Roselany Montero, Baltimore 2018

Roselany Montero has big dreams — and thanks to Urban Alliance, she feels like her dreams are within reach. “They prepared us to do anything,” Roselany said. Urban Alliance “makes you feel like you could be more than other people that don’t have this type of support.”

For Roselany, that “more” includes one day owning her own business, or working in criminal investigation, or staying right where she is, in the medical field. Roselany was hired on at the University of Maryland Medical Center after her Urban Alliance internship ended and loves her work there. Wherever life takes her, Roselany is optimistic that she has the tools needed to succeed. Roselany said that the chance to work at the University of Maryland was so valuable, not only because she was a teenager, but because she was already aware that connections and a strong network are needed to unlock opportunities like that. “A lot of my friends, they always ask me, ‘Wow, I wish I could have the opportunity to join [the] University of Maryland or have a job right now,’ because it’s hard to look for a job, but when you have a connection with Urban Alliance, they know people, and they can get you in.”

Away from work, however, Roselany often felt overwhelmed by the post-high school planning process and alone. Roselany’s family was going through a difficult time, and with parents who never graduated from high school, Roselany had no one to help with college and scholarship applications, and no one to help her plan for a better future—until she signed up for the High School Internship Program. “With Urban Alliance, I didn’t feel alone anymore,” she said. “I will always remember Urban Alliance because they were there for me when I didn’t have anybody.”

For Roselany, having her mentors and Urban Alliance staff believe in her made all the difference. “There’s a lot of students, especially in Baltimore—they start taking to the streets because they don’t have that mentor, or they don’t have that person telling them, ‘Listen, I got you, I can help you. Here, this is what you need to do,’” Roselany said. “A lot of students feel like they’re failing, or they can’t do anything in life, just because they don’t have that one person in their ear or that special person helping them with simple stuff like college applications. A lot of people give up with something like that,” she added. “I feel as though this is great for the community because it changes a lot of young people’s lives.”