Thank you for attending Year Up Chicago’s virtual graduation ceremony! 

We hope you enjoyed celebrating this milestone moment with the graduates who made up our Class of Winter 2021 and their families! As we saw, our graduates delivered on Year Up’s mission to close the Opportunity Divide – the gap that exists between many young adults in our community and the economic mainstream. 

Missed the event or want to re-watch it? 

You can click here to view the recorded livestream via the Year Up Chicago Facebook page. 

Thank You to our College Partner

Graduation Program

Welcoming Remarks
Kivin Woods, Year Up Intern at Exelon Corporation 

Co-Hosts Welcome 
Marta Gailiunas, Year Up Intern at Wintrust Financial 
Denisha Williams, Year Up Intern at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Site Director Greetings
Ellie McGaw, Site Director, Year Up Chicago-Downtown Site
Aprill Hawkins, Site Director, Year Up Chicago-Harold Washington Community College

Keynote Address
Antoine Andrews, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Year Up

Graduate Keynote Address
Maxie Brown IV, Year Up Intern at IMC Financial Markets

Presentation of Certificates 
Thank you to our corporate partners for your support in closing the Opportunity Divide! 

Graduate Keynote Address
Diana Guerrero Valencia, Year Up Intern at Capgemini

Alumni Oath
Yoko Acosta, Year Up Graduate 2018 

Closing Remarks 
Judith Davlos, Year Up Intern at Uber Technologies

Graduate Speakers

Kivin Woods 
Year Up Intern at Exelon Corporation 

Denisha Williams
Year Up Intern at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Year Up Intern at Wintrust Financial 

Maxie Brown IV
Year Up Intern at
IMC Financial Markets

Diana Guerrero Valencia
Year Up Intern at

Judith Davlos 
Year Up Intern at
Uber Technologies

Welcome to the Year Up Chicago’s Commencement Website! 

Dear Graduates,

On behalf of Year Up Chicago, we want to extend a big congratulations and best wishes to our Winter 2021 graduating class. Despite all odds—you persisted! We are immensely proud of your ingenuity, adaptability, and ability to go the distance. It is our privilege to be with you on this journey.

The next chapter holds exciting new adventures and your Year Up family will be there to collaborate, empower, and support you along the way. We encourage you to stay connected by tapping into the alumni network and checking out the resources available to you at

As graduates of Year Up, you are poised to do incredible things and we can’t wait to see the change you create in the world.


Congratulations again!

Ellie McGaw_Site Director DTC-2
Ellie McGaw
Site Director, Downtown Campus
Aprill Hawkins
Site Director,
Harold Washington College Campus

Alumni Oath

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.

Thank You to our National Sponsors
Thank you to our National Community Partners

Copyright © 2020 Year Up, Inc.