Seven people stand in a line smiling, one holds a plaque, on a stage
Intern of the Year, Samman Magar (third from right) holds award, with others from Urban Alliance Baltimore. Photo credit: BLive Photography

Urban Alliance Baltimore announced its impact in Baltimore City increased by 32% in school year 2022-2023.

141 Baltimore City high school students completed internships with 45 employers, and Urban Alliance launched a new program for 11th graders, which reached an additional 66 students. Urban Alliance also created a new year-round program in partnership with HeartSmiles and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Urban Alliance’s mission is to build a “diverse next-generation workforce.” The organization “connects high school students to equitable, inclusive careers through paid work experiences, mentorship, and professional development. We work with schools and employers to address systemic barriers to economic mobility for young adults of color and to bridge the gaps between education and workforce development for all young people,” reads the website. They’ve been in operation since 1996, connecting over 21,000 young adults in workforce skills from the greater Washington, DC area, Baltimore, Chicago, and Detroit.

The high school internship program gives 12th graders a year-long experience that includes professional development training, paid internships, and one-on-one support following six weeks of pre-employment job skills training. Paid interns work part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer, and each intern is assigned a dedicated Urban Alliance program coordinator, as well as a one-on-one workplace mentor. These adults provide support to guide the intern’s professional development and post-high school planning.

Recently, Urban Alliance Baltimore held its end-of-year ceremony celebrating its students’ accomplishments and recognizing individuals and organizations for their contributions to the program. Those recognized include:

  • Mentor of the Year Award: Latrice Goode AHC, Inc.
  • Intern of the Year: Samman Magar, Academy for College and Career Exploration
  • Jobsite of the Year Award: LifeBridge Health
  • Community Partner of the Year Award: University of Baltimore

“One of the aspects of Samman’s personality that I believe has gotten him this far in his life is his willingness to try new experiences. Being an immigrant to this country, Samman has faced new challenges his entire life, always taking them in stride and figuring out each next step along the way,” said James Tunney, Audio Visual Supervisor at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, who mentored this year’s Intern of the Year, Samman Magar. “If he needs some direction in a task, he does not hesitate to ask questions, and takes constructive criticism well when needed. I am confident that whatever path Samman takes in life he will succeed in, with a smile on his face.”

Magar is a senior at Academy for College and Career Exploration and is enrolled to attend Johns Hopkins University.  Magar is majoring in biology and received a full scholarship. In addition to being accepted to Johns Hopkins, Magar was accepted to Loyola University Maryland and Towson University.

“Our students continue to impress our team and our job partners with their passion to learn and commitment to their internship and school. We would not be able to increase the number of students we serve without the generous support of our employer partners who invest in the training, placement and mentorship of our students,” said Chas Ackley, Executive Director of Urban Alliance Baltimore.

“Through this program, we are able to help Baltimore City students explore career pathways with hands-on, real-life experiences in a variety of fields including finance, healthcare and construction management.”

Collectively, Urban Alliance Baltimore interns were awarded $1,307,492 in financial aid.