Year Up Jacksonville Awarded $80K in Women’s Giving Alliance Investment to Help Close the Opportunity Divide for Young Women in NE Florida

Jacksonville, FL, June 06, 2020 --( A first-time grant awardee of The Women’s Giving Alliance (WGA), an initiative of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Year Up Jacksonville (YUJAX) will receive $80K in funding as part of the Alliance’s record $595,000 grant announcement on May 21 benefitting eight nonprofit organizations across Northeast Florida. This extraordinary grant from WGA will provide training and support for approximately 160 women over the next two years as they seek to improve their professional and technical skills through YUJAX.

Year Up Jacksonville, which is celebrating its fifth year of operation in partnership with FSCJ, provides women with professional training for livable wage jobs in high growth sectors while launching a college education. The Workforce Development Program includes six months of classroom-based and professional training in Information Technology and Sales/Customer Support. Following this training, women then earn a six-month internship with one of several corporate partners. This experience allows women to immediately apply and enhance their skills, have increased networking power, and prepare for meaningful careers. The program also provides wraparound support, including weekly stipends, access to professional clothing, mentorship and personal coaching, as well as assistance with childcare, housing, healthcare, and other obstacles to a brighter future.

“We have channeled more than $2.2 million toward our focus on Breaking the Cycle of Female Poverty in less than four years, and more than $7 million to 50+ nonprofit organizations benefiting women and girls in NE Florida since inception,” said Mary Pietan, president of WGA. Year Up Managing Director Morris Applewhite said, “Access to opportunity and professional development are very real challenges for young adults here in Jacksonville. As Year Up builds pathways to economic mobility for these talented young women, we’re incredibly thankful to the Women’s Giving Alliance for providing this much needed support.” Applewhite and YUJAX Site Director Latonya Hines participated in the grant announcement Wed., May 20. Hines said, ““As a woman and woman of color, I am truly grateful for the Women's Giving Alliance Award. This investment in Year Up Jacksonville will make a significant impact on the work that the YUJAX Team and I focus on - to empower, lead, and develop our community’s amazing young women.”

YUJAX alumna Briana Jones participated in the grant interview process along with Zeige McCrutcheon. “The Year Up Program has been a life changing experience and allowed me to build a foundation for the future. I’m now walking through open doors to experiences I never thought possible,” Jones said. McCrutcheon, who is currently in her final six months of the program, said, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. There is no other program like this, helping young women and men get past the vastness of today’s Opportunity Divide. I am forever grateful.”

About Year Up
Year Up is an award-winning, national 501(c)3 organization that enables motivated young adults 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 30,000 young adults since its founding in 2000, and expects to serve 5,000 young adults this year. Year Up has presence in 27 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, Pittsburg, 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. To learn more, visit, and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Year Up Jacksonville
Sheri Webber