Year Up Chicago Announces Graduation Ceremony

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CEO of The Obama Foundation, David Simas, to Deliver Keynote Address

Year Up Chicago (“Year Up”), a year-long workforce development program for low-income young adults, is proud to announce that it will host its graduation ceremony for the Class of January 2018 on January 31, 2018. David Simas, Chief Executive Officer at The Obama Foundation, will welcome the members of the Class of January 2018 along with their families, faculty, staff and alumni.

David Simas, Year Up Chicago’s keynote speaker, has a proven record of public service. A native of Taunton, Massachusetts, Mr. Simas served as one of President Obama’s top political aides from early 2014 through the end of the Administration. Mr. Simas first joined the Obama Administration in 2009 as a Deputy Assistant to the President. Since then, Mr. Simas served in several senior advisor roles to the President, including as Director of Opinion Research for President Obama's reelection campaign, and Director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach during Obama’s second term. Prior to his roles in the White House, Mr. Simas served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in 2007.

“We are honored to have David share his insights with our graduates on this special day as they transition into the work force,” Jack Crowe, Executive Director of Year Up Chicago. “David’s proven leadership and contributions to advancing the lives of all Americans align directly with our mission at Year Up. Closing the Opportunity Divide is a priority we share with the David and The Obama Foundation, and we look forward to continuing our partnership to transform the lives of young adults in our community.”

David Simas, CEO of the Obama Foundation said: “I am honored to speak at the Year Up ceremony and celebrate the achievements of these extraordinary individuals. Year Up is an incredible organization and we are proud to partner with them on a daily basis. I look forward to meeting this year’s class of graduates and learning more about what they hope to accomplish.”

Year Up Chicago launched in September 2010 and opened a second location on the campus of National Louis University in 2017. Combined, the sites has served more than 1,000 students in the local Chicago area since its founding. The one-year intensive training program combines professional coaching, hands-on skill development and internships at some of America’s top companies. Year Up Chicago’s founding partners include Citadel, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, CDW, Unisys, and AON.

Graduation will take place at the Chicago Cultural Center on Wednesday, January 31st at 5PM. Students, family, faculty, alumni and friends are invited to join Year Up’s Class of Winter 2018 on their graduation day.

About Year Up
Year Up is an award-winning, national 501(c)3 organization that provides talented and motivated young adults ages 18-24 with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Through a one-year, intensive training program, Year Up utilizes a high support, high expectations model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, coursework eligible for college credit, and corporate internships at more than 250 top companies. Its holistic approach focuses on students' professional and personal development to enable young adults with a viable path to economic self-sufficiency and meaningful careers. Year Up has served more than 19,500 young adults since its founding in 2000, and will serve more than 4,000 young adults in 2018 across 21 U.S. cities in Arizona, Baltimore, Bay Area, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Greater Atlanta, Greater Boston, Greater Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, National Capital Region, New York City, Providence, Puget Sound, South Florida and Wilmington. Year Up has been voted one of the “Best Non-Profits to Work For” by The NonProfit Times for eight consecutive years, and rated a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator for twelve consecutive years, placing them in the top 1% of tracked organizations.

To learn more, visit, and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter: @YearUp

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Roberto Zeledon
Year Up
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Tiffany Perez
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