Poet Mentor

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $40,000.00
Maximum: $45,000.00



Application Deadline:



1663 Mission Street
Suite 604
San Francisco
United States


OVERVIEW: ​The Poet Mentor will provide a talented individual with the opportunity to work closely with a strong, diverse staff in the field of arts education, youth development, civic engagement, and artistic presentation. The Poet Mentor will demonstrate experience and a deep knowledge of youth development, curriculum development, and Youth Speaks’ pedagogy. In collaboration with the Youth Speaks Program Director, Associate Director, Senior Poet Mentor, and Emerging Poet Mentors, the Poet Mentor will be responsible for the successful planning, execution, oversight, and review of Youth Speaks’ programs. Additionally, the Poet Mentor may be asked to support specific projects throughout the year on an as-needed basis. The Poet Mentor will report to the Associate Program Director and work primarily from our San Francisco office and at Oakstop on Fridays, with frequent travel to our schools and community partners throughout the Bay Area. This role will require evening and occasional weekend work to participate in local community meetings, open mics and slams, and other Youth Speaks’ public events.

JOB DESCRIPTION:​ The Poet Mentor supports Youth Speaks Local Programs as a poet mentor, and as a potential Bout Manager for the Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam and the Unified District Poetry Slam. It is the Poet Mentor’s duty to model artistic excellence to youth participants by demonstrating what it means to push forward their individual craft as a young arts professional and to help utilize the school visit program as a critical resource for alumni and youth participants to begin to do the same.



Poet Mentor for High School Residency Modules (4-8 weeks)

● Facilitate High School Residency Modules (4-8 week curriculum) that exemplifies Youth Speaks’

pedagogy and is responsive to Partner Teachers’ classroom needs

● Provide a direct pathway for constituent participation into integrated local programs

● Participate in weekly Residency Meetings with Poet Mentor staff to discuss and troubleshoot topics such as curriculum, recruitment, retention, grant reporting, and more

Poet Mentor at After School Writing and Performance Workshop

● Design curriculum and facilitate weekly (2-hour sessions) After School Workshops that reflect the YS pedagogy and deepen constituent engagement with the art form of spoken word and their understandings of themselves and each other

● Create a student recruitment plan that ensures diversified participation by Bay Area youth

● Provide direct pathways for constituent participation in San Francisco and Daly City into local programs

● Participate in weekly After School Workshop meetings with Poet Mentor staff to discuss and troubleshoot topics such as curriculum, recruitment, retention, grand reporting, and more

In-School Engagement and Outreach Strategy

● Communicate the details of upcoming school visits with the Emerging Poet Mentors and ensure that curation, staffing and transportation to school visits are set

● Serve as the primary, on-the-ground Youth Speaks lead and the occasional host/performer during School Visits and organizational booking requests

● Work closely in collaboration with an administrative team member, who will handle all booking requests and back-end MOU, invoice, and payment processes

● Assist in cultivating the circular pipeline between Youth Speaks’ programming and the School Visit

Program by assisting in the artistic development of current youth participants and recruiting alumni and eligible youth participants to join the School Visit team


SPOKES, Youth Advisory Board

● Adult staff support at 2nd Friday Open Mics in Oakland

○ 1st Semester - Work with Emerging Poet Mentors to facilitate Under 21 Open Mics, train


○ 2nd Semester - Work with SPOKES to facilitate U21OMs


● Collaborate with the Program Director to build and execute a strategy to continue growing and cultivating the Brave New Voices Festival

The following is a list of additional programs the Poet Mentor supports throughout the year:

● Bringing the Noise for Martin Luther King

● Teen Poetry Slam

● Unified District Poetry Slam

● Queeriosity

● First Sound Pedagogical Institute

● Professional Development of Teachers

● Friendraiser


● Minimum of 3 years of teaching experience in the field of arts education, performing arts, and/or youth development

● Possess strong communication skills, and an ability to prioritize diverse, demanding responsibilities in a fast-paced, creative environment

● Undergraduate degree in education is preferred (but not required)

● Experience in arts, youth development, and civic engagement organizations preferred

Punctuality, regular attendance at scheduled meetings, positive work attitude, collaborative spirit, and an attitude of accountability are an important part of the Poet Mentor’s responsibilities. Honesty, integrity, and problem solving are encouraged in all communications.

Performance Review and Professional Development: ​Feedback is a vital part of your success at Youth Speaks—coaching for performance excellence will take place regularly throughout the year. As necessary, feedback will be summarized via email on occasions where performance improvement goals are set. Poet

Mentors will follow a work plan throughout their year to gauge their own progress and success. The work plan development process begins in June of the prior program year and is finalized by August 1st typically (time frame to change based on hired date) - at the beginning of the new program year. The benchmarks for success will be measured against this document for the duration of the program year.

Career Development is an important aspect of your time at Youth Speaks. The

organization is committed to investing in our team and ensuring all staff are given sufficient, ongoing training to assure that the work produced is of the highest quality and in keeping with evolving youth development practices. We encourage all staff to pursue professional development opportunities, and although funding by Youth Speaks is not guaranteed for all outside trainings, small professional development budgets are allotted to each employee at the start of the fiscal year.


​The Poet Mentor is a full-time, exempt position. We offer a competitive salary and an excellent benefits package including 100% employee coverage for medical, dental, and vision insurance, life and disability insurance, a 401(k) plan, and commuter benefits. Employees receive four weeks of paid vacation and ample, paid sick time, annually.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply



Please send a thoughtful cover letter and resume, both in PDF format, to employment@youthspeaks.org with “Poet Mentor” in the subject line by Monday, March 19, 2018. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We respectfully request no phone calls.