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Partnership created to keep Birmingham’s talented students in the city

Two groups in Birmingham have partnered to created LaunchED, a new program that aims to make sure accomplished public school students in the Magic City experience the opportunities available in their hometown.

The ultimate goal of the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) and the Birmingham Education Foundation, the two groups that formed the partnership, is to keep talented students in Birmingham as they begin their adult lives and careers.

“Our Birmingham City School alums have limitless potential, and we are excited at the Birmingham Education Foundation to partner with the BBA to ensure we connect them to opportunities to work and grow as leaders in Birmingham,” said J.W. Carpenter, executive director of the Birmingham Education Foundation, in a statement.

LaunchED is currently seeking employers willing to offer internships to alumni of Birmingham City Schools in the summer of 2021.

The opportunities available through LaunchED will be targeted towards current college students who graduated from Birmingham’s public school system. The program is looking to provide “high-quality, paid internships” among companies and organizations in Birmingham.

Businesses or any other group in Birmingham that has a paid summer internship to offer can email Karla Khodanian – kkhodanian@birminghambusinessalliance.com – with details of the opportunity.

“This is an intentional recruitment strategy that targets students who already have close ties to our community, establishing a pipeline of support for Birmingham City Schools students beyond graduation day. It’s investing in the next generation of workforce so they can invest back into our community one day,” stated Khodanian, manager of talent and higher education partnerships at the BBA.

Carolyn Williams, program manager for the Birmingham Education Foundation, said, “We want students to know that they are wanted and valued. This program will teach students skill mobility and provide them with mentorship and guidance from seasoned professionals. Evidence shows that students who receive internships in college are more equipped to excel in professional settings. As a Birmingham City School alumna, I know that our alumni have limitless potential. This program provides a pathway for students to maximize it.”

Once established, the internships available as part of LaunchED will be accessed at OnBoard Birmingham.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@new-yhn.local or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.