Year Up Appoints Morris W. Applewhite to Lead Jacksonville Site as Executive Director

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Applewhite to celebrate new class of Year Up Jacksonville graduates at ceremony on July 16th

“[Morris Applewhite's] expertise will help as we scale our impact in Jacksonville, and allow us to reach more young people in need of opportunity and companies in need of their talent,” said Year Up Founder and CEO Gerald Chertavian.

Continuing to expand its proven workforce development program for young adults, the nonprofit Year Up announced today that it has appointed Morris W. Applewhite as Executive Director of Year Up Jacksonville. He will celebrate the graduation of Year Up Jacksonville Class Eight on July 16th at the Jacksonville Public Library (303 N. Laura Street).

Applewhite joined Year Up on May 20, 2019 and will focus on continuing to achieve superior outcomes for Year Up students in Florida, with plans to expand Year Up’s career track offerings, improve student programming, scale operations and increase the number of Year Up corporate partners.

Year Up is a workforce development program that provides young adults with free in-demand technical and professional skills training, followed by an internship at a top local company. Nationwide, 90% of Year Up graduates are employed or attending college within four months of completing the program, with average starting salaries of $40,000/year.

“Throughout Morris’s career, he has led successful sales and marketing organizations and driven their strategic growth,” said Year Up Founder and CEO Gerald Chertavian. “His expertise will help as we scale our impact in Jacksonville, and allow us to reach more young people in need of opportunity and companies in need of their talent.”

A senior executive with 25 years of experience assisting public and privately-held organizations grow their businesses worldwide, Applewhite previously served as Senior Vice President and Industry Group Leader for Sitel Corporation, a global business process services company with nearly $2B in sales. He led the company's strategy and commercial agenda in expanding its business within the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance sector. Prior to Sitel, he was the Chief Commercial Officer at International SOS, a nearly $2B global medical services and security services provider.

“I’m honored to take on the role as Executive Director for Year Up Jacksonville, and to work closely with Year Up’s leadership team, corporate partners, donors and community college partners to accelerate our efforts to close the Opportunity Divide in these communities,” said Applewhite.

Applewhite has served on the boards of The Children's Home Society, Cathedral Arts Project and the Jacksonville Urban League boards, and volunteered as a mentor for youth with Take Stock in Children. He has also served on The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens board, where he sat on the nominating and governance, education and development committees.

The first in his family to earn a four-year college degree, Applewhite received his Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina A&T State University and his Masters of Management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is married to Felecia Wimbish and they have two adult children, Daniel and Rachel.

Year Up Jacksonville has served nearly 500 young adults over the past three years, connecting them with meaningful wage careers in business and IT at hundreds of top companies across the country. Last year, a federally-sponsored evaluation of Year Up showed a 53% increase in initial earnings for young adults randomly assigned to Year Up compared with similar young adults in a control group—the largest impacts on earnings reported to date for a workforce program tested in a randomized controlled trial.

About Year Up

Year Up is an award-winning, national 501(c)3 organization that enables motivated young adults ages 18-24 to move from minimum wage to meaningful careers in just one year by providing the skills, experience, and support they need to reach their full potential. Through a one-year, intensive program, Year Up utilizes a high-expectations, high-support 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 24,000 young adults since its founding in 2000, and will serve more than 4,700 young adults in 2019 across 25 U.S. cities including Arizona, Baltimore, Bay Area, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Greater Atlanta, Greater Boston, Greater Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, the National Capital Region, New York City/Jersey City, Puget Sound, Rhode Island, South Florida, Tampa Bay, 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.

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Roberto Zeledon
Year Up
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