Year Up: Helping Young People Succeed

Gee, another rainy day in Northeast Ohio. No running. No bike ride. Nothing to look forward to other than an early afternoon nap and a double Jameson (or two) at Happy Hour. Could be worse. Could have had tickets to the U.S. Open golf tournament in New York yesterday and come away with soggy clothes but not ticket refund after rain washed out the opening round. Ouch. A hundred bucks down the drain. Good luck explaining that one.

OK. Back to reality.

Today should actually be interesting since I am going to be involved in a very small way — and remotely — in an event involving President Obama this afternoon. The Prez is scheduled to visit with employees at Year Up, an organization with offices in Washington and elsewhere that helps young people succeed. Corporate Voices for Working Families works with Year Up — and supports its goals of providing young people with internships, mentoring and other opportunities as they make the often difficult transition from school to work.

I’ve written a good bit about the need to improve education and take actions to solve the high school dropout crisis. It’s imperative for the future of our young people. It’s vital to the economic prosperity of our nation.

Still, there is often a very large gap between the policy wonks and their solutions — and what really works in the real world. Year Up is a program that works. So I’ll be interested to see what President Obama has to say during his visit at Year Up and in his discussion with students who have participated in the program. And I’ll be interested in seeing what kind of news coverage — possibly extensive — his visit generates.

And in a related note for those of us who are part of the extended PRKent community — Allison Tomei is going to help coordinate media relations for the Obama visit. Allison works with Corporate Voices in DC, splitting her time between communications and government relations. And she volunteered to help the Year Up staff — typically small for a nonprofit.

Last month Allison played a key role in organizing Michelle Obama’s speech at the Corporate Voices’ annual meeting, which resulted in extensive national news coverage. I expect she will have a similar result today.

These were the kind of events I enjoyed talking about in class. But it’s even more fun to see them come together in a venue and in a way that really can make a difference for an organization like Year Up and for young people.

And hey. Better than golf — and no rain to deal with.

Stay tuned.

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2 responses to “Year Up: Helping Young People Succeed

  1. Year Up sounds like a really great program. My fingers are crossed for the outcome with meeting with Obama.

    And kudos to Allison for all that great PR in Action. I thought this was the stuff you only heard about in class, it’s awesome to see one of my colleagues actually implementing it!

  2. Year Up really does help young people. So it is fun for us to be involved with this. Of course, busy day for Allison — back and forth between offices, writing background info and news releases and so on. And the White House is expected to live web cast two related events later this afternoon.

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