While young people from low-income communities – who are disproportionately young people of color – face systemic inequities in school, in the workforce, and in life, they possess unique strengths, resilience and tremendous potential. When provided with support and resources, these young people fulfill their potential and achieve success in school, work and life.
Through a combination of mentoring and transformative experiences, Summer Search supports young people to successfully transition from adolescence into adulthood. We aim to unleash the potential of our young people while also building a toolkit for navigating and challenging systemic barriers to higher education and career opportunities.
Summer Search NY is seeking a Program Associate to manage a caseload of approximately 30 high school students, building long-term relationships and providing regular mentoring through a combination of groups and individual conversations from sophomore year through senior year of high school. Joining a supportive program team that currently serves over 300 high school students, this hire will have the opportunity to practice Summer Search’s unique approach to mentoring, prepare students for two challenging summer experiences, support post-secondary readiness and matriculation, and join a team that is committed to learning, social and racial equity, and the students we serve.
Specifically, the Program Associate will advance Summer Search’s mission through the following job responsibilities:
Student Mentoring and Program Facilitation (60%)
- Mentor a caseload of approximately 30 high school students, building multi-year relationships and conducting regular mentoring at school, in the office or by phone.
- Utilize a unique mentoring methodology based upon adolescent social-emotional development, cultural relevance, and critical consciousness. Enable conversations that allow students to reflect upon the impact of identities and social/cultural context on their lives.
- Hold students accountable to year-round program participation, as well as demonstrating a personal commitment to students that result in a high level of engagement throughout their Summer Search experience.
- Collaborate with supervisor to reflect on interactions with individual students, their engagement, and their motivations to identify new approaches to try for increased engagement and stronger mentoring.
- Monitor and promote students’ academic and extracurricular participation and performance, as well as post-secondary readiness requirements.
- Participate in student recruitment, interviewing and enrollment, as well as planning and attending key milestone events for students and their families throughout the school year, including travel to schools within the region and some evening and weekend events, especially in the spring.
- Participate in regular and ongoing trainings to build job-related skills, knowledge, and capacity e.g. student safety, critical mentoring, social responsibility.
- Communicate with students’ families, especially regarding details about summer experiences.
- Before each session, prepare by reviewing curriculum, gathering materials and sending student reminders.
- During each session, guide group formation by helping students establish and honor co-created working agreements.
- Participate in bi-weekly group mentoring supervisions and lend your voice to curriculum development.
- Create a safe space where students can be honest with each other by consistently noticing when students are or are not operating in accordance with their own group norms, ensuring each student has the space to be heard and challenged respectfully and setting-up physical space that is conducive to achieving the objectives of each session.
- Recognize a student safety situation and know and follow school safety protocols to care for both the individual student and the group.
- Prioritize relationship building by connecting with each student individually at least twice during the session and interrupting behaviors the deviate the group through re-focusing and positive discipline.
- Observe and respond to group needs and adapt facilitation style accordingly. Occasionally, this may involve modifying the curriculum or session structure to be responsive to the needs of the group.
- Be able to recognize identity and power dynamics present in the group, including one’s own identity, and be able to name how it may have an impact on the group.
School Engagement and Relationship Building (15%)
- With School and Community Engagement staff’s guidance, lead outreach presentations and application workshops for prospective students, and provide 1:1 follow up as needed.
- With School and Community Engagement staff, establish and nurture relationships with staff partners at your partner high school(s).
- Know the resources and people available at your partner high school(s) and how these resources intersect with Summer Search, so you can connect your students with them as needed.
- With School and Community Engagement staff, engage school partners proactively in supporting students and coordinating logistics.
- Respond promptly and thoughtfully to requests from school partners, expressing gratitude where relevant.
Administration and Project Management (25%)
- Enter and track program data accurately and daily in Salesforce database to assess student progress and drive organizational learning, to ensure high levels of program quality and professional development.
- Perform duties that support student engagement in program elements, including summer experience and post-secondary workshops and preparation.
- Provide curriculum feedback to inform iterative curriculum development.
- Participate in regular meetings with direct supervisor and fellow mentors to share experiences, problem solve collaboratively, support and learn and build self-awareness of own mentoring.
- Participate in elements of an evaluation plan designed to assess program quality, fidelity and outcomes and to inform individual staff development and continuous improvement of program model (e.g. Complete feedback surveys after mentoring sessions)
- Participate in other projects as assigned.
WHO YOU ARE
All Summer Search staff bring a commitment to our mission of elevating students’ success through mentoring and transformative experiences, as well as the ability to thrive in an environment that values excellence, gratitude, well-being, diversity, authenticity, and collaboration.
Specifically, strong candidates will bring:
- EXPERIENCE: At least 2 years of professional experience working with student populations served by Summer Search. Ability to understand the core practices of group development and facilitation. Understands and utilizes lenses of mentoring to build trusting relationships with students, staff, and community partners.
- CRITICAL CONSCIOUNESS: Recognizes sociopolitical barriers and understands the systems of oppression that operate in day-to-day lives of stakeholders e.g. students/participants, staff members, community partners, and alumni. Applies critical thinking and takes action against the oppressive aspects of reality
- ACCOUNTABILITY: Personal responsibility for work product and results; excellent organizational skills to juggle multiple projects and ad hoc requests.
- TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively and productively with others to achieve results. Demonstrates an interest in learning from and contributing to the team.
- ADAPTABILITY: Stays productive and solutions oriented in the face of change. Remains curious and flexible and demonstrates a willingness to learn new ways to accomplish work. Ability to understand and navigate different perspectives.
- TECHNOLOGY SKILLS: Proficiency in meticulous data tracking and management; experience using Salesforce or a similar database is a plus.
- Academic or applied knowledge of adolescent development is a plus.
- Experience developing curriculum for group mentoring is a plus.
- Experience and/or training in restorative/transformative justice work is a plus.
- Spanish language skills are a plus.
WORK HOURS AND LOCATION
Work hours are Mon-Fri 10am-6pm with occasional weekend and evening special events. This position will be based out of The Bronx office. You will also be required to be onsite at partner schools.