Year Up

week 3:  this week i'm gonna... provide young adults with opportunity

Francilia Jones

Francilia Jones

Growing up in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, Francilia Jones had a good family where education always came first.  Her dream was to attend UNC Chapel Hill after graduating high school.  Sadly, receipt of her acceptance letter was bittersweet - a recent family illness had made college financially impossible.

Francilia worked hard in the year after high school to earn money for college. She put in over 70 hours per week working for Bank of America and Walgreens while also attending classes at her local community college.  As she cleaned her room one day, she came across an old business card for someone she had met earlier that year - Rob Fladger, Director of Student Services at Year Up.  She contacted Rob, and the rest is history.

Year Up placed Francilia in a network services internship at Harvard University where she learned that her skillset would grow as far as she would allow it.  Year Up also connected her with a mentor, Dr. Patricia (Trish) Cotter, Entrepreneur in Residence at the Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship at MIT.  Trish and Francilia share a love for technology and have formed a deep friendship.  Trish recently told her, “I don’t see you having a boss in 10 years – I see you being the boss.”  Francilia is working hard to make that prediction a reality.

Francilia with friends from her learning community, including Gerald Chertavian, CEO of Year Up

Francilia with friends from her learning community, including Gerald Chertavian, CEO of Year Up


Year Up works to close the opportunity gap 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.  They achieve this mission through a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships and college credits.  Their holistic approach focuses on students’ professional and personal development to place these young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency.

Francilia will earn her Associate’s degree in 2016 and plans to transfer to UNC Chapel Hill.  She credits Year Up with instilling confidence in her that she can one day be a leader, a manager, a CEO, or a CIO of a Fortune 500 Company.  As Trish once told her, she is one day going to be the boss!  


Watch Francilia's inspiring speech at the 2015 Year Up Graduation:

Notes for this week:

  • January is National Mentoring Month and January 18th is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
  • For further information regarding Year Up, please check out their website.

this week i'm gonna donate to Year Up.

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