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VPP and Urban Alliance Announce a Partnership to Provide Career Skills to Youth in Northern Virginia

Region’s leading venture philanthropy organization to invest $2.8 million to support Urban Alliance growth throughout the region

(Washington, D.C., November 27, 2012) Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) and Urban Alliance today announced a partnership that will enable hundreds of low income students across the National Capital Region to obtain marketable career skills. VPP will make an investment of $2.8 million over four years in Urban Alliance, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit that places local high school students into internships with local employers and the federal government, providing them with valuable workforce training while supporting them in the transition to college and other post-secondary options.

Graduates of the Urban Alliance program have gone on to graduate from leading universities and to obtain jobs with some of the region’s top companies including Deloitte, DLA Piper and the IRS. This investment will support Urban Alliance’s expansion in the region, initially in Northern Virginia with the potential for future growth into suburban Maryland.

“At VPP, our mission is to invest in organizations that can help the most disadvantaged young people in our region reach their full potential and become successful, contributing adults,” said VPP President and CEO Carol Thompson Cole. “For the past 16 years, Urban Alliance has been doing just that, enabling kids who might otherwise fall through the cracks gain the skills they need to find good jobs and attend college. We are pleased that this partnership will allow Urban Alliance to expand into the suburbs, where child poverty rates are climbing and where many of our children are now in crisis.”

VPP’s recently released report “Capital Kids: Shared Responsibility, Shared Future” found that while childhood poverty in the District of Columbia exceeds rates in Mexico, poverty is also rising sharply for children in some of the region’s most affluent suburbs, more than doubling in Montgomery County and quadrupling in the city of Alexandria in recent years.

“At Urban Alliance, our mission is to help young people from some of the poorest neighborhoods in this region prepare for a world of work and life of self-sufficiency by providing them access to meaningful paid internships, training, and mentoring,” said Urban Alliance Board Chair Mary Zients. “We are delighted to be partnering with VPP, which has long been a leader in helping to support local nonprofits in the fight for better futures for all children.”

Through the VPP investment, Urban Alliance will expand into Northern Virginia, to serve an additional 200 youth across the region through its high school internship program and 70 alumni as a part of its innovative Alumni Services Initiative, which continues to monitor and support program participants as they move on to college and full-time careers. It will also provide its workforce skills training to over 1,000 youth in the region and explore continued growth opportunities in suburban Maryland.

“Not only will this partnership help Urban Alliance build new job sites and increase our visibility with potential employers, it will enable us to significantly build up our internal staffing capacity to position us for long-term growth and to influence youth employment and workforce development policies in the National Capital Region,” said Urban Alliance Chief Executive Officer Veronica Nolan.

Urban Alliance is also a member of VPP’s youthCONNECT initiative, a pioneering public-private partnership that brings together a network of six high-performing nonprofits with support from VPP, the federal Social Innovation Fund and other local foundations.

Contact: Leslie Aun for VPP (202) 263-4797 (office) (703) 517-4550 (cell) laun@vppartners.org

Wendy-Ann Dixon-DuBois for Urban Alliance (202) 459-4311 (office) wdixon@theurbanalliance.org

About VPP Venture Philanthropy Partners makes the future brighter for youth living in the National Capital Region by tackling the largest barriers to their success and forging partnerships that bring the expertise, passion and reach necessary to achieve life-changing results. Over the past 12 years, VPP has raised $90 million to help children and youth of low-income families in the National Capital Region access quality education, health care and career training – setting them on the right path to learn, graduate, and become successful, healthy adults. This funding, coupled with our management expertise and support in strengthening staff leadership, has increased the capacity of local nonprofits to help them serve over 15,000 children and youth across the region each year. For more information, visit www.vppartners.org.

About Urban Alliance Urban Alliance is the leading non-profit organization providing internships and job skills training to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Chicago high school students from under-resourced communities. Founded in 1996 in an inner city D.C. high school, Urban Alliance has grown to serve more than 1,000 youth, preparing them for college, work, and life while sowing the seeds for financial independence. For more information, please visit www.theurbanalliance.org