Khatiyah Lewis, 23, earned a basic banking certificate at Harold Washington College (HWC) as part of her participation in the Year Up program. Year Up Chicago is a one-year, intensive training program that provides under-served young adults, ages 18-24, with a combination of hands-on skills development, coursework eligible for college credit, corporate internships, and wraparound support. The program includes a partnership with HWC.

In August of 2019, she graduated from that program, which helped her land an internship with Bank of America. Khatiyah currently works full time at the bank as a preferred sales specialist and hopes to build her career there.

Getting to this point wasn’t easy for the West Side native, though.

After graduating from North Lawndale College Prep in 2014, Khatiyah headed to Luther College in Iowa. The culture and going from a big city to small community didn’t agree with Khatiyah, however, and she left school after a semester. She then enrolled at HWC, but when her father passed away, she simply wasn’t prepared to continue school. She took various jobs—at a zoo, in retail and at Navy Pier—but she knew there was more out there for her. Then in August of 2018, she learned about Year Up.

“Year Up came along just at the right time,” said Khatiyah. “I was looking for something to motivate me and was ready to take on a challenge.”

Now that she’s settled at Bank of America, Khatiyah is driven to grow and excel at the company. She also hopes to return to school and continue her education.

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