DC: Urban Alliance awarded $1 million grant from AT&T to expand high school internships in DC

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Urban Alliance awarded $1 million grant from AT&T to expand high school internships in DC
By Michelai Graham, Dec. 5, 2018

AT&T is giving companies a financial boost, and a D.C.–based national youth development nonprofit is among those receiving funds.

In celebration of its philanthropic initiative called AT&T Aspire, AT&T awarded Urban Alliance with $1 million to expand the nonprofit’s internship and job reach in D.C. and Virginia. This partnership is not new, as AT&T has been investing in Urban Alliance’s success since 2014.

Launched in 2008, AT&T’s Aspire program turned 10 this year so the company chose ten nonprofits nationwide to share in $9.25 million in celebration. Aspire is the company’s philanthropic initiative to help provide access to education and training people need to get and keep good jobs.

“We believe that early access to high-quality employment and workforce readiness training can prevent underserved youth from disconnecting from future employment or education,” Eshauna Smith, Urban Alliance CEO said in a statement. “We are grateful to AT&T for recognizing the critical role of youth employment in building sustainable, successful futures for our youth. Their support will help us open the door to economic opportunity for more young people in the greater Washington, D.C. area.”

The announcement was made at a special event held at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., one of Urban Alliance’s 29 partners. With its presence expanding to Baltimore, Chicago, NoVA and Detroit, Urban Alliance has placed over 4,000 students in paid internships and served 18,000 students through job skills trainings. DC previously reported about the nonprofit’s internship program success in the District.

AT&T’s contribution will fund the expansion and enhancement of Urban Alliance’s core High School Internship Program (HSIP) and workforce readiness training in both Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., a press release states. High school seniors enrolled in the program will get industry-focused training to prepare for future employment, in addition to the program’s year-long job and life skills training, paid none-month professional internships, mentoring and post-high school planning assistance. Urban Alliance’s workforce readiness training program, originally funded by AT&T, will expand to underclassmen as early as freshman year of high school and will include growth of industry-specific training.

“We’re excited to continue working with Urban Alliance to help more young people in the region achieve success,” Vince Apruzzese, regional vice president for AT&T External Affairs in Virginia said in a statement.