Year Up Greater Philadelphia

Class 13

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Thank You to our College Partner

Graduation Program


Jade Hairston, Class of 2020

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

Dr. Mary Ellen Caro
President, Peirce College 

Keynote Address

Annie Martinez
Regional Director of Program, Year Up

Presentation of Awards

Andrew Leshak
Associate Director of Corporate Engagement,
Year Up Greater Philadelphia

Sheree Hicks
Program Manager, Year Up Greater Philadelphia

Student Speaker

Maurice DavisClass of 2020 

Presentation of Graduation Certificates

Sheree Hicks
Program Manager, Year Up Greater Philadelphia

Alumni Association Induction

Ericka Johnson, Year Up Class of 2015 

Closing Remarks 

Melinda Brown
Site Director , Year Up Greater Philadelphia

Corporate Partner Day 8

Student Speakers

Jade Hairston
 Class of 2020

Maurice Davis
 Class of 2020

Welcome to the Year Up Greater Philadelphia's Commencement Ceremony!

Cohort 13! 

One year ago, you were attending orientation, learning about Year Up, and embarking into the unknown. Today, you are graduates. Excellence is what you are and excellence is what you will be. You have built a village of supporters—peers, colleagues, professors, managers, mentors, and coaches—a long list of people that will be ever-present as you continue your quest to earn your degree, complete your certifications, launch your career, and overcome any challenges that life may present.  

You and your 31 classmates are graduating during an unprecedented time. You launched your Learning and Development phase in 2019 full of hope and expectations, eager to begin a yearlong journey toward professional careers. You have each faced adversity and remained committed to changing your career trajectory. And when faced with changing environments, the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Shelter-in-Place orders, civil unrest, and economic turmoil, you remained steadfast in your efforts and commitment. Resilience exemplifies self-awareness, mindfulness, self-care, and purpose. In challenging times, you discovered ways to connect to each other and continued to pursue your goals in the virtual environment. You have certainly set the bar high for those to follow, and in doing so, have touched the hearts of everyone here at Year Up Greater Philadelphia. You have shown us that through hard work, eagerness, and a positive attitude, it’s possible to achieve anything we strive for in life. 

We talk about Year Up as a one-year program, but it isn’t. This is a lifelong partnership. The resources, support, and connections do not end upon graduation. Your role to lift others as you climb is just beginning. Dynasty 13, you are here today because you remained focused, diligent, resourceful, and eager to learn. You are now part of a movement of thousands of alumni changing the corporate, social, and political landscape. I hope you never doubt the power you possess. You are engineered for greatness! Some may have said you weren’t meant to make it, but you crushed every odd and statistic. Yes, you. Yes, you. Yes, you. You are meant to do great things in this world, and we all remain committed to your success. Congratulations on this milestone, and the many more to come. Beastmode for life! 

With great admiration,

Melinda Brown
Site Director, Year Up Greater Philadelphia

Award Winners

Corporate Champion
Emily Costa

Publicis Health

Empowerment Award
Anwar Miller


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.