Urban Alliance: Giving High School Students Experience in the Corporate World

Najmah Abdur-Rahman wanted an internship during her senior year at Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville, but she had no idea where to look or who was hiring.

Then she learned about Urban Alliance, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that partners with businesses to provide an on-ramp to the corporate world for students in underresourced schools. In Montgomery County, it places a total of about 30 to 35 students from Springbrook High School in Silver Spring and Paint Branch in paid internships each year. After being accepted into the Urban Alliance program, Abdur-Rahman spent six weeks in after-school classes to prepare for the workplace—learning to dress professionally, manage her time and communicate in a business setting.

“Coming into the program, I was really shy being around people I had never met,” says Abdur-Rahman, 19, of Burtonsville, who was placed at Chevy Chase Trust in Bethesda. “[The training] gave me practice and let me know what to expect.”

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