Volunteer and Scholar Coordinator

Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline:



United States


The Volunteer and Scholar Coordinator is responsible for the recruitment, supervision, training and support of volunteer teaching mentors, ensuring that they are able to implement the curriculum and actively engage scholars in learning. The Volunteer and Scholar Coordinator plans and executes center events, field trips and other activities to enhance the scholar's learning experience. The Volunteer and Scholar Coordinator also works closely with the Center Director and other staff to manage the relationships and operations necessary to run an excellent Achievement Center providing year-round academic programming for up to 100 middle school students.

Higher Achievement showers our scholars with academic opportunities through a proven program model which includes a 27-week Afterschool Academy from October to May and a six-week Summer Academy from June to August. The Volunteer and Scholar Coordinator is expected to be at his/her Center during its hours of operation and in the office outside of these hours preparing for optimal center operations.

The Organization

Higher Achievement believes that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. We work to close the achievement gap for motivated - yet underserved - students from low-income communities. We intervene during the critical transition to middle school by providing year-round, multi-year support for students in the 5th – 8th grades. As students prepare to graduate from our program in the 8th grade, we help them transition successfully to advanced high school programs that keep students on track for college. On average, 95% of Higher Achievement scholars graduate high school on time.

Founded in 1975 in Washington, DC, as a grassroots effort to create learning opportunities for children in low-income neighborhoods, Higher Achievement has impacted the lives of more than 10,000 young people and currently operates achievement centers in Washington, DC, Alexandria, VA, Baltimore, MD, Pittsburgh, PA, and Richmond, VA. Higher Achievement’s award-winning model of rigorous academic mentoring, individualization of services, and comprehensive academic support is guided by leading research for effective out-of-school time programs. More information about Higher Achievement may be found at: http://www.higherachievement.org.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

Volunteer Management

  • Serve as the primary contact for all volunteer teaching mentors and study hall aides during Afterschool Academy
  • Manage all scheduling of volunteer teaching mentors
  • Ensure that all volunteer teaching mentors have the necessary resources and training to support high-quality implementation of Higher Achievement's rigorous curricula
  • Conduct observations of mentoring and provide feedback and support to mentors
  • Implement Higher Achievement's training program for mentors and study hall aides
  • Ensure that volunteers are supported as they uphold Higher Achievement's standards of culture
  • Support volunteer recruitment by conducting interviews and outreach to existing and new neighborhood and university partnerships to recruit between 30 and 50 volunteer mentors by the opening of Afterschool Academy
  • Implement Higher Achievement systems for attendance tracking, record-keeping, scholar evaluation, and communication with mentors
  • Serve as liaison between mentors and other staff regarding implementation of Scholar Achievement Plans and supplemental work

Center Management and Support

  • Manage all supplies at Center, including an inventory at the start and end of each term and as-needed supply requests to ensure that center is fully stocked with needed materials
  • Support recruitment efforts to retain a roster containing between 80 and 100 scholars
  • Under the direction of the Center Director, model and maintain a positive, youth-focused center culture, including positive incentives, restorative justice, behavior management, etc.
  • Maintain consistent communication with mentors
  • Conduct classroom observations for summer teachers

Event Planning

  • Plan for and execute at least five center special events per year: secure and train judges and emcees, assist with scholar preparation, design invitations and decorations, and coordinate marketing of the event to Center community
  • Coordinate weekly summer field trips and annual three-day overnight university trip in the summer, including logistics, research of special exhibits, coordination of staff/volunteer chaperones

The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Commitment to the mission and work of Higher Achievement
  • Bachelor’s degree plus a minimum of one year of related experience (youth development, volunteer management, etc.)
  • Experience working directly with students required; experience working with middle school youth strongly preferred
  • Strong skills in planning, organizing, attention to detail, and written and oral communication
  • Experience building relationships with diverse community stakeholders, including families, schools, and community partners, including making large group presentations and engaging in community outreach
  • Strong skills in technology
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) candidates strongly encouraged to apply

Higher Achievement Core Competencies: Higher Achievement values our core competencies, and as such, we expect that competitive applications will be able to demonstrate strengths in these areas:

  • Proactively builds relationships to advance Higher Achievement's mission.
  • Uses candid communication to express ideas and to listen to the thoughts and feedback of others.
  • Persistently pursues excellence by holding oneself to high expectations and seeking the best.
  • Possesses a growth mindset for learning new things and stepping out of one’s comfort zone.
  • Maintains a solutions-oriented mindset during planning periods and when challenges arise.

Physical Requirements and Work Environment: Work is regularly performed in an office environment and a school setting, with occasional trips off-site to parks, museums, etc. Employee may spend long periods of time sitting, standing, and walking. Must be able to walk from one part of the worksite to another and climb stairs. Employee regularly lifts, carries, and positions objects weighting up to 20 pounds. Position involves regular use of a computer and keyboard, telephone, and face-to-face communication in small and large group settings with youth and adults; employee must be able to communicate clearly and professionally in all of these situations. Employee must have visual, auditory, and physical ability to respond quickly to critical incidents involving students and act in an emergency situation.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Additional Information: VSCs work Monday through Friday; each Center runs programming approximately 3 days per week. On center days during the school year, the VSC works (on average), a 12pm to 8pm schedule, with the first half of the day on-site at the Higher Achievement office and the second half of the day on-site at the school where the Center is based. On non-center days, the VSC works primarily on-site at Higher Achievement with a standard business schedule. During the summer, work occurs primarily during standard business hours. Occasional weekend availability is required. Candidate must have ability to travel in between main office and Achievement Center on a daily basis via reliable transportation. This position requires a criminal background check prior to hire, and candidate must be able to pass all additional clearance requirements as mandated by school districts and state/local municipalities.


Compensation and Benefits: The salary for this regular, full-time, non-exempt position is in the high 30s. Higher Achievement offers competitive benefits, including: company-paid insurance (medical, dental, vision, life, and long and short-term disability insurance); eleven paid holidays; six weeks paid time off; retirement plan with company match; tuition reimbursement and professional development funds.

Professional Level

Entry level

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply


To Apply: Apply online at https://higherachievement.org/careers. Interested applicants must respond to application questions and upload a resume and cover letter. Priority consideration will be given to applicants who address the listed qualifications and their interest in the mission and work of Higher Achievement in their cover letter. Applications will be accepted until position is filled; interested applicants are encouraged to apply immediately. Please, no phone calls, emails or recruiters.

Higher Achievement provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, sex, gender identity or expression, age, medical condition, sexual orientation, marital status, citizenship, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, military status, caregiver or family status, political affiliation, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.