The Social Protection & Labor Sector (HDNSP) of the Human Development Network
is pleased to sponsor a presentation by
Ronda Harris Thompson, Executive Director and
Meredith Potempa, Program Director
Year Up National Capital Region
Chair: Mattias Lundberg, Senior Economist, HDNSP
Founded in 2000, Year Up believes that a well-designed training and support program can make an incredible difference in young peoples’ lives. The organization's mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Their intensive one-year program serves low-income high school graduates and GED recipients between the ages of 18-24 from urban neighborhoods. The BBL will present Year Up's model and discuss their activities in the Washington, DC region.
About the Presenters
Ronda Harris Thompson is the Executive Director of Year Up National Capital Region. Since joining Year Up in 2007, she has served in several critical capacities, including Senior Director of Program and Academics. In this position she drove the outreach, admissions, college enrollment, and academic components of 300 young adults annually, consistently exceeding expectations for each area of responsibility. Ronda also developed and implemented a groundbreaking dual enrollment partnership with Northern Virginia Community College.
With over 20 years of experience in the DC market, Ronda has held several positions maximizing her youth development and managerial expertise. Prior to joining Year Up, Ronda served as Deputy Director for City Year in Washington, DC, where she oversaw the site's training, corps member support and service initiatives. Other positions included Acting Director of the Public Affairs Office of the D.C. Housing Authority, and Public Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Ronda, a DC native, graduated from Bowie State University, an historically Black university, with a B.A. in Psychology and an MSA (Master of Science) in Administration and Organizational Development from Trinity Washington University. She currently serves on the board of Gifted Servants (DC).
Meredith Potempa comes to Year Up from Chicago, where she gained several years of experience in management within both corporate and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining the team, she was working for Rocket Learning, a supplemental education services provider, where she was providing management at eight of the company's sites. Additionally, she has a great deal of experience in providing individuals and families with crisis intervention and intensive therapeutic services in the city of Chicago, through Community Counseling Centers of Chicago. She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame, and her Master's Degree in Social Work with a specialization in Leadership Development from Loyola University Chicago. Meredith is very happy to return to the east coast, as she used to live in Maryland, but is more excited to be part of the Year Up team and work with both the students and staff in an effort to fulfill the organization's ever important mission.
Year Up: A Model for Closing the Opportunity Divide (492kb pdf)
by Ronda Harris Thompson and Meredith Potempa