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Year Up founder Gerald Chertavian to speak at Bellevue College Foundation luncheon

Gerald Chertavian - Courtesy photo
Gerald Chertavian
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Gerald Chertavian, founder of Year Up, a nationwide network of training and education programs for low-income young adults, will be the featured speaker at Bellevue College Foundation’s 14th Annual “Become Exceptional” Luncheon on May 1.

The event, which raised nearly $280,000 last year, provides funding for academic and need-based scholarships, as well as programs that support educational opportunities for BC students. Deborah Horne, a reporter and producer at KIRO TV, will serve as emcee the event.

Chertavian began his career in banking on Wall Street and, after earning an MBA from Harvard University, co-founded Conduit Communications, which he helped grow to $20 million in annual revenues with 130 employees in three countries. After selling the company in 1999, he founded Year Up.

Year Up is an intensive, one-year training and education program that provides low-income young adults, ages 18 to 24, with a combination of hands-on skills development, college credits and corporate internships. Since its inception in 2000, Year Up has served over 4,000 individuals, with the vast majority employed or attending college full-time within four months of completing the program.

With an annual operating budget exceeding $50 million, Year Up is one of the fastest growing non-profits in the nation, and has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the top 25 organizations using business excellence to effect social change.

As an academic partner with the organization, Bellevue College awards college credit to students who successfully complete a curriculum taught by Year Up. Bellevue College faculty and administrators collaborated with Year Up staff to develop this curriculum based on certain BC computer courses.

While in the program, participants can take advantage of many services offered to BC students, including tutoring, student leadership opportunities and athletics. Additionally, BC provides reduced-cost bus passes, assistance with application and enrollment, career advising, and campus tours for participants.

Once they complete Year Up, participants can then use the college credits they earned to continue their education at Bellevue College, or transfer to another college or university, as they work toward a degree or certificate.

The luncheon will take place on Wednesday, May 1, at the Meydenbauer Center, 11100 NE 6th St, Bellevue. The luncheon is free to attend, but guests are encouraged to make a donation. More information and to RSVP is available by calling 425-564-2386, emailing foundation@bellevuecollege.edu or online.

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