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Let's Recode Their Future

Good for the Community × Good for Business

 
Donate to Inspire

We seek to improve the career trajectory for the smart, the motivated, and unfortunately, the often overlooked talent in Washington DC

Through technology training, UPO Inspire aspires to improve career prospects for DC residents who are committed to pursuing a path towards sustainability.  Because when people work their way out of poverty, good things happen.  Positive contributions to society.  Local businesses have access to top rated technical skills.  It's a win-win. 

We aim to produce a steady stream of qualified graduates  but we cannot achieve our goals alone. Find out how you can help.

The Program

In partnership with Secure Tech 360, students undergo comprehensive well-rounded IT training covering help desk support, technical professional development, and career and social coaching.  32 weeks in duration (at a minimum) combining in-class sessions and internships, students receive their CompTIA A+ certification upon successful completion.

Phase 1:  12 weeks

Technology certification training, professional development and work readiness.

Phase 2: 8 weeks

Internship placements with local businesses and governments including various branches of the DC government, Conservation International, University of Maryland, Verizon, Hewlett Packard and many more.  Mentors work closely to ensure a positive outcome for both employers and students.

phase 3:  Minimum of 90 days

Job placement and retention with local employers, including government, commercial and non-profit organizations.   Students gain real world experience in IT customer service, problem solving and professional development.  Employers gain a qualified and motivated team player.


My life has changed and I’m in a better place overall to help my family and career
— Evan, 2015 Graduate

Our Impact

To date, over 200 people have successfully completed the program and received their certifications.  This means an increase in individuals with improved economic mobility - from working poor to middle class.  And brighter prospects for continued career and financial advancement.  And higher tax revenues returned to the community.  Good for citizens, good for business and good for society.

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81% Placement Rate

 

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$35 - 60K  Starting Salary

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85% Employment retention Rate

 

Before I was taking any job I could but NOW I know what I can do. I have developed a marketable skill and I can put it to good use
— Jarvis, 2015 Graduate

Success Stories

Lamont K. is currently employed full time with the U.S. Army’s Health Defense Headquarters performing Help Desk Support, earning a starting salary of $45,000 with benefits.  Lamont’s new duties include reimaging, troubleshooting and providing support for well over 700 Pentagon employees and staff.

Prior to attending the UPOIT program Lamont was a 2014 high school graduate seeking a career path.  Following the recommendation of a friend, he enrolled in the UPOIT program and credits his decision with drastically changing his life.  According to Lamont, “I now feel like I am on the path towards building a career for myself.  I like what I am doing and look forward to new horizons”.


Alexus was working as a residential concierge at an apartment complex.   Her goal was to find a career path that would support her and her child.  She followed her boyfriend who was in the prior class and made it her goal to become a help desk professional.  

Alexus is currently employed as a contractor with The U.S. Department of Labor as a Tier I Service Desk Specialist following a successful internship with Department of Human Services (DHS).  According to Alexus, “I like what I do.  Life is way better financially.  Mentally I have matured and I look forward to getting up and going to work.”


After recently giving birth to her first child, Allyse K. was having a rough time finding employment. She knew that finding a “decent job” that could turn into a career would be difficult due to her lack of education and training. So she set out to find an opportunity that would cover all bases for her.  “UPOIT had been a life changing experience for some of my friends and I saw firsthand how it could lead you into a career in a rapidly growing industry. I did my research and learned that it is predicted that the demand for help desk workers will increase by 18% over the next year. So I felt that I would be in a great position if I could get into this program.

And get into to a “great position” she did. Allyse K. completed all of the components in fine fashion, constantly receiving praised for her attitude, effort, and dedication throughout the process. She was one of the top field workers in her internship placement with the District’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) and recently received and offer of employment from OCTO to continue her good work on a full-time basis. “I want to be able to provide a wonderful life for my daughter and to show her that when you apply hard work and dedication to anything you do, you will succeed”. 

 

About Us

UPO Inspire is working with UPO, Washington DC's Community Action Agency, a leader in providing services to break the cycle of poverty.  Inspire Foundation is focused on creating opportunities for smart motivated, but underserved, youth to strengthen their career prospects through IT training.   We are lawyers, bankers, business owners but most importantly, dedicated changemakers who seek to deliver transformational opportunities to those less fortunate.  

With your support, we can affect real positive change and enable our graduates to be positive contributors to society and the local economy.  

  John Oberdorfer   John is a big enthusiast of UPO and UPO Inspire . He is president and chair of the board of UPO Inspire, and previously served for 8 years on the UPO board, including 3 as Chair.  A life-long resident of Washington, John had an interesting and satisfying law practice at Patton Boggs and then Squire Patton Boggs, before retiring in June 2015.  He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Yale Law School.

John Oberdorfer

John is a big enthusiast of UPO and UPO Inspire . He is president and chair of the board of UPO Inspire, and previously served for 8 years on the UPO board, including 3 as Chair.

A life-long resident of Washington, John had an interesting and satisfying law practice at Patton Boggs and then Squire Patton Boggs, before retiring in June 2015.  He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Yale Law School.

  David Farber   David is a partner at King & Spalding specializing in litigation, regulatory matters, and public policy, with a focus on healthcare, Medicare and Medicaid issues.  In 2016, David was awarded the Hyman Bookbinder award, recognizing his work with the Jewish community.  Beyond his law career, David loves to bike, play guitar, watch his daughters dance with Texas Ballet Theater, jump horses, and root for the Hoosiers.

David Farber

David is a partner at King & Spalding specializing in litigation, regulatory matters, and public policy, with a focus on healthcare, Medicare and Medicaid issues.

In 2016, David was awarded the Hyman Bookbinder award, recognizing his work with the Jewish community.  Beyond his law career, David loves to bike, play guitar, watch his daughters dance with Texas Ballet Theater, jump horses, and root for the Hoosiers.

  Gladys Mack   Gladys is a retired executive who has worked in  Federal and District Governments Agencies, and the United Planning Organization (UPO). She held cabinet level appointments by District of Columbia Mayors Marion Barry and Anthony Williams.   At UPO, Ms. Mack served as  Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer and is currently a member and officer of the UPO Inspire Foundation.   Ms. Mack was inducted  into the District of Columbia Hall of Fame in 2003.

Gladys Mack

Gladys is a retired executive who has worked in  Federal and District Governments Agencies, and the United Planning Organization (UPO). She held cabinet level appointments by District of Columbia Mayors Marion Barry and Anthony Williams.   At UPO, Ms. Mack served as  Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer and is currently a member and officer of the UPO Inspire Foundation.   Ms. Mack was inducted  into the District of Columbia Hall of Fame in 2003.

  Dr. Rev. Charlie Parker   Charlie is the Senior Pastor at the National United Methodist Church. A tireless advocate for the most vulnerable and disenfranchised residents of Washington DC, Charlie served as the Executive Director of two non-profit ministries: Bread for the City and Emmaus Services for the Aging.  Charlie, his wife Jeannine Sanford and their two children live in Washington, D.C 

Dr. Rev. Charlie Parker

Charlie is the Senior Pastor at the National United Methodist Church. A tireless advocate for the most vulnerable and disenfranchised residents of Washington DC, Charlie served as the Executive Director of two non-profit ministries: Bread for the City and Emmaus Services for the Aging.

Charlie, his wife Jeannine Sanford and their two children live in Washington, D.C 

  Scott Jacobs   Scott Jacobs the President of New Century US. New Century US (NCUS) is a global leader in building host nation law enforcement, military capacity and institutional reform. NCUS delivers programs that train vetted and approved civilian organizations on a range of policing tactics and security sector reform to enhance their ability to detect and dismantle criminal networks.

Scott Jacobs

Scott Jacobs the President of New Century US. New Century US (NCUS) is a global leader in building host nation law enforcement, military capacity and institutional reform. NCUS delivers programs that train vetted and approved civilian organizations on a range of policing tactics and security sector reform to enhance their ability to detect and dismantle criminal networks.

  Mike Harreld   Mike is a leader in the financial services industry, holding executive positions at Citizen Fidelity and PNC where he was Washington DC’s Regional President until his retirement in 2016.     A dedicated champion to poverty alleviation, he has received numerous awards Greater Louisville Inc.'s Gold Cup Award; and the Metropolitan Housing Coalition's Different Hero Award for his persistent commitment to affordable housing programs and related issues.

Mike Harreld

Mike is a leader in the financial services industry, holding executive positions at Citizen Fidelity and PNC where he was Washington DC’s Regional President until his retirement in 2016.     A dedicated champion to poverty alleviation, he has received numerous awards Greater Louisville Inc.'s Gold Cup Award; and the Metropolitan Housing Coalition's Different Hero Award for his persistent commitment to affordable housing programs and related issues.

  Elayne Chow   Elayne is a global sh*t disturber.  Literally.  As co-founder of Sankoya Technologies, Elayne is focused on reinventing the toilet to improve lives of 2.5 Billion people who currently lack access to appropriate facilities..  A dedicated do-gooder on this side of the ocean as well, she volunteers for UPO, Compass and Girls on the Run.  A Canadian transplant, Elayne now calls DC home.  She is a graduate of University of Waterloo and Cornell.

Elayne Chow

Elayne is a global sh*t disturber.  Literally.  As co-founder of Sankoya Technologies, Elayne is focused on reinventing the toilet to improve lives of 2.5 Billion people who currently lack access to appropriate facilities..

A dedicated do-gooder on this side of the ocean as well, she volunteers for UPO, Compass and Girls on the Run.  A Canadian transplant, Elayne now calls DC home.  She is a graduate of University of Waterloo and Cornell.

  John Jameson   John Jameson is President of Winning Connections, a Washington political consulting firm whose clients range from Everytown for Gun Safety and Planned Parenthood to the Sierra Club and American Cancer Society. John earned a BA from Millsaps College, a JD from Duke and an MBA from Harvard. He has served on boards of Christ Episcopal Church, International Bridges to Justice, and the Ballot Initiatives Strategy Center. John, a Mississippi native, lives in Washington, DC.

John Jameson

John Jameson is President of Winning Connections, a Washington political consulting firm whose clients range from Everytown for Gun Safety and Planned Parenthood to the Sierra Club and American Cancer Society. John earned a BA from Millsaps College, a JD from Duke and an MBA from Harvard. He has served on boards of Christ Episcopal Church, International Bridges to Justice, and the Ballot Initiatives Strategy Center. John, a Mississippi native, lives in Washington, DC.

  Jacqueline Kinlow   Jacqueline is the current chair of UPO.  An accomplished author, she was ghostwriter and amanuensis for “Lorenzo and His Parents,” and “L’Olio di Lorenzo,” respectively.  She also authored “Dear America,” which is scheduled to be published later this year.  Ms. Kinlow is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied government and international relations. 

Jacqueline Kinlow

Jacqueline is the current chair of UPO.  An accomplished author, she was ghostwriter and amanuensis for “Lorenzo and His Parents,” and “L’Olio di Lorenzo,” respectively.  She also authored “Dear America,” which is scheduled to be published later this year.

Ms. Kinlow is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied government and international relations. 

  Clifford Barnes   Cliff   is a member of Epstein Becker Green in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice in the and serves as Co-Chair of the firm's Health Plan Compliance Group.  Mr. Barnes is the Co-Founder of Medicaid Health Plans of America, Inc., and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Accountable Care Organization Task Force of the American Health Lawyers Association. In 2016, Mr. Barnes was selected to the  Washington DC Super Lawyers  list in the area of Health Care. 

Clifford Barnes

Cliff is a member of Epstein Becker Green in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice in the and serves as Co-Chair of the firm's Health Plan Compliance Group.  Mr. Barnes is the Co-Founder of Medicaid Health Plans of America, Inc., and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Accountable Care Organization Task Force of the American Health Lawyers Association. In 2016, Mr. Barnes was selected to the Washington DC Super Lawyers list in the area of Health Care. 

 

Take Action

 

Got time?  Skills?  Resources?  Job openings?  We need all the above.  There are many ways companies and individuals can support motivated youth, opening doors to a brighter more sustainable future.  

  • Provide an internship
  • Hire a new graduate
  • Host a training class
  • Teach a work skills training session
  • Make a donation

For more information, please contact Andrea Thomas at athomas @ upo.org

Donate to Inspire