Job Training Nonprofit Year Up NCR Honors Urban Empowerment Award Winners for Their Commitment to Developing Young Adult Talent

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Year Up National Capital Region Recognizes Dennis Barger of Thermo Fisher Scientific and Colonel Donald W. Newton for Their Impact in Closing the Opportunity Divide

Both Dennis and Don have been tremendous supporters of Year Up’s values and mission, recognizing the program’s ability to develop much-needed talent.

Celebrating the commitment of two leaders who have made a strong and measurable impact on the lives of young adults, Year Up National Capital Region (NCR) honored Dennis Barger and Colonel Donald W. Newton by presenting them with the Urban Empowerment Award.

The award was presented at Year Up NCR’s graduation ceremony on January 29, 2016, where 84 graduates of Year Up’s innovative job training program received certificates for completing six months of intensive hands-on skills training followed by a six-month internship at a corporate partner firm.

“Both Dennis and Don have been tremendous supporters of Year Up’s values and mission, recognizing the program’s ability to develop much-needed talent,” said Guylaine Saint Juste, Executive Director of Year Up NCR. “Dennis has hosted many Year Up interns at Thermo Fisher Scientific over the years, and hires at least one from each class as a full-time employee. He understands that partnering with Year Up ensures that his company can continue to compete in a demanding market.”

“Don is a dedicated Year Up champion, generously donating his time and attention to the young people we serve, and helping to fund our students’ training. With his 30 years in the United States military and 13 years at Booz Allen Hamilton, he’s helped us build relationships critical for scaling our success in this market,” said Saint Juste.

Dennis Barger is Vice President and General Manager for Fisher BioServices, part of Thermo Fisher Scientific. He joined Thermo Fisher in 2006 and has more than 30 years of experience at industry-leading life sciences firms. He graduated from University of Montana and has a Master’s degree from Villanova University.

Donald W. Newton graduated from Tennessee State University in 1970 before receiving a Master’s from Pepperdine University in 1980 and graduating from Air War College in 1990. He received his commission from the United States Air Force in 1971, and served in the military until 2001. He then worked at Booz Allen Hamilton until his retirement in 2013.

Year Up NCR was launched in 2006 to serve young adults in the Greater Washington area, providing them with technical, professional and communication skills in areas including information technology and financial operations. Students can earn college credits for completing their coursework during the first six months of the program, and then go on to participate in a six-month internship at a corporate partner such as Thermo Fisher Scientific, NASA, Hilton, AOL and Capital One.

Founded in Boston in 2000, Year Up currently has sites in 16 cities. The program provides low-income young adults, ages 18-24, with six months of technical and professional skills training followed by a six-month corporate internship. Eighty-five percent of graduates are employed or attending college fulltime within four months of completing the program, with average starting salaries of $36,000/year.

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 3,000 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

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Roberto Zeledon
Year Up
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Year Up
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