Meet the Winter 2022 Graduation Speakers

Jenaliz Montanez

Year Up Intern at Pegasystems
Graduate Host

I joined Year Up to make the most of this year. I always told myself I wanted to do more with my career, but college is a significant and expensive commitment that often puts people in debts they cannot pay back. Since I started Year Up, I have seen tremendous growth in my confidence, people skills, and professional skills. In five years, I envision myself as an executive in my field. Making impactful decisions and doing my part to uplift others while I climb, so opportunities like the one I have received become more available to my community.



Alexis Santiago

Year Up Intern at JPMorgan Chase
Graduate Keynote

I joined Year Up because I needed to challenge myself and grow. I was at a point in my life where I felt stuck, had no goals, and didn’t see a future for myself. A friend mentioned this program to me, and after reading about Year Up, I saw a challenge and a tremendous opportunity for growth. This program at first was overwhelming, demanding and there were a lot of expectations, but it was worth it. I learned so much every week and acquired many skills like time management, organizational skills, communication skills, and I have become more confident.



Crystal Howard

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Program Manager at Amazon
Keynote Speaker

Crystal Howard has been with Amazon for over 2 years. The past two years she spent it as a Healthcare Customer Advisor for the Amazon Business Healthcare team. Her passion for DE&I grew in the past year. She decided to pursue her passion and landed a new role as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program Manager. She just started this new role recently with the Global Supply Chain/ACES Quality team at Amazon.


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