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National low income education program expands to Arizona

PHOENIX – Maricopa Community Colleges are partnering with a program to give underprivileged students a chance for a better life.

The program is called “Year Up.” It’s currently in Boston, Chicago, and other cities, and is now moving to Phoenix.

“‘Year Up’ is a national non-profit organization that works with low income 18-24-year-olds,” said Year Up founder and CEO Gerald Chertavian. “In one year, it moves those young adults from poverty to a professional career.”

J.P. Morgan Chase presented Year Up with a check for $200,000 Thursday as “Year Up Arizona” officially launched at the Maricopa Skill Center in Phoenix.

That’s where the first 38 students in the program will earn 30 college credits through several classes that are being offered at that center, and at community colleges in the Valley.

“Students will be studying everything from financial skills like accounting, to technical skills, computer applications, as well as business communications,” Chertavian said.

After receiving six months of training, the students will then be offered 6-month internships at various companies, including Liberty Mutual Insurance, JP Morgan Chase, and American Express. They can then complete their Associate’s degree the next year.

“Together, that helps lift them out of poverty and obtain a liveable wage job,” said Chertavian.