Our Stories

Urban Alliance: Hire an Intern, Change a Life


In partnership with over 200 employers, including EDENS, Urban Alliance empowers students to access upwardly mobile careers while supporting the development of diverse talent pipelines. Its signature High School Internship Program provides job skills training, mentoring and paid internships to underserved high school seniors to prevent disconnection from school and work before it occurs and expand their idea of what’s possible for the future.

Property Management at Union Market District in Washington, DC, is a busy prospect for a teenage intern, where a variety of real-world tasks are assigned: data entry, market pop-up tracking, mail sorting and managing print collateral and signage for both the Market and La Cosecha. A lot is expected of these young people with the intent of setting them up for future success.


The environment at EDENS is completely different than my previous job and I think it was a great shift to teach me how the real world works. I’ve learned that teamwork is important, and everybody’s ideas are valuable. This internship has taught me a professional work ethic, understanding workload and time management—which will help me in college.

Lesly Vasquez Senior - McKinley Technology High School

Following the conclusion of her Urban Alliance internship in July 2022, EDENS was lucky to keep Lesly Vasquez on for an additional five months as an employee. She is halfway through her first year at the University of Maryland-College Park as an architecture student—a goal she set out to achieve while still in high school. She recently accepted a new job as a receptionist and reports back that it wouldn’t have been possible if not for the support and assistance from her EDENS mentor, Jennifer Battle.

Our 2023 Urban Alliance intern, Yonas Geremew, has assumed Lesly’s duties on the Property Management team while making his own mark. Born in Ethiopia and currently living in DC’s Fort Totten neighborhood, Yonas is growing in confidence and competence, with a particular focus on refining his written and verbal communication skills.

Urban Alliance has provided more than 6,000 young people with paid internships across Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit and Greater Washington, DC (including Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, MD, and Northern VA).