Thank you for joining the virtual Year Up South Florida graduation ceremony!

Click here to view the Year Up South Florida graduation.

Thank You to our College Partner

Graduation Program


Graduate Welcome
Diego Padilla, Year Up Intern at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Year Up Welcome
Gerald Chertavian, Founder & CEO, Year Up

Year Up South Florida Welcome
Darlene Brown, Internship Services Manager

Keynote Introduction
Cameron Gillard, Year Up Intern at American Express

Keynote Address
Rodney Adkins, Chairman, Avnet, Inc.

Virtual Procession
Darlene Brown, Internship Services Manager

Awards Ceremony
Michael La Porte, Employment Placement Manager
Felipe Larcada, Associate Director of Corporate Engagement
Juan Garcia, Associate Director of Corporate Engagement
John Marra-Youte, Associate Director of Student Services
Irma Flores, Year Up Intern at Bank of America
Lacey Elmange, Associate Director of Corporate Engagement

Congratulatory Remarks
Lucia Angeles, Program Director

Alumni Oath
Sandra Saint-Hilaire, Year Up Graduate 2015,
Political Campaign Treasurer & Consultant, Shilaire Clients

Closing Remarks
Lucia Angeles, Program Director

Graduate Speakers

Diego Padilla
Year Up Intern 
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Cameron Gillard
Year Up Intern 
American Express

Welcome Letter

Dear Winter 2021 graduates,

Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your Year Up journey. This year has been a challenging one yet you were able to persevere and push through. Many of you have met many professional and personal benchmarks, and I am very proud of how far you have come in just a short year. Today, we are here as staff, family, faculty, community partners, and business partners to celebrate you and your success.

I remember meeting you in May of 2020. I clearly remember seeing the passion, grit, and overall motivation from day one – and those many qualities helped you persevere to be here today. You started this program and within a few weeks you went completely virtual and adapted to this new “norm”. Some of you lost your jobs, lost loved ones, had to care for family members. All the while going to school full time, working at a full-time internship, and completing Year Up deliverables. That passion, grit, and motivation shined through every step of the way and that is something I admire about your class. Graduating from Year Up is an important milestone as you enter your professional careers and embark on this next chapter in your lives. Now, as you graduate, you will continue to set and reach more goals.

We are confident that with your Year Up, Miami Dade College, and internship experience, you have the necessary tools to continue to grow and be successful. Remember to continue to leave paths for those to come after you and Lift as you Climb. Never forget: Once Year Up, Always Year Up!


Lucia Angeles
Program Director

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

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