• Job posted by Friends of WHEELS (FoW)

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date


Application Deadline



New York
New York
United States



Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS) opened its doors in September 2006, as a new public school in District 6, home to one of the highest-need populations in New York City. Friends of WHEELS (FoW), an independent 501(c)3, was founded in 2012 to ensure that every student at WHEELS has the support they need to access higher education and succeed in college and beyond. We are currently delivering our college and career counseling and support to nearly 1000 current high school students and WHEELS alumni.

Statistically, our students face long odds of ever completing a postsecondary degree.

  • 90% are the first in their family to go to college
  • 93% are a minority
  • 100% receive free or reduced price lunch, an indicator of poverty

We connect with students early in high school to provide the information, counseling, and exposure necessary to help each student define a postsecondary path that best fits with their skills and career interests. In 12th grade, we provide individualized counseling and assistance to ensure each student can access an appropriate college opportunity. Then, we deliver continuing academic and financial guidance, and social/emotional support after high school so students enroll, persist, and graduate from their chosen post-secondary program, earning a degree that allows them to embark on a self-sustaining career.

Our results:

  • Last year, 97% of seniors graduated high school with a post-secondary plan
  • 82% of our graduating seniors enrolled in college—compared to a national average of just 46% for low-income students across the country

Our support enables WHEELS students and alumni to broaden their career opportunities, increase their earning potential, and serve as role models for their peers and those who follow in their footsteps. Our programming directly impacts the lives of nearly 1,000 students in the high-need Washington Heights neighborhood—and has a ripple effect that extends much further in impacting their families and the broader community. Through our innovative program, Friends of WHEELS is building a model for school-level college access and success that can be replicated in public schools across NYC and beyond.



As the Executive Director, you will oversee both the College Access and College Success programs to ensure that all WHEELS students and alumni have the tools, resources, and support they need to get into and graduate from college. You will lead development and partnerships, ensuring that our organization maintains financial stability while working with the staff and Board to continue to strategically grow and evolve our programs. 

The Executive Director will:

  1. Develop and implement a vision and strategy for the organization, including goal setting, program development, and data collection.
  2. Spearhead fundraising and development, building a sustainable funding pipeline and maintaining relationships with key foundations, corporations, and other stakeholders.
  3. Lead program evaluation; identify and capture metrics to assess the strengths of the program, identify areas for improvement, and prioritize and implement programmatic improvements.
  4. Bring and build subject matter expertise in college access and success, and nonprofit leadership.



Fundraising and Communication

  • Lead and manage overall development efforts to meet annual fundraising goals.
  • Strategically cultivate and nurture relationships with current and prospective funders.
  • Write grant applications for funding from foundations and corporate partners.
  • Utilize networks to diversify revenue, identify new funding sources, and opportunities for revenue generation.
  • Cultivate individual donors through stewardship plan.
  • Plan and execute annual Spring benefit and other events.
  • Maintain and update organization website and social media.
  • Manage all stakeholder communications.

Organizational and Financial Leadership

  • Lead a team of two full-time and two part-time employees.
  • Liaise with school leadership and staff on a daily basis to identify opportunities for greater collaboration and student support. 
  • Oversee the efficient and effective day-to-day operations of the organization.
  • Collaborate with staff and Board to develop an annual budget and provide quarterly financial reports, including updates on both revenue and expenses.
  • Identify technology tools and other resources to ensure administrative and programmatic efficiency.
  • Work with bookkeeper and accountant to produce annual financial documents, including 990 and financial statement review.

Board Leadership

  • Support, engage and collaborate with Board of Directors to develop a 5-year organizational plan.
  • Facilitate quarterly committee meetings and Board meetings.
  • Continue to grow the Board; support recruitment and sourcing new members; support the onboarding of new board members.



  • A Relationship Builder. You thrive on meeting new people and like to foster relationships. You like learning what motivates people, what inspires their generosity, and what makes them feel appreciated.
  • An Organizer. You recognize that a well-prepared and supported community can achieve far more than a single, highly talented individual. You truly believe in our organizational value of shared leadership.
  • Exceptional Communicator. You have excellent oral and written communication skills. You can craft high-quality proposals and presentations, explain complex concepts in a clear manner, and combine intellect and intuition.
  • Resourceful and Adaptable. You’re at ease with ambiguity and rapid change. You possess a positive attitude and identify creative solutions to obstacles. You can juggle many important responsibilities at once and you’re rigorous about prioritizing.
  • Mission-driven. You’re committed to a career for impact and are intimately familiar with what it is like to be giving up your free time for something you love.
  • A Creative Fundraiser. You understand that development is more than only donations and fundraising, and thinks outside the box on various forms of revenue.
  • An Abundant Thinker. You believe that we are living in a world of abundant resources and that the right team of partners can make improbable things happen.



  • 7+ years of overall professional experience with experience in a nonprofit leadership, education, fundraising, or related role.
  • Analytical Approach - You monitor traction and then anchor your creativity in what the data shows.
  • Board Know-how - Track record of working collaboratively with a Board of Directors; ability to cultivate existing board member relationships; experienced in board recruitment and development.
  • Commitment to Inclusion - You have the awareness and understanding to effectively work with and support low-income and diverse communities. You're also always asking: “Whose voice is not at the table?” 



FoW’s ED hiring process is rigorous and likely different from others you have encountered before. It shields candidate information, such as schools and past employers from the early stages, to remove as much bias as possible. This ensures that the candidate’s abilities are the primary determinant in our decision making and makes opportunities like this one more accessible.

In practice, this means:

  • We will only ask for your resume towards the end of the hiring process.
  • We will not ask for a traditional cover letter.
  • We will only ask for relevant, de-identified work experience (i.e. not organization names) during the initial application.
  • We will anonymize your name during the application review process.

Our hiring process includes these steps:

  • Round 1: Brief written application for initial screening.
  • Round 2: 30-minute phone interview to assess fit and answer candidate questions.
  • Round 3: 4-hour trial project to be completed on your own timeline.
  • Round 4: Multiple video interviews with various staff and board members.
  • Round 5:
  • Half-day in-person interview with the board, team, and WHEELS school leadership (resumes submitted for the first time).
  • Reference checks.
  • Offer issued.

We are committed to transparency. We know job searching can be stressful and aim to minimize uncertainty when possible. You’re encouraged to get in touch at any time.



To express interest, please complete the very simple form [https://rework.applytojob.com/apply/5U0UQHyE9X/Executive-Director]. We’ll ask you (and all candidates) to complete a short questionnaire (in lieu of a cover letter) soon thereafter. 

If you have any questions about the role, please feel free to personally email search lead Abe Taleb at abe.taleb@rework.jobs. If you have any interest in this role, we encourage you to indicate as such, so you can learn more (which is why we want to make it simple). If you decide to withdraw later in the process, we’ll understand.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply


Please indicate your interest here by completing our simple form -https://rework.applytojob.com/apply/5U0UQHyE9X/Executive-Director