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DC Youths Take on Global Development

Program Places Public High School Students in World Bank Summer Internships

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Urban Alliance announced today that 22 District of Columbia public high school students have been selected for coveted summer internship positions at the World Bank.  The interns will spend the summer tackling some of the world's most difficult poverty issues, supporting staff on projects that range from judicial system reform in Honduras to AIDS awareness in Guinea.  "This is an experience that few students have at any point in their educational career," commented Veronica Nolan, Executive Director of the Urban Alliance. "A World Bank internship provides students with a work experience and unique global perspective that will allow them to excel as they move forward with their education and career."

The interns are public school students from under-resourced neighborhoods in DC. Starting in mid-June, they will spend 32 hours a week working at the World Bank in jobs that range from communications to environmental strategy, and attend weekly internship trainings developed by the Bank.  "We seek to develop the entire student," noted Viki Betancourt, Manager of Community Outreach at the World Bank. "Learning how to combat poverty and that the face of poverty changes depending on where you are in the world is only a part of this experience. Learning to work with others who are different from you, and even how to manage your own personal finances, is also what we are trying to teach."

The World Bank internships are made available to students through the Urban Alliance Internship Program.  The program combines training, mentoring, and career planning with unique internship opportunities at participating organizations that include Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Marriott.  Now in its seventh year, the partnership with the World Bank has resulted in over 170 placements, with many students going on to study global issues and even landing positions at U.S. Aid for International Development (USAID).  "Our success is the result of the involvement and hard work of our partners," said Meaghan Woodbury, Director of Corporate Partnerships at the Urban Alliance. "Organizations like the World Bank not only open their workplaces to our students and pay them, but the staff provides hundreds of hours of volunteer time to act as Mentors." 

The news of being accepted for the World Bank internship thrilled the incoming students.  "I wanted to work at the World Bank for job experience and networking," said Selam Amare, a student at Bell Multicultural High School and one of incoming interns.  "I'm excited to meet people who work in development, learning about their experience and what they do day to day. It is a career that I would like to do in the future."

The Urban Alliance is a DC-based non-profit organization focused on supporting the college and career aspirations of youth through a connection to the workforce. Through its work in three regions, it provides youth in distressed areas access to professional growth experiences through paid internships, formal training, and mentorship.  Since the inception of the Urban Alliance Internship Program in 1996, over 1,400 seniors from schools in low-income neighborhoods in Baltimore and DC have completed the program. These students have nearly a 100 percent high-school graduation rate, and close to 90 percent have gone on to attend college. 

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