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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

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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.”

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!!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Urban Alliance (UA) is a great program. I believe UA gave the work experience I needed before entering college. UA is a home away from home. They indeed are very passionate about helping the students in which they serve. I wish their were more programs that serve the community non profit sectors like Urban Alliance.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Urban Alliance has the greatest and most positive impact of any nonprofit working with youth in the DC area. I base this conclusion on my time as a classroom teacher and as an intern with another education reform organization where I interacted with a number of leading DC nonprofits working to improve the lives of young people. I volunteer with Urban Alliance as a way to continue to connect with youth and the youth development sector. Urban Alliance provides youth opportunities that are launching pads for better post-secondary choices and careers. As an organization, Urban Alliance is changing the trajectory of the lives of DC, now Baltimore and Chicago youth. I cannot give high enough praise for Urban Alliance.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been engaged with the work of Urban Alliance since its founding in 1996. Well over 1,200 young people from DC public schools have graduated from the program and they are often totally transformed by their experiecne with the organization. They learn basic work place skills and more importantly gain an appreciation for their opportunities and for their potential. Seeing a young person gain confidence and self esteem is a true joy and the fact that UA is now able to offer services in Baltimore and Chicago too is very exciting. This is a great program with excellent impact on the lives of some of the most deserving young people in our community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with Urban Alliance for three years now and am impressed with the way they recruit, train and prepare the students for life after high school. They take an active role in the lives of the students and work closely with the mentor as well to ensure that the internships are a good experience for all. The program has allowed my organization to work closely with a student who might not have the same opportunities as others and expose them to potential careers they might decide to pursue in the futire. It is a win-win for all!

Ngoda M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the opportunity to work with Urban Alliance for two summers now in their Summer Internship Program as a coordinator. My experience has been incredibly gratifying, meaningful, and I have built professional relationships with the youths that are long term and become a role model. In fact, I have just received an email from one of the youths from this summer updating me about his first year in college and the wonderful football season he had. Moreover, Urban Alliance is highly organized and their employers are courteous and driven. The work they do is crucial for the development of youths. For example, the professional development courses they offer to the youths such as time management, office etiquette, effective communication, and dressing for success are essential and practical. One of the most important and meaningful part of the organization is their effort to expose students and youths to various organizations and important people. This enables students to learn to network and meet powerful role models.