STOCKTON — Young adults eager to begin a career in the booming tech industry have an option that combines personal development, college credits and support for them to reach their full potential.

The Year Up program, a national nonprofit organization, has partnered with Stockton Scholars to bring the opportunity to Stockton students.

Representatives held an hourlong information session Thursday in south Stockton so participants could learn more about the program and how to apply, with classes beginning Aug. 13.

“We want to recognize that going to a four-year college is great for some people, but it’s not for everyone,” Stockton Scholars Director and Stockton Unified Trustee Lange Luntao said.

“We’re really excited about (the partnership). It’s an organization that can pave a clear path for young people that want to go into tech industries through a targeted, year-long program.”

In order to qualify for Year Up, students must be 18 to 24 years old, had earned a high school diploma or GED and legally eligible to work in the United States.

For the first six months of the program, students develop technical and professional skills in the classroom, Year Up Bay Area recruitment manager John Navarra said. Classes range from customer service, software installation, business writing and presentation skills.

Students then apply those skills during the second six months on an internship at one of Year Up’s various Fortune 500 partners such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Telsa and others.

Students take coursework eligible for college credit, earn an educational stipend and are supported by staff advisors, professional mentors, dedicated social services staff and a powerful network of community-based partners.

“A current Year Up student who is finishing this year was just offered a tech job in San Francisco,” Navarra said. “His starting base salary is $70,000 with benefits.”

At the moment, interested applicants in San Joaquin County will need to take the program an hour away at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. There are two additional Bay Area campuses that offer the program — in San Francisco and San Jose.

Edison High School graduate Fredrick Dutye was among the handful of young adults who attended the session Thursday morning.

As a graduate from the Class of 2014, Dutye, 22, enjoyed the presentation and found it insightful, but still was undecided about whether or not to apply.

“I really didn’t see myself going into (tech industry), but I’m up in the air,” he said. “I might go, so I don’t know.”

Luntao and organizers hope to have Year Up classes available at San Joaquin Delta College in the near future for more convenience.

“We’re hopeful that there will be a pioneer group of young people from Stockton that will participate in this program and that in the future we can expand this program,” Luntao said.

The deadline to apply to this year’s classes is July 20. For more information on attending Year Up at Diablo Valley College, go to or call (925) 338-8545.

Contact reporter Nicholas Filipas at (209) 546-8257 or Follow him on Twitter @nicholasfilipas.