InsideNoVa: Arlington schools to benefit from college-, career-readiness effort

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Arlington schools to benefit from college-, career-readiness effort
By Scott McCaffrey, Dec. 10, 2018

Community and business leaders gathered Nov. 30, 2018, at Wakefield High School to kick off a new Urban Alliance program supported by a $1 million grant from AT&T Aspire.

A number of Arlington schools are among 29 from across the Washington region selected to participate the Urban Alliance’s efforts to expand college- and career-readiness efforts targeting under-served students.

The effort, launched Nov. 30 at Wakefield High School, is being funded through a $1 million grant from AT&T Aspire.

“Our workforce needs the right skills, and young people need a high school diploma to stay on track for college and career success. Through Aspire, we support programs that help students who need it the most walk across the graduation stage ready for their future,” said Vince Apruzzese, regional vice president for AT&T External Affairs in Virginia.

In addition to Wakefield, Arlington Career Center, H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program and Washington-Lee High School are taking part in the effort. Participating students will receive mentoring, internship opportunities, workforce training and other support, starting as early as ninth grade.

“Early access to high-quality employment and workforce readiness training can prevent underserved youth from disconnecting from future employment or education,” said Eshauna Smith, CEO of Urban Alliance, who said more than 800 students would participate in the effort.

A total of 100 percent of past Urban Alliance students have graduated from high school, and over 90 percent of participants are accepted to college. A further 80 percent of enrolled alumni continue to a second year in college, and 80 percent of all alumni are connected to a college, career, or career-training pathway one year post-program.

For information on the initiative, see the Website at