1663 Mission Street
ABOUT YOUTH SPEAKS: Youth Speaks is a multi-faceted organization that understands that the power, insight,
creativity, and passion of young people can change the world. Founded in 1996 in San Francisco, Youth Speaks
is the leading nonprofit presenter of Spoken Word performance, education, and youth development programs in
the country. Presenters of local and national youth poetry slams, festivals, reading series, and more, Youth
Speaks also offers a comprehensive slate of literary arts education programs during the school day, in the
after-school hours, on weekends and evenings. All told, Youth Speaks provides free arts education to tens of
thousands of teens per year in the San Francisco Bay Area alone, and has helped create partner programs in
over 125 cities across the United States. Youth Speaks annually convenes the Brave New Voices Festival. For
more information, visit www.youthspeaks.org.
OVERVIEW: The Lead Poet Mentor will provide a talented individual with the opportunity to work closely with a
strong, diverse staff in the field of arts education, creative youth development, civic engagement, and artistic
presentation. The Lead Poet Mentor will demonstrate 5-10 years of experience and a deep knowledge of youth
development, curriculum development, and Youth Speaks’ pedagogy. In collaboration with the Youth Speaks
Program Director, Associate Directors, Poet Mentors, and Emerging Poet Mentors, the Lead Poet Mentor will be
responsible for the successful planning, execution, oversight, and review of Youth Speaks’ programs. Additionally,
the Lead Poet Mentor may be asked to lead specific projects throughout the year on an as-needed basis.
The Lead Poet Mentor will report to a Associate/Program Director and work primarily from our San Francisco
office and in Oakland on Fridays, with frequent travel to our school and community partners throughout the Bay
Area. This role will require evening and occasional weekend work to participate in local community meetings and
events, open mics and slams, and other Youth Speaks’ public events.
JOB DESCRIPTION: The Lead Poet Mentor will drive Youth Speaks Bay Area Programs Programs as an
experienced teaching artist, curator, and team lead. The Poet Mentor will facilitate in-school and after school
workshops for youth between the ages of 13-19. This position will also lead and/or participate in Youth Speaks
Signature Programs: Teen Poetry Slam, District Poetry Slam, MLK Bringing in the Noise, Queeriosity, MC
Olympics, and Life is Living. It is the Poet Mentors duty to model artistic excellence and community engagement.
Poet Mentor for High School Residency Sites
● Facilitate writing and performance workshops at Bay Area High Schools for our Residency Program
● Exemplify Youth Speaks’ pedagogy while being responsive to the needs of students and their parter
teacher in the classroom
● Provide a direct pathway for constituent participation into integrated Bay Area programs
● Participate in Residency meetings with Poet Mentor staff to discuss topics such as curriculum,
recruitment, retention, grant reporting, and more
Poet Mentor at After School Writing and Performance Workshops
● Design curriculum and facilitate weekly (2-hour sessions) After School Workshops that reflect the Youth
Speaks pedagogy and deepen constituent’s 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 Bay Area 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 community booking requests
● Work closely in collaboration with administrative team members, 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 & Final Friday Open Mics in San Francisco + Oakland
NATIONAL FIELD BUILDING:
● 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
● District Poetry Slam
● First Sound Pedagogical Institute
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 typically finalized by August 1st (time frame
to change based on hire 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 creative 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
EEO/AA: Youth Speaks is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from
women, people of color, bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the LGBTQIA communities.
Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age,
disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical conditions.
Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application
process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.
Qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of San Francisco’s Fair
Chance Ordinance will be considered for employment.
The Lead 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.
Level of Language Proficiency
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply
Please send a thoughtful cover letter and resume, both in PDF format, to email@example.com with
“Lead Poet Mentor” in the subject line by Friday August 3rd, 2018. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We
respectfully request no phone calls.