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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

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



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)


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.