Urban Alliance (UA), a Washington, D.C.-based national youth development nonprofit organization, today announced it has brought its flagship youth employment model to Detroit with support from the Detroit-based Quicken Loans Family of Companies, which will serve as the program’s anchor employer in the city.
UA’s High School Internship Program offers high school seniors from underserved communities professional development and work experience.
A pilot group of 40 students from Breithaupt Career and Technical Center, Osborn High School, and Randolph Career and Technical Center will participate in a 10-month paid, professional internship that is part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer; job and life-skills training; one-on-one mentoring; post-high school planning assistance; and lifelong college and career support.
UA is expected to expand to additional schools and serve more than 250 students over the next four years. The program’s goal is to open the door to new possibilities for Detroit students and ensure that every intern is on a pathway to self-sufficiency.
The Quicken Loans Community Fund (QLCF) will offer financial support, and the Quicken Loans Family of Companies will host 30 interns annually over the next two years. UA’s long-time partner Bank of America will host an additional five interns per year, and the last five will be placed at local nonprofits.
“At Urban Alliance, we believe that it truly takes a village to build brighter futures for our youth, so we are honored to be joining the Detroit community and helping to expand economic opportunities for young people in the city,” says Eshauna Smith, CEO of UA.
“Our primary goal is always to provide meaningful youth employment opportunities for as many young people who need them as possible, and the local support we’ve received – particularly from our anchor employer Quicken Loans Family of Companies – helps us reach that goal. We look forward to working with the entire community to open more doors for the talented young people of this city.”
The QLCF brings together for-profit and nonprofit investments to maximize its impact on Detroit. It committed $1 million to Breithaupt Career and Technical Center earlier this year to improve infrastructure, expand programming, and boost enrollment. It also joined the mayor’s office to revitalize Randolph Career and Technical Center.
“Investing in our future workforce – and Detroit students – is important from both a business and philanthropic standpoint at the Quicken Loans Family of Companies. Youth employment strategies strengthen our business and city,” says Bill Emerson, vice chairman of Quicken Loans Community Fund. “At Quicken Loans and our family of companies, we are committed to introducing young people to multiple opportunities and experiences which will ultimately shape their life goals, grow their options, and help prepare them to become Detroit’s future leaders.”
UA has more than 20 years of experience providing workforce opportunities to thousands of economically-disadvantaged students in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Virginia. A recent six-year study found that completing the program had a measurable impact on young men attending college, mid-GPA students enrolling in four-year colleges, and students’ retention of professional soft skills.
All of UA students graduate from high school, more than 90 percent are accepted to college, a further 80 percent of enrolled alumni persist to a second year of college, and 80 percent of all alumni are connected to a college, career, or career training pathway one year post-program. More than 80 percent of UA alumni enroll in college, compared to 61 percent of Detroit Public Schools Community District graduates.
QLCF operates under a for-more-than-profit philosophy that invests in comprehensive community development across Detroit, Cleveland, Charlotte, and Phoenix.
Quicken Loans is the nation’s largest home mortgage lender, and the company closed more than $400 billion of mortgage volume across all 50 states from 2013-2017. The Quicken Loans Family of Companies is the largest employer in Detroit.