The Urban Alliance’s High School Internship program aimed to prevent high school seniors from becoming disconnected from higher education and the workforce through a paid internship program bundled with pre-work basic job training, continued soft-skill and job-specific training, mentorship, and access to services for program alumni.
Urban Alliance’s high school internship program consisted of pre-work training that lasted three to six weeks; an internship program paired with continuous soft-skills training throughout the school year; and post-internship services, which connected alumni to continuing services and potential summer internship opportunities. The pre-work training provided general job and soft skills training for three to six weeks at the start of the school year, after which participants began their paid internships. Participants interned with the program’s local employment partners, which included local nonprofits, corporations, or government agencies. Participants attended their internships Monday to Thursday after school throughout the school year, with continued training on life skills and, occasionally, workplace skills on Fridays after school. Internships continued through the summer after students’ senior year of high school, and participants worked for full days Monday to Thursday and attended half-day trainings on Fridays. Participants also received coaching and mentorship throughout the program from Urban Alliance staff and workers at their job sites, bonuses for participating in other events or program activities while on a delayed job placement, and access to clothing appropriate for the workplace. Finally, after a delivering a final presentation about their internship following their high school graduation, participants received continued mentoring, access to a resource room, job search assistance, and connections to paid internships after the program.
As of 2020, Urban Alliance continues to offer similar services to eligible participants. Urban Alliance’s target population was students with GPAs between 2.0 and 3.0 in urban high schools, but Urban Alliance did not restrict access to the program based on GPA. Urban Alliance’s high school internship program was evaluated in Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC, but it also administers programs in Northern Virginia; Chicago, IL; and Detroit, MI.