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Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Year Up - Gerald Chertavian

Released July 2012

Gerald Chertavian

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

College graduates in many areas struggle to find jobs after graduation. Facing college loan payments, these young adults find themselves on shaky ground and unemployment rates remain high, and many older, more experienced workers are flooding the market. Students who simply cannot afford college are in a more precarious position as many employers simply won't touch a resume if a college isn't listed. A Year Up is an ingenious program that helps these students learn essential job skills so that they can hit the ground running.

A Year Up discusses how students can get ahead, especially if college is out of reach.  The foundations of this handy guide started with the group, Walk for Opportunity, a workforce development program the author founded in 2000. Instead of being a true self-help guide, Gerald Chertavian's book uses personal accounts of students who have completed the Year Up program. It details where they came from and what they've achieved. That personal touch makes this book incredibly easy to read.

Personally, I think every high school student and even their parents need to read A Year Up. When my teen was searching for a college he could afford, he ended up going with a local technical college that had a 100% job placement rate for the field he wants to get into. His friends and teachers ridiculed him for choosing a technical college over a prestigious university given his SAT, AP, and ACT scores, but money was a primary concern. He stuck with what he could afford after four years, worked as hard as he could to land scholarship funds, and now he's into his freshman year and loving everything about college. Armed with the education he's receiving and tips from A Year Up, I think he'll be in good shape four years from now.

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