#GivingTuesday with
skyn ICELAND & YearUP

This year, we want to take a moment to give back in honor of all those who have supported us. For every order placed on skynICELAND.com from Tuesday November 29, 2016 – Tuesday December 6, 2016, we will give $1 back to Year Up.*

blog_sabrina_imgToday we are spotlighting YearUp student Sabrina Marti. A lot like our Founder, Sarah Kugelman, Sabrina has struggled with stress and balancing work and life. Sarah is currently Sabrina’s mentor and here Sabrina talks about the similarities in their struggles and journey to success.

Tell us about yourself and your background – how did you get connected with YearUp?

I was a sophomore at LaGuardia Community College and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. A friend who was in the YearUp program connected me with them and another friend who graduated explained how great the benefits are. Joining the program has been the best decision I’ve made for myself in a long time.

Can you tell us some more about what the YearUp program entails?

It’s a yearlong program, 6 months for learning and development – IT track – you can choose your track –and the second phase is an internship for 6 months. Graduations is on February 3rd, so my year is almost up. From there I will be going on my long journey for the next phase of my life and career.

Tell us about that journey

I’m still not sure what I want to do with my life – I have so many interests, and I need to find a place or career where I can best apply my skills and interests. Transitions in life are a beautiful thing. Change is okay. My mentor, Sarah, has been so inspiring and these changes I’m making with the help of Sarah and YearUp are important and they are going to help get me to a positive place in my career and in life. I’ll be looking for a full time job. Want to travel everywhere once I’m stable.

Tell us about your internship.

I have learned so much about IT – and it has really helped me get better with customer service. The company is a state security firm and I work with 5th – 12th graders to help bring financial literacy into schools, helping them learn about stocks and bonds. Helping me get better at working with people. I feel important – like I am a part of the team and the work I’m doing matters. The best way to describe the feeling when I started —

I was in France, and I had to learn French, and I had to learn my way. It was hard, it was new, but it was worth it. I am lucky to have ‘Team Sabrina’ supporting me. My manager, Sarah and the YearUp team – all I can do is smile at how lucky I’ve been this year.

How has your life changed since working with YearUp? How have you dealt with stress?

Sarah and I bonded over stress. I wasn’t handling it well in the beginning. I kept everything inside. Sarah and her stress and how she’s dealt with it really helped. She helped me learn steps on how to handle stress. I try to make time for myself in my personal life now and take care of myself. I used to be so bogged down with worry. I sacrificed a steady job to take the opportunities with YearUp. I was actually promoted at my job right before I left. I was a catering coordinator and I was also in school, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life and I wanted something more, where I could grow. So it was scary to leave. I felt lost in a way… Sarah helping me and finding time for myself and to not be so hard on myself. It really helped.

Even in a chaotic day, I smile at least once. It reminds myself that I’m okay. I try and smile through every experience, find the good in the bad.

Stress at work, in school and in my personal life was taking its toll. YearUp changed everything for the better – and I haven’t looked back. In my recent evaluation by my manager she wrote “positive attitude always.” It all became clear when I heard that, that I’ve changed so much. I’m so much more positive and open and I finally feel good about myself. I’m proud that I’m able to show that a change and transition can be a good thing.

I have a long way to go, but I’m happy with who Sabrina has become. I’m on the right track.

Tell us a little bit about your relationship with your mentor, Sarah Kugelman, who is our CEO and Founder – a woman who built our brand based on trying to find a solution for stress.

My original mentor didn’t show up when we were supposed to meet. Finally, I found out I was going to get a VIP Mentor. I was so excited when I found out it was Sarah. I remember her coming in to speak to our group, and I remember that I loved her shoes.

I remembered her shoes, but more importantly I remembered her story about stress.

And that’s what drove me to start changing and address my own personal stress. I wanted to do a cartwheel when I found out she was my mentor. She is so engaged and personal with me. She listens. I have learned so much from her story with stress. I am so grateful that she takes time out of her busy schedule every week to speak to me, on the phone, on email. What I have is special. Sarah came at the perfect time for me in my life. To help me through this big transition.

Year UP

Year Up serves young adults ages 18-24 who have earned a high school diploma or GED but are otherwise disconnected from the economic mainstream. Though talented and motivated, they are too often stuck in low-skills, low-wage, low-opportunity jobs, if employed at all.


To learn more about YearUp and how to get involved: http://www.yearup.org
To learn more about #GivingTuesday: https://www.givingtuesday.org

*Up to $500. Skyn ICELAND will donate a total of $500 to Year Up. For every order placed on skynICELAND.com, $1 will be given back to Year Up, an organization that empowers urban talent to reach their potential.


  1. Roxann Paulson says:

    Lucky you! Congratulations and good luck. We expect great things from you.

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