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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Urban Alliance

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Employment Preparation & Procurement, Job Training, Youth Development - Business

Mission: The mission of Urban Alliance is to empower under-resourced youth to aspire, work, and succeed through paid internships, formal training and mentoring.

Results: 100% of Interns graduated from high school on time. 98% of Interns from the Class of 2011 enrolled in college. 93% of Interns reported that Urban Alliance curriculum prepared them for future life challenges.

Programs: The Urban Alliance was founded by a small group of volunteers in 1996 to create employment and educational opportunities for economically disadvantaged Washington, D.C. high school students. The program began with a pilot group of six in the spring of 1996. Since then we have served over 1000 students and expanded our program to serve students across three citites. Our target population is youth who currently attend D.C., Baltimore, and Chicago public and charter high schools. All youth we serve live in under-resourced neighborhoods and attend schools failing to make adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind Act. We target seniors with half day schedules (exempted from afternoon classes). After recruitment, all students attend a month of pre-work training after school. With good attendance to pre-work training, students are then matched with a jobsite and mentors. During the school year the students work at their job sites part-time. Students also attend regular professional development workshops covering topics such as professional writing, time management, communication skills, workplace etiquette, conflict resolution, interviewing, financial literacy, and computer literacy. During the summer, students begin working full-time four days a week. On Fridays, students attend skill-building workshops. The summer program culminates with a Public Speaking Challenge. In addition to continued success with our High School Internship Program, we have also expanded to provide Alumni Services to graduates of the program.Our Curriculum Outreach Department also facilitates workshops and provides program management support for local schools, organizations, and government agencies.

Community Stories

57 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Mariea S.

Donor

Rating: 5

All children deserve to experience this world and all the opportunities available. UA does a great job opening up a world of possibilities to them.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

THE URBAN ALLIANCE WORKS DILIGENTLY AND CREATIVELY TO ASSIST OUR YOUTH AND ACHIEVING THEIR GOALS AND ASPIRATIONS IN HIGH SCHOOL AND BEYOND BY OPENING UP NEW WORLDS AND EXPERIENCES FOR THEM. THEY HELP STUDENTS BELIEVE THEY CAN AND WILL BE SUCCESSFUL AND IMAGINE BETTER LIVES BEYOND THEIR CURRENT ENVIRONMENT AND CIRCUMSTANCES.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been mentoring through the Urban Alliance for four years, and it has been the most rewarding experience. It is exciting to see the students mature throughout the year. Their confidence increases and they become more focused on their goals.

The staff at the Urban Alliance are professional and attentive to the needs of the students in the program.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Working with Urban Alliance has been a wonderful experience! Not only is the staff professional and friendly, but so is the youth they work with. Serving as a mentor has been such a positive experience for me. There is nothing more amazing than seeing a high school senior develop into a young adult in less than a year. Urban Alliance is a one of a kind program and I would encourage anyone I can to work with them in whichever way they are able.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a graduate, this was the greatest, most beneficial, and supportive program I've ever joined. Everyone was a joy to be around, and they all had an enormous impact on my life as a professional and a person!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Urban Alliance is the best program for youth development in Washington, DC. The staff has a real passion for working with youth and the success of the program shows this. Urban Alliance has helped me become a professional and better prepared me for post high school plans. UA is awesome!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is great program keep up the good work. Thank you

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked closely with Urban Alliance for many years, i could not think of how my work in the work place would be without my young ladies and gentlemen. They help from filing to audits to every powerpoint and TV displays throughout the hotel. They are a true pleasure and joy to have, they teach me many new things with tech information. They think that we are teaching them but they are teaching us as well. They are an inspiration to my entire staff and all the ladies in gentlemen love to speak and ask them what are they going to do in their future. I truly dont know how we would get along without them. Thank you for all your help and support.

Modesta V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have participated with Urban Alliance for a few years and I have know great young ladies that are very focus on their future and are very positive with our host at the Marriott. They quick to learn and eager to show their skill. As a mentor I would not know what to do with out them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Participating in urban alliance as a mentor has been the most rewarding thing I have done. As a mentor my goal is to ensure that the intern is motivated and inspired to be the best he/she can be. For the first time last year I participated in the Urban Alliance mentorship program and to be honest I was not sure what I was getting myself into. However, the urban alliance mentorship program changed my life! It was rewarding in so many ways. Recently, my intern wrote me a thank you card that made me nearly cry. It stated, “It is not very often that I say this but THANK YOU for helping me so much. You gave me so much great advice when I needed it. You motivated me to do better and always told me the right thing. I know I can always call you when I need anything and for that I just want to thank you.”

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Urban Alliance is a great organization working to empower and strengthen our youth. They work they do around providing these young people for success is outstanding. I partner with Urban Alliance to teach financial literacy to their interns. The knowledge they take away will be valuable to the success of their financial future. I truly love the public speaking challenge that is held at the end of the internships. As a supporter and partner of Urban Alliance, I'm able to hear true testimony as to how the students value their internships and the relationships they have built with their mentors.

Urban Alliance is one of the best non-profits working with our youth. It's my pleasure to work with Stephanie Amponsah and Natasha Muhammad. I will continue to support the work they do to empower our youth.

Internships are valuable for our young people. Any organizations out there that has the passion for giving back, partner with Urban Alliance to provide internships for our youth.

Thank you!!
Operation HOPE Baltimore

WorldBank

Board Member

Rating: 5

UA is an awesome organization that makes a difference in the lives of the young people it serves. As a former funder and now as a Board member, I cannot say enough about the deliberate and powerful way UA addresses the needs of young people and understands the business needs of the companies hiring them. That is truly important and often under estimated. When I worked at The World Bank, we would not have had a High School internship program without the involvement of this organization - they truly prepare young people to enter the workforce.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been partnering with UA for over 15 years now and the proof of their programs is that we now have 6 full time staff working at the World Bank (post college) that were once HS interns here. The staff are professional, smart and very well versed in youth development. The students are well trained and are excellent representatives of our community. The programming is in-depth and substantive and provides students with the right amount of knowledge and support necessary to a successful internship experience. Leadership matters ina great nonprofit and Veronica Nolan embodies that concept. She is phenomenal, funny, warm and an amazing manager of her staff. I can't imagine we would be able to hire as many interns every summer (20-25) without UA - it just wouldn't work.

Yvette2

Advisor

Rating: 5

October 29, 2014

Urban Alliance has been very instrumental in helping Baltimore youth to be more productive and self-efficient. Partnering with Morgan State University’s Entrepreneurial Development and Assistance Center (EDAC), youth have the opportunity to obtain knowledge that will help them gain an entry level position in the field of Business Administration.

When it comes to hiring interns through the partnership with Urban Alliance, we not only receive assistance with projects we otherwise will have to focus on ourselves, interns will receive hands on experience that will enhance their hard skills (filing, data entry, customer service, etc.), and soft skills (attendance, attire, attitude, task completion, setting goals, etc.), which in some cases can lead to permanent employment.

I personally enjoy being a part of this amazing partnership; it gives me an opportunity to give back my time and effort by working closely and mentoring a youth to exceed in their personal and professional endeavors. It is a pleasure to hear their most inner thoughts and their passion about life’s goals, and if I can I say or do one thing to help them accomplish their goals, than it makes it all worth it.

Our youth’s today need a safe haven where they can go, a place to receive positive structure, and a listening ear. Urban Alliance provides these services by partnering with organizations like EDAC, seeking a common goal by educating our youth and helping them to maintain their independence.
I am elated to be a part of Urban Alliance and watching our youth shine.

Yvette D. Racks
Urban Alliance Mentor
Morgan State University
Entrepreneurial Development and Assistance Center (EDAC)

Client Served

Rating: 5

As an alum, the services and support Urban Alliance provides are amazing! Keep up the great work.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I truly admire the important work Urban Alliance does to foster necessary skills in youth and provide them with opportunities to succeed personally and professionally. I had the pleasure of working with an Urban Alliance intern this past Summer. She was eager to learn and approached each task with a sincere passion and commitment. It was clear to me that the resources and supports provided to her through the Urban Alliance program were working. Urban Alliance really works to develop essential life skills in young people that not only makes them more marketable for employment but increases their self-esteem and helps them realize their full potential.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Urban Alliance has been assisting Dance Place's Junior Staff Program for over a year. One of the main goals of the Junior Staff Program is to train high school students in our community to be ready for college and the professional world after they leave school. Urban Alliance's sessions with our Junior Staff have better prepared them for this and have gave them valuable on-the-job training! Dance Place is very thankful and appreciative for all that Urban Alliance has done for us!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Urban Alliance is a phenomenal organization that provides underserved youth with the resources and tools required to succeed. For the past two years, I've served as a judge for the year end Public Speaking Challenge event. It's a very rewarding experience to see the students use the skills they've learned throughout the year during their presentations. The staff at Urban Alliance is second to none and is incredibly dedicated to serving the youth. I'm looking forward to future volunteer opportunities with Urban Alliance.

I highly recommend this nonprofit organization!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a TV producer who's currently working on a show that helps high school students explore their dream careers, Urban Alliance was and remains an early champion and key supporter of the cause. Their leadership quickly recognizes opportunities that further help their students and they move fast to make things happen on the ground. They have once again chosen an extraordinary group of Baltimore City Public High School students and I know these students will have better employment opportunities thanks to the work of Urban Alliance.

Fran Allen

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Urban Alliance is a much needed resource in the community for under-served and disadvantaged youth. Our involvement with this organization has created a strong partnership that provides exposure, mentoring, personal and professional development for youth who would otherwise be looked over or left behind. Urban Alliance interns are excellent additions to our operation. They come with training, motivation and a strong desire to learn and grow. In return for their assistance they are met with acceptance and embraced by the entire staff who reaches out to mentor, advise and train them, making for a extraordinary internship opportunity. Urban Alliance is a program that targets and lifts up our youth and we intend to support this program for as long as possible.

theo.kuczarski

Board Member

Rating: 5

Urban Alliance has such a positive impact on our community. The students enrolled in the program show dedication and effort, in order to change their lives for the better. The end of year speaking engagement is one of the most inspirational meetings I have ever attened. To witness the growth of these students in a short ten month period is astonishing.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Urban Alliance is an organization that has impact not only with the students directly involved but through out the communitty. It allows at risk high school seniors to earn money, develop professional skills and build their resume for college. It enables employers the ability to hire inexpensive labor, a tax deduction and the opportunity to impact the life of a youngster forever. It betters the communitty by having more profesionals working in their city, creating more revenue for their companies, stimulating the local econonmy and paying more taxes.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Urban Alliance provides the necessary resources in youth development for future success wherever a student's aspirations lead them - college, career, military. The keys to success are not always available to every family. While parents and families only want what's best for their child, they don't always have first hand experience or know where to look for those tools. Urban Alliance empowers students to own their future by consistently providing professional development.

I have seen students begin their internships nervous but willing to do a good job. Helping them on the job site by reinforcing what they are taught through their professional (youth) development sessions has tremendous rewards for the workplace. By the end of their internship I am able to see a student who no matter what they chose knows what's needed to be successful.

Over 5 years none have disappointed me!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Urban Alliance is a great organization that helps to provide professional development training, exposure and experience to underprivileged youth who would not be afforded such opportunities otherwise. Their curriculum is easy for volunteers to jump in and assist in different ways and according to their expertise or however they would like to give of their time.

I volunteered to help with mock interviews and served on a panel to talk about my college and career experience. Urban Alliance does a great job of prepping volunteers with instructions, sharing information about where the youth are in the Urban Alliance process, explaining expectations of volunteers, recognizing and thanking volunteers. It was amazing to see how just one hour of your time can help shape and impact the lives of our youth.

Highly recommended nonprofit!

Advisor

Rating: 5

Urban Alliance is not just an organization, it is a true movement that impacts the lives of thousands of people in our community. In its short history, Urban Alliance has provided thousands of under-resourced high school seniors with real-life work experiences through paid internships. This work helps build stronger, more vibrant communities that sustain themselves for generations, and this impacts everyone.

In my work with Urban Alliance, not only did I see an organization driven by results and impact, but I experienced passion from its staff and volunteers that live its mission on a daily basis. Leadership is tremendous and with their continued passion and dedication, more and more high school seniors will thrive academically and professionally. When this happens, we all win in the end.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization helps at risk youth become confident members of both the academic and professional communities. I have been privileged to hear these young people speak about the changes made in their lives by the opportunity to work and learn and it is incredible. The staff is dedicated to the success of these young people.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I acquired a lot from the Urban Alliance. It taught me to become a better professional and even gave me the opportunity to work in professional work place. We had a training process which involved hard skills and soft skills in order to perform our best and experience how it feels to work in a professional environment. I would highly recommend this.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Urban Alliance has changed me completely within past year. I am an alumni of the very first Chicago class from 2012-2013. It was an amazing experience and I appreciate everything that they've done for me. The Chicago Urban Alliance staff are amazing and they were a big help with my after high school plans. I recommend that all teens choose Urban Alliance.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From the first day that Urban Alliance went to my school to recruit students it caught my attention. When the program was starting I decided to give it a chance and I went to pre-work sessions every Monday-Thursday. During these workshops Urban Alliance helped me become the young professional that I am today. They taught me things such as sending a professional email, answering the phone professionally, and even taught me how to dress professionally.
After pre-work, my experience with the program was beyond what I had expected! I had the opportunity to intern at a law firm in the Sears Tower and work with so many amazing people. I learned ALOT more during my internship and Urban Alliance was always there to support me and guide me throughout the whole journey. At the end of the internship I had experienced so many great things that without Urban Alliance I would have never had the chance to experience. I am so thankful towards them for helping me become the person that I am now.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Sasha Bruce YouthBuild has been utilizing Urban Alliance for soft skills workshops for over a year and half. Each time Mrs. Dixon-Dubois conducted a workshop she did a wonderful job engaging our young people. She was energetic and well informed. She made lessons fun and tailored them to our demographic. The young people were happy to see her come each week and learned a lot. Sasha Bruce Youthbuild will continue to partner with Urban Alliance and recommend their services to partner organizations!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Urban Alliance is by far one of the if not the most exceptional programs for DC public high school students. I have been a mentor with the Urban Alliance program since 2006. The program provides DC public high school seniors with the opportunity to gain professional experience at several outstanding private and public companies, agencies and organizations. Outside of the professional work experience, the interns get to learn about various industries on a broad scale and more intimately about the department that they work for. The benefits to the interns are obvious - professional experience, networking, acquiring transferable skills, learning professional conduct and attire etc. But as a mentor, the relationship that I form with the interns over the nine month assignment is priceless. Being with them along their journey to finish high school and get into college and learning more about each intern personally adds to the intern/mentor bond, helps me know the areas of growth in which I can assist and the most rewarding part is continuing to keep in touch with several formal interns over the years to come. The Urban Alliance staff is helpful, welcoming, knowledgeable and extremely easy to work with. I would recommend Urban Alliance to all DC public high school students and would encourage companies to become job partners in this fantastic program! Jeanna Wallace, Clark Construction Group, LLC

Client Served

Rating: 4

Wendy-Ann Dixon-Dubois has been teaching the Urban Alliance Foundation job skills curriculum to our blind and low vision teen weekly DC VIP Teens after-school program participants at the DC Publicd LIbrary. Wendy is great with teens, and the curriculum is fun and informative. Some of teens learned to write a check for the first time last fall! They've definitely benefitted from the training, which is so necessary for so many of our youth here in DC. Thank you, Wendy and Urban Alliance. It's pleasure to write this commendation for you. Venetia V. Demson, Chief, Adaptive Services, DC Public Library.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I am delighted to be called upon as a reference for Urban Alliance. I first became acquainted with them in 2009, when I joined the YWCA National Capital Area. In this reference I would like to express my respect and appreciation for this program, which brings outstanding students with a contribution to the work of of the YWCA NCA. The students are articulate, thorough and pay attention to details and do not dread working. They are excited to be working and coming to work. They have an extraordinary ability to analyze problems and outline necessary courses of action when brought in front them.
The Urban Alliance is training and teaching them great things for when the students go out into the world of business today.

Client Served

Rating: 5

To whom it may concern. My name is Cyrus Roher, Project Analyst Benefits with PHI headquartered in downtown Washington DC. The program initiated and implemented by Urban Alliance is outstanding. We've supported the organization for more than six years and the experience and relationship has grown. The organization's efforts to build relationship between youth and businesses in and around the city is exceptional. The participation is a win-win situation for our organization in that we've given the students the experience and exposure to the professional working environment through mentoring and we've received support and assistance in various areas of PHI's Human Resources division. Through UA the students are screened, coached and higly recommended with full support of each placement. I recommend companies in the DC Metropolitan or any area with such a program to get involved.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Urban Alliance is blessing to both mentors and students. They take great pride in teaching their students on how to conduct themselves in a professional and everyday environment . Urban Alliance treats each and every student as if they were their own!!!!! Wish they had this program when I was coming up!!!!! Keep up the good work Urban Alliance.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Urban Alliance is a great organization that gives DC youth the opportunity to gain professional skills coupled with practical experiences by pairing their youth with organizations that hone in on their future aspirations and talents. The Urban Alliance team is really thoughtful and supportive of their youth and the organizations they serve, last year during Community Family Services Annual Gala, some of the Urban Alliance staffs and intern were honored for providing our office with services that allowed our programs to function at capacity. We greatly appreciate Urban Alliance for always providing us with the best interns and continuously giving youth in the District promise in a future they can experience in the now!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Urban Alliance has a team that understands its mission and is totally committed to helping DC youth through professional and personal development and work experience. Look at the results! It's a joy to serve as a board member with such dedicated staff talent working to make a difference in the lives of young adults.

Helene L.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

We have had Urban Alliance interns in our office for over four years. They do a great job of training both the students and the job sites. We have worked with great, deserving young people, and a couple of them have continued working or volunteering at our office.