Staff

We’re a group of passionate individuals working
to help build tomorrow’s workforce.

Sherri Davis Chisholm

Executive Director

Sherri Davis Chisholm joined Urban Alliance as its first Detroit Executive Director in April 2019. As Detroit Executive Director, Sherri leads regional strategy, development, and operations, while actively collaborating with leaders across the city to support and build Detroit’s next generation of talent. Sherri came to Urban Alliance after nearly a decade in senior leadership roles at national nonprofits and major school districts driving transformation through strategic planning, organizational effectiveness, and leadership development, most recently as founder and CEO of FreeSpace Consulting Group where she worked to guide and support districts and nonprofit organizations seeking to effect positive change in public education. Previously, Sherri served as Senior Managing Director of Strategy, Talent, and Operations at Teach for America in Atlanta, and as Chief of Staff to the Superintendent of the School District of Palm Beach County. Sherri also worked in program management and evaluation for the Fulton County School Board of Education through the Broad Residency, and as an Education Pioneers Fellow for Bright Star Charter Schools. She started her career in consulting at Deloitte and later at Slalom Consulting.

Sherri is a Detroit native whose early interest in education stemmed from her mother, a Detroit Public Schools Community District teacher and principal. She is also a University of Michigan graduate, and holds a Master of Education with a concentration in public/private partnerships from Harvard University. Sherri also currently serves as a Pahara Institute Fellow.

Alena Farooq

Program Associate

Alena joined Urban Alliance in July 2018 as the Detroit region’s Program Associate. Alena received her B.A. in Social Entrepreneurship & Business at Albion College, where she is currently serving on the Board of Trustees. Prior to joining Urban Alliance, Alena worked with the Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund on engaging team members in educational programming for Detroit Public Schools Community District students. Alena is passionate about engaging youth in Detroit.

Emily Leonard

Alumni Services Manager

Emily joined Urban Alliance as a Detroit Program Coordinator in October 2018 and became the region’s Alumni Services Manager in August 2019. In this capacity, she guides young people’s academic and professional growth, manages work-site relationships, and delivers youth development curriculum tailored to increase job readiness. Emily liaises between youth participants, and Urban Alliance’s community and job partners in Detroit to ensure strong programmatic outcomes. Emily also serves as a national recruiter and regional diversity board member at Teach For America. Prior to joining Urban Alliance, she held various positions as a high school educator and curriculum development leader in Detroit for six years. Emily earned a B.A. in English Literature with an emphasis on secondary education from Western Washington University, and an M.A. in Urban Pedagogy from the University of Michigan. She maintains a strong commitment to equity, diversity, and youth advocacy.

Sadeeque Mohamed

Program Coordinator - Summer

Sadeeque Mohamed joined Urban Alliance as a Seasonal Program Coordinator in April 2019 to support summer programming in Detroit. Prior to joining Urban Alliance, Sadeeque worked at the University of Michigan as a member of the administrative staff for its Comprehensive Studies Program after completing several internships at General Motors, primarily with its Corporate Giving and Communications team. Sadeeque has a strong passion for working with youth and uplifting them to realize their dreams. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan.