Director of Programs
All interested candidates should submit their application materials via our website.
The Welcoming Project seeks an experienced youth advocate and program manager and who has the passion, creativity, and management skills to join our team at the Welcoming Project. Through work with families, community partners, governmental agencies, the corporate and philanthropic community, and scores of individuals, we aim to create an unbreakable network of support for court-involved teens and young adults that will enable them to return to the community successfully and positively contribute to the vibrant, creative City of New Orleans.
The Director of Programs will support the planning and execution of much of the day-to-day, direct work done by the Welcoming Project on behalf of our participants (Fellows) and will assume the role of providing direct support and supervision for our case managers (Tribe Coordinators).
At CEEAS, we develop transformative educational experiences for students held in confinement and build community support for them when they return home. We equip justice involved teens and young adults with the academic and socio-emotional tools they need to be successful as free, contributing members of our democratic society. At the same time, we bring people and institutions together to fully welcome and support returning students back into the community.
The Welcoming Project builds upon our successful foundation in New Orleans, where we operate the Travis Hill Schools, located inside of the Youth Study Center (YSC) and the Orleans Justice Center (OJC).
Position Description and Primary Responsibilities
The Director of Programs of the Welcoming Project will work to jumpstart and operationalize our community-based programming. Programming will grow rapidly as students are released from the juvenile detention center and adult jail starting this fall. Through the Welcoming Project, we anticipate bringing thirty to fifty students into the Travis Hill family over the next 12 months and supporting them through active partnerships with dozens of community-based organizations and government agencies and over 100 volunteers.
We have a bold vision for our work in New Orleans and expanding the capacity of the Welcoming Project to meet our programmatic goals is a key element in making that vision real.
The Director of Programs reports to the Director and will be a critical member of the start-up team. The Director of Programs will have primary responsibility for:
Collaborating with the Director to create and build structures and systems that will undergird the day-to-day operations and long-term sustainability of the Welcoming Project.
Developing key policies and procedures, and drafting, sharing and ensuring the adoption and use of a range of guides and practitioner tools that support the day-to-day programming for the Welcoming Project--for staff, participating students, volunteers and community partners
Providing direct supervision for the Welcoming Project’s Tribe Coordinators. Tribe Coordinators serve as the front-line case managers/lead mentors for our student participants (Fellows) who coordinate a support network for each student that includes Champions (mentors), internship sites, and family members. A Tribe includes 10 to 20 students and 30 to 60 supporters.
Leading our efforts to recruit, train and retain volunteers, who will provide wrap-around support and care for students, and community partners, with whom students will have the opportunity to work, learn and pursue their passion and interests.
Supporting and nurturing--along with the Director--the development and maintenance of relationships with community organizations, business leaders, lawmakers/elected officials, advocacy organizations, service providers, school district officials, and charter management organizations.
The Director of Programs, working with the Director, will ensure that all Welcoming Project components are in line with its mission and are responsive to the needs of our target population. The Director of Programs will play a critical role in setting the tone for a collaborative and healthy work environment and set of day-to-day practices that translate to high performance, shared leadership and ethical behavior within the organization.
The Director of Programs will be thoroughly committed to CEEAS and the Travis Hill School’s mission. Candidates should have proven community engagement, leadership, and management experience. Start-up or early-stage work in a nonprofit or corporate environment is strongly recommended. A proven commitment to social and racial justice work is a must.
Concrete demonstrable experience and other qualifications include:
A Bachelor’s or advanced degree, with management experience in a nonprofit or community-based organization
A demonstrated willingness to advocate for racial and social justice, as a critical component of one’s work and day-to-day responsibilities
Unwavering commitment to quality programs and transparent, data-based program evaluation
Experience with and comfort learning to use a range of software including Google Suites, MS Office, case and project management software, and basic financial and accounting tools
Experience in organizational management with the ability to develop and support high-performing teams, and set and achieve strategic objectives
Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people, including our students, their family members, community leaders, and individuals working in the public, private and nonprofit sectors
Strong communication and people skills, with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders
Strong written communication skills, with a particular facility for writing clear, user-friendly guides and training tools
Action-oriented, innovative, adaptable, and resilient, with an unrelenting commitment to our students and the New Orleans community
Passionate, mission-driven, committed to working with a sense of integrity and strong values, and self-directed
Willingness to embrace and nurture a culture that will require all staff to work beyond the traditional hours in order to create programmatic norms that make it clear to our students that we care for them, support them, and are there for them, regardless of the hour or situation
Background on CEEAS and the Travis Hill Schools
CEEAS is a nonprofit organization devoted to developing transformative educational experiences for students held in confinement and building community support for them when they return home. Historically, CEEAS has primarily worked with state and local juvenile justice agencies to support improved educational programming. In the fall of 2015, the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) asked CEEAS to provide support and training to their school located in the New Orleans juvenile detention center (named the Youth Study Center). Subsequently, in the summer of 2016, OPSB asked CEEAS (via a competitively bid contract) to assume full operational control over the school. We named the school the Travis Hill School, after a local jazz musician who had spent time at the detention center and in prison prior to returning to New Orleans with a message of nonviolence and peace. Results at the end our first year of running the school were quite strong: Students at Travis Hill collectively passed more than four times as many EOC exams than the previous year, and parent and student surveys were overwhelmingly positive.
In the late spring of 2017, the Orleans Parish School board awarded CEEAS a second contract--this time to open a school for teens and young adults held at the adult jail in New Orleans (named the Orleans Justice Center). Just a few months ago, we opened up this second Travis Hill School campus.
With the start of the 2018-19 school-year, we launched the Welcoming Project. We are excited to build on our success working with Travis Hill School students inside of YSC and OJC as they return to the New Orleans community.
CEEAS offers competitive salary and benefits, including health care coverage, and a Simple IRA plan. Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications and competitive with similar positions at other local, community-based nonprofit organizations of comparable size.
To apply to be the Director of Programs for the Welcoming Project, click HERE. Interviews for this position will begin the first week in January, 2019. Ideal candidates will be available to start work full-time in early 2019.
CEEAS is an equal opportunity employer. We believe that a diverse staff is a better staff. Women, people of color and formerly incarcerated individuals are encouraged to apply.
Effective: December 19, 2018