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IRD and UPO Partner to Host International Career Day for Washington D.C. Ninth Graders

Date: April 6 2012

ARLINGTON, VA International Relief and Development (IRD), a major implementer of U.S. foreign assistance and a leader in the international stabilization and development community, hosted a career day on Wednesday for ninth graders who are a part of the United Planning Organization’s (UPO) POWER program.

The students, who all attend high schools in Washington D.C.’s Anacostia and Congress Heights neighborhoods, heard from a panel of IRD staff about careers working in international development: the skill sets such jobs require, the importance of learning languages, and the personal satisfaction that comes from learning about other cultures and making a difference in people’s lives. The students also visited booths set up by each of IRD’s offices, including health, infrastructure, logistics, stabilization, compliance, human resources, and IT. Students asked questions about the skills needed and classes they should take to succeed in each area.

“IRD feels it’s important to inspire the next generation and share with them the many opportunities that exist for them in development or in other fields,” said Ingrid Fitzgerald, IRD Chief of Administration. “Today’s career fair was a chance to give back to our own community in the same way we help improve the lives of young people worldwide.”

UPO’s POWER initiative (Providing Opportunities With Educational Readiness), mentors students between grades 7 and 12, encouraging them to pursue higher education and to become successful, contributing members of the community.

About United Planning Organization (UPO):

UPO is the Community Action Agency for Washington, D.C. and is at the forefront of the fight to improve the lives of Washington, D.C. residents. Our mission – Uniting People with Opportunities- is realized through our work in the areas of education, employment training, housing, and family services for low-income residents. UPO is committed to improving the lives of all Washingtonians and seeks to be not only a source for good but a catalyst for change.

About International Relief and Development (IRD):

IRD is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization responsible for implementing relief, stabilization, and development programs worldwide. IRD's mission is to reduce the suffering of the world's most vulnerable groups and provide the tools and resources needed to increase their self-sufficiency. Specializing in meeting the needs of communities emerging from conflict or natural disaster, IRD partners with donors, local organizations, and many others to deliver sustainable services in agriculture, governance, health, and infrastructure.

For more information on IRD, visit, and visit the IRD Voices blog to read first-hand accounts from IRD staff in the field. You can also stay up-to-date on IRD’s latest news by following us on Facebook, Twitter (@ird_voices), Flickr, or YouTube.

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