Get an Urban Alliance intern and give back to the DC community - Technical.ly DC

Access

Nov. 11, 2016 9:22 am

Get an Urban Alliance intern and give back to the DC community

Participating in this program is an opportunity for companies to foster local talent.
Urban Alliance at the My Brother’s Keeper event at the White House in October 2016.

Urban Alliance at the My Brother's Keeper event at the White House in October 2016.

(Photo via Facebook)

When Nathaniel Cole was 17, he wanted to be a lawyer. It was a career he could imagine, growing up in D.C., and one he believed he could do well in. But then he had an internship via Urban Alliance, a 20-year-old program offering paid internships for D.C. Public Schools high-school seniors, and he discovered another path — nonprofits.

Now Cole is the executive director of Urban Alliance, helping today’s high school seniors navigate that same crucial time in life.

Essentially, Urban Alliance internships work like this. First, starting in October, selected students get six weeks of training on what to expect and how to act in the workplace. Then, for the remainder of the school year, the students work at a partner company (a company who has agreed to join the program — more on that later) Monday through Thursday in the afternoons. On Fridays, they receive more coaching and training from Urban Alliance staff. Once the student graduates in early summer, they go on to work full hours Monday through Thursday.

Cole told Technical.ly that 90 percent of Urban Alliance students go to college after their program concludes, despite the fact that many come from a low-income background. The remainder of the students, he said, go on to some other educational program like City Year.

For the employers’ part, companies make a $12,500 tax-deductible donation that supports the intern’s salary as well as the Urban Alliance program overall. They also identify a mentor for the intern within the company — “individuals that understand the importance of developing local talent.” Urban Alliance provides support for partner companies, too, helping them decide where to place the intern and what kinds of tasks might be appropriate.

In 2015, though, Urban Alliance won an Investing in Innovation grant from the Department of Education — a grant that will be used to fund the $12,500 fee for a company partner that works in a STEM field. Cole sees this as an amazing opportunity — a chance for a company to try the program out, see how it fits, without making any upfront investment. In a much broader sense, though, it’s also an incredible opportunity to further develop the STEM talent pipeline in D.C. Local companies already working with Urban Alliance include #dctech staples like Phone2Action and EverFi. Cole told Technical.ly that Iron Yard just signed on, too.

Advertisement

This year, Urban Alliance is serving 165 students. When I ask Cole what his favorite part of the job is he says “oh my god” and a giant smile emerges on his face. “It’s meeting our young people,” he says, without hesitation. Seeing the students, nervous but excited, at the beginning of the 10-month program an then hearing their stories of success, challenge and self discovery at the end is a constant source of inspiration.

“I know what it’s like to have a network at 17-18 when you’re figuring out your next steps,” he said. It’s more than a little powerful.

Companies: Phone2Action, Iron Yard
-30-
CONTRIBUTE TO THE
JOURNALISM FUND

Already a contributor? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement

Hi, Taye Diggs: Here’s who won at the inaugural .ORG Impact Awards Gala

Marymount University launches new initiative to promote intrapreneurship

The Bowser administration added two tech groups to its student safety initiative

SPONSORED

DC

Verizon is looking for the brightest ideas on how to use its 5G technology

Philadelphia, PA

Vistar Media

QA Engineer

Apply Now

Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post

Scrum Master

Apply Now

Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post

Software Engineer

Apply Now

5 questions with Hilliary Turnipseed on local engineering talent

The District ranks #3 in the US for tech talent: report

Byte Back is partnering with a leading robotics process automation company

SPONSORED

DC

Escape the August heat with cool AI tech

Philadelphia

Vistar Media

Sr. Software Engineer

Apply Now

Philadelphia

Vistar Media

Front End Engineer

Apply Now

Philadelphia, PA - Center City

Odessa

Business Architect

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Dc

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!