Position Title: Director of School-Based Programming

Office Location:  This position will be hybrid, working both in the Chicago, IL office as well as remotely, engaging with staff and stakeholders through virtual platforms. This position is not eligible for paid relocation.

Reports to: Managing Director of Illinois Programs

Schedule: Full-time

About the Organization

Mikva Challenge is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to develop youth to be empowered, informed, and active citizens and community members who will promote a just and equitable society. We are a dynamic youth empowerment agency that provides middle and high school students with unique civic learning opportunities and hands-on experiences in community organizing, public policy advocacy, and youth activism programs. We do this by engaging youth in Action Civics, an authentic and transformative learning process built on youth voice and youth expertise.

Mikva Challenge evaluations show the lasting impact of its programs.

  • 82% of students reported an increase in their civic knowledge.
  • 77% of students developed their sense of civic agency and increased their future commitment to civic action.
  • 83% of students took on new civic leadership.
  • 79% of students reported gains in their socio-emotional skills — many of which have direct academic outcomes.

About the Position

Mikva Challenge is seeking a Director of School Based Programming to lead the growth and implementation of our Action Civics program in our Chicago, IL chapter. This position will play a key role in expanding our work to serve larger numbers of students and support the development of a robust teacher network. The Director will collaborate with teachers and school districts across Chicago, IL to enhance students’ skills in problem-solving and civic action through the implementation of our Action Civics curriculum, which incorporates hands-on, experiential lessons in community problem solving, creating democratic classrooms, and elevating youth voice. This role involves cultivating and managing relationships with educators and students, partnering with a diverse group of stakeholders, planning and executing events centering youth voice, and facilitating learning experiences with teachers. Experience working with Chicago Public School (CPS) district and network level initiatives and/or programs is required.

Core Responsibilities

  • Oversee the implementation and expansion of Mikva’s Action Civics programming across local elementary, middle and high schools, ensuring alignment with organizational goals and educational standards.
  • Collaborate with the Managing Director of Programs and partner lead to establish, define and implement a comprehensive plan for integrating student voice programming within local school districts.
  • Lead the recruitment and onboarding of teachers to effectively implement Mikva’s Action Civics curriculum in their classrooms.
  • Cultivate and support the educator community by conducting school visits throughout the year, facilitating impactful lessons and/or activities that enhance and support students and teacher project initiatives.
  • Design, organize, and distribute resources for classroom teachers, including facilitating the integration of guest speakers and supplementary materials to enrich educational experiences and support instructional goals.
  • Plan, coordinate and lead the execution of Mikva citywide youth events, including the Project Soapbox competition and Action Civics Fair; and provide national support for similar events at partner sites.
  • Develop and lead the professional development and community-building initiatives for local educators, and oversee the delivery of additional professional development programs as needed.
  • Provide high-level coaching and technical support to teachers and instructional leads, ensuring alignment with organizational goals and best practices.
  • Develop, strengthen and oversee strategic relationships with district partners, LEAs (public, public charter and private), and external organizations to enhance and expand the brand;
  • In partnership with the Managing Director of Programs, collaborate with the Communications and Development teams to identify and leverage local assets and resources, engaging key community stakeholders within the district to develop a strategic list of Civic Partners.
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of programming through data collection and analysis in collaboration with the Director of Evaluations.
  • In partnership with the Managing Director of Programs, identify strategic opportunities to embed Mikva’s Action Civics curricula and programming into the school district to further elevate youth voice and create a youth voice infrastructure in the school system.
  • Utilizing our Mikva Network, provide nationwide opportunities for educators, administrators, and youth to engage with and learn from their colleagues and peers.
  • Collaborate with the Communications and Development teams to highlight success stories and enhance funding efforts.
  • Other duties as assigned

Requirements

Education: Bachelor’s degree

Experience: Five years of experience in education, program development and management, and youth development, or an equivalent combination of experience and education

Qualifications:

  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience in youth civic engagement and the political process preferred
  • Proficient in the use of Google Suite and social media platforms
  • Strong digital data management skills with both Mac and PC environments
  • Demonstrated experience in building partnerships with a variety of stakeholders
  • Ability to work independently as well as on a team or in a collaborative environment
  • Experience in event and volunteer management is strongly preferred
  • Possess a high level of enthusiasm, energy, and creativity

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range for this position is $65,000 – $79,000 annually commensurate with experience.

Mikva Challenge offers a comprehensive package of benefits including choice of HMO or PPO health care plan including dental and vision; 401(k) retirement plan matched up to 3% of salary; generous paid vacation and sick leave; flexible spending account; short- and long-term disability; Life Insurance; an Employee Assistance Program; and two weeks of paid time off for scheduled organization downtime.

How to Apply

Please email a resume and cover letter to careers@mikvachallenge.org with “Director of School-Based Programming – IL” in the subject line. Documents should use the following naming convention: First Name_LastName – Document Name (example: John_Smith – Resume).

The deadline to apply is July 26th. Interviews will begin the week of July 29th.

Equity Statement

Mikva Challenge is an equal opportunity employer and we highly value diversity in our workplace. Mikva Challenge provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors. Applicants from historically underrepresented and/or marginalized communities, including people of color, are strongly encouraged to apply.