Urban Alliance awarded multi-year News Corp grant to provide job skills training, internships for southeast DC youth

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Urban Alliance, a national youth workforce development organization, was awarded a three-year grant by News Corp to fund workforce readiness training and paid professional internships for economically-disadvantaged high school youth in southeast Washington, DC. Additionally, Urban Alliance CEO Eshauna Smith was named News Corp’s 2019 Murdoch Community Hero, an award recognizing effective and innovative nonprofit leadership.

The grant will support Urban Alliance’s partnership with Martha’s Table in which students from DC’s Wards 7 and 8 have the opportunity to gain the skills, experience, and exposure needed to access and succeed in future work opportunities while preparing for lifelong economic self-sufficiency. Specifically, the grant will enable Urban Alliance to provide workforce readiness and professional skills training for students in 9th and 10th grades; weekly professional development including job and life skills training, financial literacy, and post-high school planning assistance for students in 11th grade; and 9-month, paid, professional internships in the 12th grade year through Urban Alliance’s flagship High School Internship Program, which combines work experience with additional job skills training, one-on-one mentoring, and comprehensive support services during and after the internship.

News Corp’s grant comes as part of their Philanthropy Partners program which supports nonprofits working to open the door to opportunity for under-resourced youth, among other worthy causes. Urban Alliance is one of three organizations selected as a 2019 partner.

“Urban Alliance’s mission to increase economic opportunity for underserved youth started over two decades ago in southeast Washington, DC, and this generous grant will help us strengthen our commitment to serving our hometown,” said Eshauna Smith, CEO of Urban Alliance. “I am personally honored to be named a 2019 Community Hero and grateful for News Corp’s support that will enable us to keep working alongside the everyday heroes who help us to employ and train the next generation.”

“On behalf of Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch and Chief Executive Robert Thomson, I congratulate Eshauna Smith and Urban Alliance for their visionary approach to helping students acquire the skills they need to succeed in this fast-changing world,” said Toni Bush, Global Head of Government Affairs and head of the News Corp Philanthropy Committee.  “This innovative partnership with Martha’s Table will provide tangible assistance to students in southeast Washington, DC, and we are honored to participate in such a worthy mission.”

With more than 20 years of experience providing workforce opportunities to thousands of economically disadvantaged students in Chicago, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, and Detroit, Urban Alliance has a track record of improving post-high school outcomes for underserved youth. A recent six-year study found that completing Urban Alliance’s High School Internship Program had a measurable impact on young men attending college, mid-GPA students enrolling in four-year colleges, and students’ retention of professional soft skills.

100 percent of Urban Alliance students graduate from high school, and over 90 percent 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.