In its search for New Voices, SBJ seeks to identify “young, diverse and impactful leaders, entrepreneurs, risk-takers and disrupters who are reimagining the sports experience and the way business is done.” It is no wonder, then, that so many of our nominated New Voices have come together to provide important leadership on social justice.
Since the summer of 2020, members of the SBJ NVU 30 class have volunteered with a third-party organization named Year Up that aims to close the opportunity gap. As Year Up founder and CEO Gerald Chertavian explains, “Systemic and institutional racism plays a key role in determining which young adults get opportunities to experience economic mobility, and which young adults face countless obstacles to reaching their full potential. Those obstacles are everywhere—in our workplaces, in our legal systems, in our social lives—and removing them takes work, investment, and care.” Year Up has served more than 30,000 young adults—over 90% of whom identify as a person of color. 90% of Year Up graduates are employed and/or enrolled in postsecondary education within four months of program completion, and employed graduates earn an average starting salary of $42,000 per year.
Members of the NVU 30 Classes of 2019 and 2020 have plugged into the mentorship element of Year Up’s programming in Atlanta, serving as guest speakers and résumé reviewers, sharing insights to Year Up students on topics ranging from unique opportunities in the sports industry to advice on how to overcome adversity in the workplace. The goal is to establish a legacy of service through this award - each year, as the network grows by 30 new voices, the team hopes to have 30 new mentors and 30 new organizations to champion its platform within. Some of the team’s longer-term goals include sports internship placement for students as well as the creation of a sports industry-specific track within Year Up’s curriculum to foster a pipeline of diverse talent for years to come.
Click on the photos below to learn more about Year Up.