- Strives to change the trajectories of at-risk youth, providing a year of programming that includes work readiness training, a paid internship, and mentoring
- Generally targets "middle-of-the road" high school seniors with a GPA between 2.0 and 3.0
- Offers ongoing support after school graduation, including coaching, alumni events, and additional internship opportunities
Strength of evidence
Evidence level: Strong (second-highest tier)
Strong (second-highest tier)
Urban Alliance is not in any of the major clearinghouses, but demonstrated positive results in a randomized controlled trial completed by the Urban Institute in 2017
High school-aged children
Approximately $15,000 per participant
- Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Northern Virginia, and Washington D.C.
- Urban Alliance - Washington D.C. Metro
Outcomes and impact
- Increased probability of graduating from high school and attending college by 12 percentage points for males
- Increased probability of attending 4-year college by 9 percentage points two years after high school graduation for students with middle-range GPAs
Keys to successful implementation
- The scale of the program is most limited by the number of internships local employers are willing to support. Having a few large employers serve as vocal champions of the program can encourage other businesses across the region to bring on interns of their own.
- Public and civic sector champions are critical conveners for the sorts of partnerships Urban Alliance relies on. Mayors, County Executives, and legislators can help bring school leadership, local non-profits, and local employers to the table and enable greater success for the program.
- Support from school leadership is critical for recruiting students, managing the logistics of getting students to their internships, and bringing work readiness programming to non-seniors.
- Meticulous data collection and a commitment to independent evaluation have helped the program attract significant funding from the public sector and philanthropy.