Staff

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

Christine McCurdy

Executive Director

Christine joined Urban Alliance in March 2015 as Program Coordinator for the Northern Virginia Program. She then served as Program Director before moving into the Executive Director role in September 2017. She brings several years of experience with domestic and international non-profit organizations, through which she has developed a passion for teaching, mentoring and youth development. Prior to arriving at Urban Alliance, Christine served as Co-Director of The Peace Project in Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua, where she led youth enrichment, adult Spanish literacy, high school scholarship and ESL programs, and co-founded Proyecto CocoMango – a grassroots community development organization. She served for two years as Program Coordinator with the Farmer-to- Farmer Program at Partners of the Americas, where she coordinated hands-on agricultural training by US volunteers in Latin America to build the capacity of local agriculturalists. Christine also spent a year in Cuenca, Ecuador, as a volunteer ESL instructor with WorldTeach. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, Christine has a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a Spanish and Latin American Culture minor.

Isabel Alcalde

Program Director

Isabel joined Urban Alliance in May 2016 as a Northern Virginia Program Coordinator. Prior to joining Urban Alliance, Isabel served as a Program Coordinator for a youth civic engagement organization in Virginia. In that role, she worked with various high school student leaders, community organizations and community leaders to get out the Youth Vote. During her Peace Corps Service in Costa Rica, Isabel completed various projects, including leading workshops that addressed issues related to economics, social justice, financial

management, business practices and self-esteem for community members. A graduate of Marymount University in Arlington, VA, Isabel has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. She is currently working on her Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Women and Gender Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Isabel is looking forward bringing her knowledge and skills to the table and collaborating with everyone who contributes to the excellence at Urban Alliance.

Richa Bhattarai

Program Coordinator - High School Internship Preparatory Program

Richa joined Urban Alliance in August 2018 as Program Coordinator for the High School Internship Preparatory Program (HIPP) in Northern Virginia. She grew up in Kathmandu, Nepal where she volunteered to teach English to middle and high school students. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD where she studied the Great Books Program. During her time at St. John’s, Richa worked for the Admissions Office, and had summer internships at nonprofit organizations. In the past, Richa has worked with adolescent girls in Nepal to identify barriers in their education. Richa wants to inspire Northern Virginia youth to succeed in their academic and professional life by being an encouraging and resourceful Program Coordinator.

Elise Denman

Program Coordinator

Elise joined Urban Alliance’s Northern Virginia team in April 2018 as a Program Coordinator. Prior to her time with UA, Elise served schools in Washington D.C. through AmeriCorps programs Teach For America and City Year. During her time in the classroom, she taught special education for grades 6-8 in both the inclusion and resource settings. Additionally, Elise spent two summers interning with District of Columbia Public Schools through the Urban Education Leaders Internship Program (UELIP) working with the IMPACT and Extended School Year teams. She gives back to her internship program by serving on the UELIP Alumni Board as the External Relations Chair. Elise graduated from the University of Florida with a BA in political science and a minor in education.

Alexis Hardy-Wills

Program Coordinator

Alexis Hardy-Wills joined Urban Alliance in August 2018 as a Program Coordinator in Northern Virginia. Before joining UA, she served as an AmeriCorps Achievement Fellow with Higher Achievement—a nonprofit organization specializing in middle school academic enrichment. In this role, her main focus was high school preparation for underserved eighth grade students, including assisting students and families with the high school application process in Washington, D.C. Alexis also has previous teaching experience with Kindergarten, fifth, and sixth grade students. Her years of mentoring, teaching, and building connections with young people are evidence of her strong passion for education. Alexis attended Spelman College in Atlanta, GA where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Anthropology.

Alasia Washington

Program Coordinator

Alasia joined Urban Alliance in August 2018 as a Program Coordinator in Northern Virginia. Prior to her role, Alasia worked as a Program Assistant for the American Council on Education where she focused on post-secondary credential completion, alternative credentialing, and credits for prior learning. Additionally, Alasia has previous experience working in higher education as an Orientation and Retention Specialist, assisting in guiding students through their academic journey from new student orientation to graduation, with an emphasis on minority populations.

Alasia received her undergraduate degree in Human Development and Sociology from Virginia Tech and her master’s degree in Public Administration with a focus on Social Policy from American University.

Christopher Young

Alumni Services Director

Chris joined Urban Alliance in December 2016 as a Program Coordinator with previous work experience in nonprofits, research, and development and took on the role of Alumni Services Director in August 2018. Prior to Urban Alliance, Chris worked with AmeriCorps coordinating service learning programs at Tennessee Wesleyan College for under-resourced communities. In other prior roles, Chris served as a research assistant for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) working primarily on policy analysis and research in relation to mental health. Chris comes to Urban Alliance having recently completed his Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in Public Policy Analysis and Nonprofit Management.