Year Up Launches Arizona Program With Support From The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.

Grant will Expand Services to Disconnected Youth by Empowering Young Adults to Complete Higher Education and Attain Professional Careers

Year Up Students

PHOENIX (August 3, 2015) — Year Up, a program with proven success in 13 other U.S. markets, is expanding its services to Phoenix. Thanks largely to a $500,000 grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, Year Up has successfully launched its Arizona site to address a serious need in the Phoenix community. Year Up provides a one-year intensive training program that provides low-income young adults, ages 18-24, with a combination of hands-on skills development, college credits, corporate internships and support. The goal is to deliver the knowledge and experience needed for students to begin professional careers.

“Phoenix is the sixth largest city in the United Sates and there is a definite need for qualified employees in the local job market. Unfortunately, too many of our young people are falling through the cracks, lacking the proper education to fill those jobs,” said entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Parsons. “Year Up Arizona is an excellent organization that is giving students the knowledge and experience they need to be successful and start a career.”

The goal of Year Up is to close the opportunity divide and empower a growing segment of young people – commonly referred to as disconnected youth – who are unemployed and lack the education to reach their potential. Operating under a high expectation, strong support model focusing on accountability, Year Up helps students earn an associate’s degree while providing them with professional development and work experience.

Launched in partnership with the Maricopa Community College District in April 2015, Year Up Arizona provides young adults with six months of technical and professional training in fields that match current needs in the job market. Students take college classes and Year Up courses in Computer Programming or Business Operations at GateWay Community College for one semester.  Following the six months’ training, students then participate in a credit-bearing professional internship. The internship is a full-time, six-month placement at a corporate partner firm such as American Express, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Safeway or Arizona Federal Credit Union. Students receive up to 30 credits that count toward an associate’s degree, which they can complete the following year.

“Bob and I believe that everyone deserves an opportunity to reach their potential through higher education,” said Renee Parsons. “Year Up Arizona is helping young adults in Phoenix gain the skills they need to find meaningful jobs at top companies and create a positive future for themselves and their families.”

“Support from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation was critical to Year Up launching in Phoenix,” said Kim Owens, Executive Director of Year Up Arizona. “Nearly one in five young adults are out of school and out of work.   This grant will help us to provide them with the tools they need to enter the workforce and re-connect them with the economic mainstream in a meaningful way.”

In August, Year Up Arizona is adding a second learning community and doubling the number of students served, making it the fastest growing Year Up site to date. Annually, Year Up serves more than 2,700 students across the nation. Within four months of completing the one-year program, eighty-five percent of graduates are attending college full-time or employed with average starting salaries of $32,000/year. To learn more, visit

About Year Up Inc.
Year Up’s mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Year Up achieves this mission through a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships and college credits. Its holistic approach focuses on students’ professional and personal development to place these young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency. Year Up currently serves more than 2,700 students a year at sites in Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Jacksonville, the National Capital Region, New York City, Philadelphia, Providence, Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay Area, and South Florida. To learn more, visit or