Year Up Bay Area

Class 23 - July 2020

Please follow this link to watch the live stream of the graduation through Facebook Live. Be sure to add comments during the live stream to spread the celebration and love.

Live event will be
Saturday July 25th, 2-3pm PST

Graduation Program


Juvi Parveen, Diablo Valley College, Class 23 

Keynote Address

Daymond John, Shark Tank and CEO of FUBU

Interviewed by:

Jahdai Espinosa, Facebook, Class 23

Wendy Tavares, San Francisco, Class 23


Presented by Juvi Parveen, Diablo Valley College, Class 23

Volunteer of the Year: Aliya Janjua, Advent Software

Student Keynote

Keimani Fondel, San Francisco, Class 23

Certificate Presentation

Paris Carthen, Program Manager, LC Achieve, San Francisco

Kaysi Wheeler, Program Manager, LC Ignite, San Francisco

Shawn Johnson, Program Manager, LC Resilient, San Francisco

Natasha Castellon-Hinkle, Program Manager, LC Ambition, Diablo Valley College

Whitney Flores, Program Manager, LC Excel, Diablo Valley College

Ruben Gutierrez, Program Manager, LC Uplift, Facebook

Derrick Ayson, Program Manager, LC Empower, Silicon Valley

Mary Ann van Westbroek, Program Manager, LC Courage, Silicon Valley

Alumni Speaker and Oath

Sadekie Wilkinson, Class 21, Silicon Valley

Closing Remarks

Dwight Powery, National Site Executive, Year Up

Student Speakers

Juvi Parveen

Diablo Valley College
Class 23

Jahdai Espinosa

Class 23

Wendy Tavares

San Francisco
Class 23

Keimani Fondel

San Francisco
Class 23

Welcome to the Year Up Bay Area Graduation Ceremony!

To the Year Up Bay Area Graduates,

Congratulations to the Class 23 Graduates from the Silicon Valley, Facebook, Diablo Valley College, and San Francisco campuses. We are tremendously proud of all that you have accomplished in completing your Year Up. You have demonstrated resilience and perseverance through historically challenging times, and this accomplishment will position you well for your career ahead.

I would also like to take this moment to recognize the community of supporters around the graduates: from family and friends, to internship managers and mentors, to Year Up supporters and all the dedicated Year Up staff. It is the high expectations and high support from these communities that have uplifted the graduates to this moment of achievement and celebration.

As you graduate and become Year Up Alumni, we look forward to seeing how you choose to make an impact on this world. There is so much important work to do and we know that you are going to be the change-makers that thrive in and challenge the organizations that you join to do better and be better. You are now part of the movement to close the Opportunity Divide and we know that you will lift your communities as you climb, creating opportunities for those who come after you.

On behalf of Year Up Bay Area, I extend a heartfelt congratulations to you and wish you all the best on your journey forward.


Roosevelt Callahan
Regional Director of Program

Award Winners

The Bernard Tyson and Dick Daniels Leadership Award

This is awarded to the student who was an excellent leader within the community. This student led with their actions, commitment, work ethic, and integrity. This award, originally named solely for former Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson, was modified to also celebrate Dick Daniels. This award honors Bernard Tyson, an exemplary Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kaiser Permanente who passed away in 2019. Bernard started his career in the records department at Kaiser and worked his way up over 30+ years to become its top executive. Dick Daniels, who was an exemplary Chief Information Officer of Kaiser Permanente and retired in 2020. Under Dick's ten years of leadership Kaiser Permanente provided over 300 life changing internship opportunities to Year Up candidates. Bernard and Dick led their organization with compassion and purpose and demonstrated many of the Year Up values from lifting while you climb to respect and value others.


Sam Kassa

Melissa Sitchon

Moises Gonzalez

Mike Araula

Kimberly Canilao

Robert Torres-Mora

Jahdai Espinoza

Linda Calles

The Dave Retik and Chris Mello Award for Excellence

This award is given to a student who inspired others to excel and held high standards for their performance as well. This student consistently pursued excellence and encouraged others to do so. Dave Retik and Chris Mello were exemplary executives and were tremendous supporters in the business community around the founding of Year Up. They were both tragically killed in the September 11th attacks in New York City, and this award is to commemorate their important impact on this organization.


Alexjandra Rodriguez

Carlos Solorio Herrera

Hanna Reyes

Adam Benitez

William Felix

Yuliia Poperechna

Jorge Vargas Cruz

Alejandro Cruz Ramirez

The Craig Fletcher - Cooks Community Service Award

This is a community service award, which honors a Year Up graduate who was truly dedicated to their community. Craig graduated from Year Up in 2018, and his life was cut short, as he was protecting a loved one from an act of violence. He believed that one can only feel successful when they recognize and support the success of those around them. The following students have carried on Craig’s legacy through their commitment to their Year Up Community.


Wendy Tavares

Adam Gamboa

Tiana Gonzalez

Tai Tran

Hetzel Hernandez

Jezreyl Bangit

Khennedi Meeks

Roberto (Tito) Alvarez

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 Bay Area Graduation Sponsors
Thank You to our National Sponsors
Thank you to our National Community Partners

Copyright © 2020 Year Up, Inc.