University of Baltimore named 2023 Community Partner of the Year for Paid Internships

The University of Baltimore has been named Community Partner of the Year by the Baltimore chapter of Urban Alliance for its efforts to place high school students into paid internships that lead to college.

The 2023 Community Partner of the Year Award, given this month, recognizes the university’s efforts in support of the Urban Alliance High School Internship Program, in which qualified city high school students receive education- and job-oriented training, mentoring opportunities, and paid internships in Baltimore. The university’s Office of Early College Initiatives is the department that works with Urban Alliance-Baltimore on its internship program.

“The opportunity to support young adults on their path to success cannot be done in silos,” said Chas Ackley, executive director of Urban Alliance-Baltimore, in a statement.

“To create the space for a transformational experience, our work requires partnerships between high schools, local government, employers, and leading educational institutions like the University of Baltimore. With the University, we have developed a trust-based partnership through consistent effective communication and follow through, all with the goal of placing young people first, with positivity and purpose.”

Based in Washington, D. C., Urban Alliance is a non-profit organization that works with schools and employers to address barriers to economic mobility for young adults of color and bridge the gaps between education and workforce development programs.

Since 1996, it has connected 6,000 young adults, primarily from communities of color, to paid internships and trained 21,000 more in workforce skills. Besides its Washington headquarters and its office at 1500 Union Avenue in Baltimore, it has divisions in Montgomery County; Prince George’s County; Northern Virginia; Chicago and Detroit.

In Baltimore, Urban Alliance has provided more than 900 students with paid internships and trained 1,887 young people for careers in construction, hospitality, land surveying and other fields.

Its website lists more than three dozen job partners, from Seawall Development, Century Engineering and the Living Classrooms Foundation to the Enoch Pratt Free Library, the Greater Baltimore Urban League and Baltimore County government.

Funders include the Abell Foundation; Baltimore Children and Youth Fund; Baltimore Community Foundation; Baltimore Ravens; Baltimore Women’s Giving Circle; Baltimore’s Promise; Bank of America Charitable Foundation; Capital One; Cordish Family Foundation; Franklin Templeton and Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

Also: the Helen Pumphrey Denit Trust; Harry and Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation; M&T Bank Charitable Foundation; Maryland Mentor; Mayor’s Office of Employment Development; Morgan Stanley; Scott Solomon; T. Rowe Price Foundation; Transamerica Foundation and Warnock Foundation.

According to Early College Initiatives Director John Brenner, an average of 50 high school students from Baltimore are placed in internship settings through Urban Alliance-Baltimore each year. Typically, 80 percent of those students go on to college careers.

“UBalt and Urban Alliance-Baltimore share an important goal: guiding youth toward their college and career goals,” Brenner said in a statement. “Bringing high school students to campus helps them see themselves as future college students.”

Originally published July 27, 2023 on Baltimore Fishbowl.