Urban Alliance was honored to welcome First Lady Michelle Obama, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Chicago First Lady and Urban Alliance Chicago Board Co-Chair Amy Rule for an intimate conversation with our Chicago interns. Urban Alliance Chicago started in the fall of 2012, and 71 Interns completed the program – with 100% graduating on time from their Chicago Public High Schools and 95% attending college this fall. Mrs. Obama, Mayor Emanuel, and Mrs. Rule talked to the interns about college, being parents, and dispensed advice about life.
“It was a tremendous honor and pleasure to welcome the First Lady to Urban Alliance. She took the time to listen to our youth and to impart the lessons she learned in her own journey,” said Veronica Nolan, CEO of Urban Alliance.
Mrs. Obama took time to be open and honest with the interns, stating “I was you guys. I say that all the time. Living on the South Side, looking at these buildings, wondering what it was like to work in those offices… Programs like this are an answer in so many ways to stemming the tide of violence for kids in so many communities, giving them an opportunity to envision a world outside of gangbanging, hanging on the streets, dropping out,” she said.
Before taking questions from the youth, Mrs. Obama challenged more businesses to support Urban Alliance and similar programs, stating “there should be programs like this in every corner of this country. We have the resources. We’ve got the leadership. we have the know-how, we have the model. So, now we have to ramp it up. So, I wanted to be here to highlight what you all are doing. Because you all are the models for what we can see in cities all across this nation.”
Video of this event can be viewed here.