College & Career Connections Program Manager

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Commensurate with experience




United States


Mikva Challenge is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop youth to be empowered, informed, and active citizens who will promote a just and equitable society. We are a dynamic youth empowerment agency that provides high school students with unique civic learning opportunities and hands-on experiences in political campaigns, public policy advocacy, government internships, and youth activism programs.

The College, Career & Connections (C3) Program Manager will be responsible for helping young people to transition from Mikva programming to their college and/or professional careers, while continuing to be civically engaged. This position is responsible for the overall implementation, facilitation and management of the College & Career Connections program, which includes the Mikva Summer Fellows Program, as well as the creation of a robust and engaging alumni program at Mikva Challenge. The C3 Program Manager will be a part of the program team and will be directly supervised by the Chief Program Officer.

Job responsibilities include:

Mikva Summer Fellows Program (MSF)

  • Recruiting rising seniors and opportunity youth (OY) from Mikva’s Citywide Youth Councils (CYCs) and Mikva-affiliated schools to participate in MSF, Mikva’s culminating internship program for graduating seniors and OY
  • Planning and directly leading MSF program
  • Serving as Liaison to After School Matters (ASM); maintain compliance with all contractual  responsibilities
  • Identifying office sites and training staff on program expectations
  • Planning and facilitating weekly workshop activities during the summer program using the Elections in Actions (EIA) curriculum and in collaboration with the Teacher-Based Team (TBT)
  • Hiring, training and supervising summer support staff and interns
  • Ensuring that site visits to site visits to students in their assigned offices are scheduled and performed
  • Managing regular communication with fellows and office staff
  • Coaching students on workforce development skills
  • Supporting youth post-MSF as they transition to college, work or other post-secondary option; assist in “hand-off” to partner organizations
  • Assisting in Election work during the election season to develop relationships with schools,  elected officials and their staff
  • Maintaining data on MSF cohort
  • Managing MSF budget

College & Career Connections Program (C3)

  • Developing a pathway for rising seniors from CYCs and school-based programs to MSF
  • Creating college & career access programming, utilizing a SEL framework
  • Developing an in-depth knowledge of post-secondary pathways, including college, gap-year programs, and career options
  • Working closely with CYC staff over the summer to:
  • identify rising seniors; determine post-secondary path
  • work with cohort of students to accomplish C3 goals (college essays, applications, Americorp program applications, etc.)
  • recruit CYC rising seniors into the MSF program for the subsequent summer
  • Developing and implementing workshops for C3 cohort such as, but not limited to:
  • FAFSA & scholarships
  • College applications and essays
  • Financial literacy
  • Job Fair/Application Assistance
  • Interviewing & Networking Skill Development
  • Serving as liaison to other post-secondary program partners
  • Serve on Thrive Chicago’s Postsecondary Action Team
  • Maintain relationships with local and national programs that help students forge a path to college
  • Establish relationships with vocational/trade programs and gap year programs
  • Working closely with Development team to engage volunteers to help with C3 cohort
  • In collaboration with the Development team, communicating with C3 program donors
  • Maintaining data on C3 cohort
  • Managing C3 budget

Alumni Engagement

  • Serving as source of contact for Mikva alums, post MSF, CYC and school-based program completion
  • Creating opportunities for alums to stay engaged with Mikva through elections-based work, celebrations, and other volunteer opportunities
  • Tracking high school grads through college and career; maintain accurate contact information in database
  • Maintaining contact with past C3 cohorts
  • In collaboration with the Communications Director, utilizing social media to communicate with and about alumni; maintain Facebook page

General Mikva duties –

  • Attend Mikva sponsored events
  • Attend weekly Mikva staff meetings
  • Collaborate with and across the Program Team
  • Any other duties as assigned


The ideal candidate will have:

  • Bachelor's degree with a minimum of 3 years of college counseling experience or relevant experience working with high school students through the college application, decision and enrollment process. A knowledge of strategies for helping students to persist through college and career is critical. A Master’s Degree is preferred.
  • Prior experience in college admissions, college counseling and/or alumni relations, and well as experience in placing students in career and/or gap year programs.
  • Experience working with first-generation and low-income college students and their families.
  • Experience and/or in working in government, with elected officials and/or campaigns
  • Strong facilitation skills in relating to multiple audiences, with an ability to connect with students  and adults across cultures, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Ability to collect, enter and track accurate data to inform decision making
  • Ability to propose new approaches or methods to improve practices, processes and outcomes
  • Ability to coordinate mentors, volunteers, and interns to add capacity to programming
  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion
  • Computer skills, including ability to use college tracking software, college research tools, etc.
  • Reliable, dependable, and committed to the mission of Mikva Challenge

Solid knowledge of Chicago schools, government, and youth is a major asset, or a willingness to become an expert in these areas.  Excellent research skills, and oral and written communication skills are required, along with high energy and a willingness to be flexible and creative.

A strong belief in the potential of youth, as well as a commitment to youth power and voice is key.  Enthusiasm, energy, flexibility, and the ability to work independently as well as on a team are also important qualities.  This position will require some evenings and weekend availability – to coincide with programming.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Please send a resume and cover letter to:             

Candidates should be prepared to offer three professional references.  Candidates will be required to complete a background check. This is a full-time position and it includes a competitive salary and generous benefits package. Review of applications will begin immediately. No phone calls will be accepted!