An important facet of Hands on DC’s impact in Washington has been funding continued education for Washington DC Public School graduates. Over the last two decades Hands on DC volunteers have raised more than $700,000 for college scholarships. These funds have benefited deserving local students, who use the money to help pay for the education they need to create brighter futures for themselves.

Partnership with Urban Alliance

From 2012 to 2015, Hands on DC engaged in a new partnership with Urban Alliance to continue our tradition of scholarship giving. Urban Alliance, a leading non-profit that works in DC to provide internships and jobs skills training to DCPS high school students, helped to identify students and administer funds. The partnership was focused on providing new scholarship opportunities to Washington D.C. high school students who exemplified service to the community and a commitment to continued education. While the official partnership between Urban Alliance and Hands on DC has ended, the impact of their association should not be understated.

Spirit of Service Scholarship

This scholarship initiative, created by Hands on DC and the Urban Alliance as an opportunity unique to this partnership, was be awarded to interns who understood the importance of giving back to their community and demonstrated need in financing college enrollment. Urban Alliance/Hands on DC awarded scholarships of at least $7,500 to interns meeting the following criteria:

  • Participated in one Hands on DC volunteer event during their senior year of high school
  • Received a recommendation from their Program Coordinator to apply for the scholarship
  • Developed their post-high school plan which has been reviewed by their Urban Alliance PC
  • Written a short essay (500 words/1 type-written page) relating to the Spirit of Service
  • Completed a short (10 minute) interview with a combined group of Hands on DC staff and Urban Alliance Mentors.

Intern Excellence Award

Hands on DC also provided funds to support the existing Urban Alliance Intern Excellence Award. Hands on DC’s contribution was made in the form of a matching fund, aimed at increasing the contribution of Urban Alliance mentors to supporting graduates, and increasing the overall sustainability of the program. The selection process for scholarship recipients included a recommendation by an Intern’s Mentor, a brief application to be filled out by the Intern, and a voting process by all Mentors who have contributed.