More About the Author
Gerald Chertavian is the Founder and CEO of Year Up, a non-profit organization that provides a one-year, intensive training program for urban young adults ages 18-24.
Gerald is dedicated to closing the Opportunity Divide that exists in our nation. Determined to make his vision a reality, Gerald combined his entrepreneurial skills and his passion for working with urban young adults to found Year Up in 2000.
Gerald's commitment to working with urban youth spans more than 25 years. He has actively participated in the Big Brother mentoring program since 1985 and was recognized as one of New York's outstanding Big Brothers in 1989. The recipient of the 2003 Social Entrepreneurship Award by the Manhattan Institute and the 2005 Freedom House Archie R. Williams, Jr. Technology Award, Gerald has been featured in many publications, including Time Magazine, Fortune Small Business, BusinessWeek, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, US News & World Report, Fox Business and Newsweek. In 2007, Gerald was elected as a Fellow with the Ashoka Global Fellowship of social entrepreneurs for his innovative approach to social change.
In 2008, Gerald was appointed by Massachusetts' Governor Deval Patrick to serve on the MA State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. In addition, he is on the Board of Advisors for the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative and is an Emeritus Trustee of Bowdoin College and former Board Member of The Boston Foundation. Gerald has received honorary doctorate of humane letters degrees from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and Mt. Ida College.
Gerald earned a B.A. in Economics, Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, from Bowdoin College and an M.B.A., with honors, from Harvard Business School. He began his career on Wall Street as an officer of the Chemical Banking Corporation and then moved on to become the head of marketing at Transnational Financial Services in London. Gerald co-founded Conduit Communications in 1993 and fostered its growth to $20M in annual revenues and more than 130 employees in London, Amsterdam, New York and Boston. From 1993 to 1998, Conduit ranked as one of England's fastest growing companies. Following the sale of Conduit to i-Cube in 1999, Gerald turned his full attention to opportunities for others.
A national model for social change, the Year Up program gives companies a cost-effective solution for recruiting entry-level employees, while providing young adults with the essential "stepladder" for success. Results are excellent with 85% of graduates placed in positions that average more than $15/hour within four months of graduation. The program will serve more than 1,500 students in 2012 with sites in Atlanta, Boston, Providence, New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco, Chicago and soon Seattle. Year Up works with more than 100 corporate partners, including AOL, Bank of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Boston Medical Center, CVS/pharmacy, Digitas, Dunkin Brands, Fidelity Investments, Freddie Mac, Google, JPMorgan Chase, Partners HealthCare, and State Street Corporation.