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Nearly 150 students graduate from local 'Year Up' program

The 'Year Up' program provides intensive training for students who can't afford college.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Nearly 150 students are ready for the workforce, thanks to a special yearlong program that offers intensive training for multiple career fields.

It was a big day for students at Northern Virginia Community College that graduated from the Year Up National Capital Region's program which is a partner with the school. 

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Yassin Sabir said it is a dream come true. He went from juggling two jobs as a full-time student to landing his dream job in cyber security. He said the program changed his life. He was running out of money to pay for school when he learned about the program. 

"It was really difficult," Sabir said, who described the struggle he faced before enrollment in the program. "Some days I'd get off at five, and wouldn't come home until 2 a.m., and I didn't have much time to study."

Year Up is a one-year intensive training program that provides under-served young adults, ages 18-24, with professional training and paid internships. On average, 85% of graduates get hired or attend school full-time after graduation.

Students also have the ability to earn up to 30 credits for coursework.

Naya Williams graduated three years ago and is thriving at Capital One Financial. 

"I definitely think that year up was able to get me up and running faster," Williams said.

According to Year Up, more than 33,000 adults across the National Capital Region (NCR) area  have no access to higher education or livable wage careers. 

It is expected that 12 million jobs that require post-secondary education, over the next decade, will go unfulfilled, according to Year Up. 

Since its inception in 2006, NCR Year Up has served 2,400 students. Just this week, the program placed 181 students in internships, the largest group ever. The mission is to close the opportunity divide. 

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