Gerald Chertavian – How and why does a Wall Street millionaire start a company to help troubled young adults move from poverty to professional careers in a single year? This week we interview Gerald Chertavian, CEO of Year Up, one of the most incredible non-profit organizations we have ever come across.
“You can’t give until you have. “
– Gerald Chertavian
Year Up provides intensive professional education to urban young adults. His organization was recently recognized by Fast Company and The Monitor Group as one of the top 25 organizations in the nation using business excellence to engineer social change. Prior to starting Year Up, Chertavian co-founded Conduit Communications and served as the head of marketing at Transnational Financial Services in London. Gerald recently wrote the book, A Year Up: How a Pioneering Program Teaches Young Adults Real Skills For Real Jobs With Real Success.
He was also awarded the 2003 Social Entrepreneurship Award by the Manhattan Institute and the 2005 Freedom House Archie R. Williams, Jr. Technology Award. A graduate of Bowdoin College and Harvard Business School, Chertavian was born and raised in Lowell, MA.
Quotes from Gerald:
“Early on in one’s career it’s all about gaining experience and getting closer and closer to that highly sought after point in life where you can match what you’re good at with what you love most.”
“Ask yourself to whom are you accountable for. To be able to draw your circle a little more broadly in this world, outside of your nuclear family is a good thing – it’s good fortune.”
“The best thing we can do for a young person is to expect a great deal from them.”
“You need to be cognizant of the fact that some of the privileges you enjoy were unearned.”
What we learn in this episode:
- How to balance taking versus giving. How to understand what you can take from the universe as well as what you owe to the universe.
- For the first time in the history of this country upward mobility is lower in America than many other developed countries. That is an opportunity divide.
- What is the winning formula for social good?