By Kate Merrill

LYNN (CBS) – “I’m actually really interested in stocks and I know that’s a good way to go,” Nathalie Garcia, a 23-year-old from Lynn, told WBZ-TV.

We met up with Nathalie while she was taking a financing class. But this was no ordinary lesson, it’s also a clear pathway to a good-paying job.

Nathalie is one of hundreds of young adults in the Year Up program.


“I was paying for college. Keeping up with it was a little too much. So, that’s how I got into the food service industry and I’ve been there ever since,” she said.

To get into a professional job, Nathalie and her fellow students are taking six months of intense classes followed by a six-month internship. Year Up offers a range of training programs from financing to IT.

There is a number of professional jobs out there that don’t necessarily need a college education,” explained Bob Dame, executive director at Year Up in Boston.

The program’s mission is to match young talent, who may lack access to higher education and careers, with this workforce demand.

Students in the current Year Up program. (WBZ-TV)

“When we look at it, ” continued Dame,  “there are millions of entry-level jobs that are unfulfilled.”

And to fill them Year Up works closely with 50 Boston-area businesses. That’s direct access to internships that could eventually lead to full-time employment.

Year Up also connects students with crucial resources including child care, housing, or legal issues. And these students get paid a stipend every other week.

First, students must get past a rigorous application process.

One of the things we’re looking for is grit,” explained Dame. And grit isn’t necessarily something any college can teach.

“I say they teach you necessities,” Nathalie said. “They teach you what is expected, how to achieve those goals, and how things like that can really shape or break you.”

Year Up is funded through corporate partnerships and private donations. Seventy-percent of its students land jobs after their year in the program and another 20-percent decide to continue their education.

Kate Merrill


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