Up National Alumni Association, I will continue to uphold and promote Year Up’s mission and core values. I will strive for excellence and realize my potential. I will use my time and talents to contribute to the success of Year Up, its students, and its alumni. I will take action in the movement to close the Opportunity Divide. I take this oath freely, as a promise to lift while I climb, and to be a lifelong ambassador of Year Up.