Penn Honored With Year Up Philadelphia’s 2015 Urban Empowerment Award

Year Up Philadelphia has honored the University of Pennsylvania with the 2015 Urban Empowerment Award in recognition of Penn’s leadership as a corporate partner providing professional mentoring and job training to urban young adults in underserved areas. 

Dan Holland, Year Up Philadelphia associate director of partner relations, presented the award to Penn’s Denise Mancuso Lay, director of human resources, and Cynthia DuFour, human resources coordinator in the Division of Information Systems and Computing, at the Cohort 4 Class of January 2016 Graduation Ceremony on Jan. 12. 

Penn has supported the Year Up Philadelphia effort since it was founded two years ago, and ISC has hosted eight interns during four cohorts and will sponsor three more interns this spring. 

“When we first started Year Up in Philadelphia, Penn and their HR team were the first ones to say, ‘Yes, we want you,’” Holland said. “Since then, every time I speak with Denise and Cynthia, I always get asked, ‘What more can we do?’” 

Lay said the program has been a success at Penn. “We saw the program as a great way to support workforce development in West Philadelphia and mentor young people who might otherwise not seek a college education. Year Up’s pairing of professional development and higher education was a cause we could really get behind.”

Year Up Philadelphia’s model is built on Year Up’s national program combining professional skill development, stipends, internships, college credit and support to place young adults on a path to economic self-sufficiency. Serving 120 young adults annually, Year Up Philadelphia launched in 2013 on the campus of Peirce College.

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