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Stanford's Year Up Partnership Offers a Hand Up to Young Adults

Friday, November 13, 2020

Get involved

Learn how you can sponsor a Year Up intern. The program has interns seeking roles in IT support, project management, finance, customer support, and information security. It's also piloting training tracks in HR information systems and Amazon Web Services certification.

Through its two-year partnership with Year Up, a national nonprofit, Stanford University has offered internships to 35 local young people who came here to learn from and contribute to technology teams in University IT (UIT) and other schools and units. 

Today, three former interns have been hired into ongoing Stanford positions. Others have landed coveted jobs at Silicon Valley employers such as ServiceNow, Facebook, Tesla, and Intuit. All have made the leap towards reaching their full potential and achieving financial self-sufficiency.

Talent is everywhere, opportunity is not

The Year Up program closes the opportunity gap by identifying and supporting diverse talent. By completing an established one-year program, adults ages 18 to 24 who have a high school diploma or GED but no college degree are empowered with an alternate path to a viable career.

For everyone, Year Up is a win-win

Infographic showing how Year Up works.

How it works

Moving from minimum wage to a meaningful career in just one year.

Year Up recruits highly motivated young adults who lack opportunities to enter the workforce.

Students choose one of five career tracks in growing fields in technology or business.

Phase 1: Learning

Students spend six months in the classroom learning in-demand skills.

Phase 2: Internship

Students advance to a six-month internship with a major employer

Year Up recruits highly motivated young adults who lack opportunities to enter the workforce.

As students near graduation, Year Up provides job transition and placement services.

As program lead for Stanford’s Year Up partnership, Hope Johnson would like to see more groups at Stanford step up to host an intern. Ensuring the program’s success is part of her work, but it’s also her passion. She says there’s something compelling about helping others reach their goals—especially when it also cultivates a more inclusive and diverse workforce.

“As a technology leader, it’s my job to open doors for the people who have the skills and desire to do this work. For me, supporting the Year Up partnership is perfect,” said Johnson, who also manages UIT’s Computer Resource Consulting (CRC) group.

Stephanie Thomas, who leads a UIT AV support team, said she wasn’t sure what to expect from Year Up initially, but found it to be “an amazing experience.” She’s proud to have been able to supervise and guide the development of five CRC interns.

Her enthusiasm was echoed by Sarah Wilson, who supervises UIT’s Service Desk. Wilson adds that Year Up interns “bring great energy and excitement to the teams.” 

“The interns come in hungry to learn and just soak everything up,” she said. “They are always looking to develop and grow—it’s a constant evolution for them.”

Jonathon Lee, an IT Support manager for Land, Buildings, and Real Estate, became involved with the program when his group welcomed its first Year Up intern last January. He says the partnership has benefited his entire team.

“Our goal is to help each intern learn as much as they can so they’ll flourish. But to make that happen, we all have to step up our game,” said Lee.

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