Thank you for joining the virtual Year Up Chicago graduation ceremony!

View the Year Up Chicago Graduation Video Here

Follow along with the Spanish translated script here.

The Year Up Chicago Graduation Ceremony will be a virtual event streamed through Facebook on Chicago’s Facebook page below. 

Year Up Chicago Facebook 

  • The event will start promptly at 6:00 PM CT. We encourage you to open Chicago’s Facebook page 5-10 minutes early. The video will appear on our main Facebook page and you will not need a direct access link.
  • If you follow Chicago’s Facebook page, you should receive a notification that we are streaming the event soon.
  • You are not required to have a Facebook account to watch the event, though you do need to be signed into an account to set a reminder and post comments or reactions.

Follow along with the Spanish translated script here.

Meet our Graduates

View the Graduate Booklet by clicking the icon above.

Thank You to our College Partner

Graduation Program

Welcome Remarks
William Reeves, Year Up Intern at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Aajua Brooks, Year Up Intern at Salesforce
Saiyé Pierre, Year Up Intern at Salesforce
Ellie McGaw, Site Director, Downtown Campus, Year Up Chicago
Aprill Hawkins, Site Director, Harold Washington College, Year Up Chicago

Keynote Address
Andre Baker, Executive Director, Bank of America

Graduate Remarks
Berenice Martinez, Year Up Intern at LinkedIn

Presentation of Certificates 
Year Up Chicago Staff

Call to Action
Arturo Aldana, Year Up Intern at AbbVie

Alumni Oath
Kivin Woods, Year Up Graduate 2020, Program Manager, Year Up Chicago
Ronda Thompson, Chief Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Officer
and Founding National Director of Alumni Relations, Year Up

Graduate Hosts

Aajua Brooks
Year Up Intern at Salesforce

Saiyé Pierre
Year Up Intern at Salesforce

Keynote Speaker

Andre Baker
Executive Director, Bank of America

Letter from the Site Directors

Dear graduates,  

Congratulations on reaching this important milestone! We are immensely proud of your ingenuity, resilience and flexibility during these extraordinary times.  

The next chapter holds exciting new adventures and your Year Up family will be there to collaborate, empower, and support you along the way. Today as you join the ranks of more than 20,000 proud alumni, we urge 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 HWCC
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.

National Graduation Sponsors
Thank you to our National Community Partners

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