WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Urban Alliance, a career- and college-readiness program, and AT&T, through its AT&T Aspire initiative, today announced a collaboration to expand services to more students in Washington, DC. The announcement was made during a special event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters.
A $500,000 AT&T Aspire contribution will help cover the costs of internships and expand the program to reach 125 more students in Washington, DC; Alexandria and Arlington, VA; Baltimore, MD; and Chicago. AT&T Aspire is AT&T's signature education initiative and planned commitment to invest $350 million to drive success in education to promote student success in school and beyond.
Urban Alliance is a transformational, yearlong employment program for under-resourced high school seniors that prepares them for a life of work and self-sufficiency through paid internships, formal training and mentorship. After the students' internships are complete, Urban Alliance offers an alumni program to further help students gain access to and succeed in college or other education opportunities.
"When young people can receive hands-on training and support from adult mentors, their chances of success are much greater. Urban Alliance makes these important connections for students in Washington, DC and other communities across the country. Our contribution will help them expand their work, equipping more students with the tools they will need to succeed in school and achieve their dreams," said Denis Dunn, president, AT&T-Washington, DC.
AT&T's contribution to Urban Alliance creates the opportunity for students to develop job and college success skills, increase their financial literacy, work with a mentor 4 days per week for 10 months, and develop clear post-high school plans. Students in the program are more likely to graduate high school and enroll in higher education, with 80% of graduates enrolling in college and 80% continuing into their second year of college.
Eshauna Smith, CEO, Urban Alliance said: "Urban Alliance's mission is to help young people work, aspire and succeed, which is perfectly aligned with AT&T's Aspire initiative. We deeply value AT&T's investment in youth education and our future workforce."
Louis-Cesaire Ngonzo-Biyo was a student at McKinley Technology High School when he enrolled in the Urban Alliance program. He said: "The Urban Alliance experience helped me to become confident in knowing my voice matters and understanding the scope of my talents."
He attained an engineering degree in college and is now living out his dream job as project engineer for Whiting-Turner in Washington, DC.
About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. In 2014, nearly $127 million was contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T's signature education initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring.
About Urban Alliance
Founded at Anacostia Senior High School in 1996, the Urban Alliance is the only year-long employment program for under-resourced high school seniors in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, Chicago, IL and Northern Virginia. The program prepares students for a life of work and self-sufficiency through paid internships, formal training, and mentorship. Urban Alliance partners with DCPS, charter schools, and businesses across the community to offer paid internships to youth and has a track record of success, with 100% of interns graduating from high school, 80% enrolling in college and persisting into their second year of college.