Staff

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

Monique Rizer

Executive Director

Monique Rizer is the Executive Director of Urban Alliance D.C. She previously served as executive director of Opportunity Nation, which works to ensure all people in the United States have an equal opportunity to succeed. Under her leadership, the campaign expanded partnerships with national brands like PwC, developed a new Opportunity Index, and provided platforms for two bipartisan bill introductions in the United States Senate. Previously, Monique was deputy director of military spouse programs for the Military Officers Association of America, where she founded “Keeping a Career on the Move®”. The program earned the American Society for Association Executives ‘Power of A’ Silver Award.

Monique is a national spokesperson on economic opportunity and has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Black Enterprise, and NPR, and served as a speaker of choice for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United Negro College Fund, among others. Monique is a first-generation college student and attended community college. She was selected as the first class of Gates Millennium Scholars, which allowed her to complete a B.A. from Gonzaga University and M.S. from Syracuse University. Monique is also the mother of two sons; her younger son is in high school and the eldest attends college while also serving as infantryman in the U.S. Army National Guard.

Laurentiis Gaines

PROGRAM SPECIALIST - Montgomery County

Laurentiis Gaines, Jr. joined the Urban Alliance team as the World Bank Program Coordinator in summer 2018. He stayed on to serve as the Program Coordinator for Montgomery County during the 2018-19 program year and became the region’s Program Specialist in August 2019. A native of Augusta, GA, he received his B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Spanish from Albany State University in southwest Georgia. Prior to joining Urban Alliance, Laurentiis spent a year at AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) providing national and community service opportunities to disadvantaged youth. He considers voter education, rights, and participation, particularly for youth, to be some of his biggest passions.

Mukta Ghorpadey

Alumni Services Manager

Mukta Ghorpadey joined Urban Alliance as a Washington, D.C. Program Coordinator in January 2018 and became the region’s Alumni Services Manager in May 2019. She received her bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Women’s Studies from The George Washington University. Before coming to Urban Alliance, Mukta was as an advocate for public housing, working with public housing authorities across the country to ensure that every family has a safe and affordable place to live. She believes deeply in Urban Alliance’s mission and is excited to empower young people through employment as a Program Coordinator.

Francesca (Fran) Glover

Program Manager - Community-Based Programs

Francesca joined Urban Alliance in 2018 as the Suitland HS Program Specialist, and became the Program Manager for Community-Based Programs in the Washington, DC region in August 2019. She received her B.S. in Human Services from St. John’s University in Queens, New York, then returned home to work in the community she was born and raised in, Southeast DC. Before joining Urban Alliance, Francesca worked for City Year DC in the schools providing academic interventions and social-emotional mentoring to high school students. She spent her last two years at City Year supporting AmeriCorps training and creating resources for their secondary school’s social-emotional and attendance interventions.

Shevana Henry

Program Associate

Shevana Henry joined Urban Alliance in June 2019 as the 2019 World Bank Summer Program Coordinator in the Washington, D.C. region and became a Program Associate in fall 2019. Shevana is originally from New York City, and studied sociology and criminal justice at the University of Albany. She worked with City Year for two years in Washington, D.C. teaching in a 4th grade classroom, then as a team leader for 7 Corps Members.

Jasmine Logan

Program Coordinator

Jasmine joined Urban Alliance D.C. in April 2019 as a Program Coordinator for the Economic Club summer internship program and transitioned to a year-round Program Coordinator in August 2019. Prior to Urban Alliance, Jasmine worked for the Prince George’s County Public School System as a Parent Engagement Coordinator and Cheerleading Coach on the high school level. Jasmine also had the pleasure to work for The Maryland Center at Bowie State University for five summers as their Lead Program Coordinator, managing the Prince George’s County Youth Career Connect Summer Capstone Challenge programs, which include: cyber security, homeland security, and art of measurement programs. Her programs exposed high school and college students to real-world industry challenges presented by leading industry experts, allowing participants to learn how to collaborate to solve real world problems by using innovative solutions. Jasmine has created program outlines that exceeded expectations and increased program success rates. She has been successful in being able to address learning, behavioral, and personal care needs for individuals and families. She truly enjoys working with people and being involved in positive development. Jasmine holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

 

Evan Metz

External Partnerships Manager

Evan joined Urban Alliance in April 2018 as a Curriculum Outreach Specialist, and became External Partnerships Manager for the Washington, D.C. program in October 2018. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Foreign Affairs. Her passion for working with youth began as a summer camp counselor when she was 16, and grew in her work teaching English abroad and as a study abroad program assistant. Prior to joining Urban Alliance, she served as an AmeriCorps member with City Year in Miami, Florida, providing academic interventions and social-emotional mentoring to high school students.

Laura Montgomery

Program Manager - High School Internship Program

Laura joined Urban Alliance as a Program Coordinator in August 2016 and became the Program Manager of the High School Internship Program in D.C. in August 2018. She is a proud graduate of Virginia Tech where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Laura began her time at Urban Alliance in the summer of 2014 as a Communication and Curriculum Outreach Intern. She went on to serve as the Program Coordinator to the summer internship programs the following two summers. Laura is grateful for the opportunity to work with Urban Alliance and empower the young people of DC.

Sahaan Sozhamannan

Program Director

Sahaan joined Urban Alliance as Program Director for the Washington, D.C. region in August 2018. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Sahaan graduated from Boston College where he majored in both biology and sociology. After graduation, he taught biology and coached baseball at Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He left teaching to complete his master’s degree in Health Education and Health Communication. He recently completed a fellowship with Global Health Corps where he served as the Schools Program Manager for The Grassroot Project in DC. While at The Grassroot Project, he also served as a mentor for two Urban Alliance interns, and was awarded Urban Alliance D.C.’s Mentor of the Year Award in 2018.

Heather Urban

Program Coordinator

Heather Urban joined Urban Alliance D.C. as a Program Coordinator in January 2019. After completing her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Kutztown University, Heather relocated to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area where she pursued her passion for working with students by completing her Master of Education in School Counseling at the University of Maryland. Before joining Urban Alliance, Heather spent three years as a school counselor for Prince George’s County Public Schools. Her love for fostering student growth and creating opportunities for career exposure and access led her to pursue her passion with Urban Alliance.