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:
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
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.
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!
At Mikva Challenge, we celebrate difference and are committed to providing equitable opportunities, addressing the effects of power and privilege. Mikva Challenge is proud to be an equal employment opportunity workplace We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, gender, gender identity, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, physical disability, or veteran status. We want to empower people to change lives!