Emeritus Gerald Chertavian '87, P'20

Trustee Emeritus Gerald Chertavian ’87, P’20

Citation for Emeritus Gerald Chertavian, 2017 Common Good Award Recipient.

"Gerald C. Chertavian of the Class of 1987, founder and CEO of Year Up, among the most influential agents of social change in our country, you have devoted your prodigious talents to providing the resources and opportunities for thousands of underserved young men and women to succeed professionally and personally.

At Bowdoin, you were a Sarah and James Bowdoin Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and you graduated summa cum laude with a degree in economics. You have said that your volunteer work as a mentor through the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program was your proudest and most profound experience in college. Two years after your Bowdoin graduation, you were recognized by that program as one of the most outstanding Big Brothers in the state of New York.

Under your leadership, Year Up has continued to thrive, change lives, and effect societal change. The organization has now partnered with over 300 businesses, has opened sites across the country, and serves more than 2,000 young adults each year. Year Up has been widely touted as one of the most influential programs for social change in the United States, being named as one of Philanthropedia’s Top 17 National Nonprofits and being listed among the Social Impact Exchange 100, among many other honors. Your book, A Year Up: Helping Young Adults Move from Poverty to Professional Careers in a Single Year, has been a New York Times bestseller and has been hailed by critics as a “must-read account” of your “groundbreaking employment program.” Said one, simply, “Gerald Chertavian is one of America’s leading pioneers for social change.”

For your impact on the lives of thousands of young men and women, and for your extraordinary efforts as a champion of social progress, we are proud to present you with the 2017 Common Good Award. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we join your family, classmates, friends, colleagues, and all the many people you have touched and served in honoring you."

June 3, 2017