Sandra Abrevaya, former U.S. Department of Education press secretary and current White House communications aide, is leaving Washington this month to take a different type of gig in the education world: She's becoming the very first executive director of the Chicago office of Urban Alliance.
Abrevaya's name is very familiar to education reporters—she served as a press aide to the Obama campaign, and then helped shape the department's message on big initiatives, including Race to the Top, the School Improvement Grants, and the education aid to states included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. And later, she helped coordinate White House announcements on education and other issues, including the administration's plan to offer states waivers from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Through it all, she put up with plenty of pleasant pestering from Politics K-12.
The Urban Alliance got started in Washington, D.C. and also has a branch in Baltimore. The non-profit places high school seniors from under-resourced communities in year-long internships in the workplace, to help prepare them for careers and life as self-sufficient adults. Students get access to mentoring, financial literacy workshops, and life-skills classes. Much more about the program here.