Urban Initiatives is dedicated to intentionally fostering a climate of purposeful inclusion in our workplace, and candidates of diverse backgrounds and identities are strongly encouraged to apply. Urban Initiatives is an Equal Opportunity employer. Personnel are chosen on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. This is in accordance with federal and state law.
Urban Initiatives Overview
Founded in 2003, Urban Initiatives is a nonprofit organization that runs youth development programs in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Urban Initiatives’ mission is to empower Chicago’s youth to become community leaders through academic success, healthy living, and social-emotional learning. We amplify the inherent power of sports and teamwork to unify diverse stakeholders and strengthen communities. Urban Initiatives takes a collaborative, whole child approach to development in order to provide children with ongoing opportunities to reach their full potential. Currently, Urban Initiatives serves 17,000 students throughout the City of Chicago.
Play with Potential Overview
Launched in 2012, Play with Potential is Urban Initiatives’ recess program that aims to maximize the health, academic, and social-emotional learning benefits of daily recess. The program engages all students in a school, grades K-8, and aims to maximize students’ access to safe, fun, and active play. We have dedicated on-site staff and a broad curriculum that elevates the power of play at recess.
We are seeking a leader to oversee the operation and strategic growth of this program, which is currently offered in 25 schools throughout Chicago.
The Play with Potential Program Director dedicates their time to overseeing the strategic direction and high-quality implementation of Urban Initiatives’ recess program. This includes developing and managing the implementation of the annual plan as well as responsibility for reaching all Play with Potential departmental goals. More specifically, this person dedicates their time to supporting program quality and impact, ongoing management of four program managers, school and other external partnership oversight, and recess staff training and professional development strategy. The Director supports four program managers who oversee program implementation in 6-7 schools each, and ensures that program standards are being met across all sites. The Director facilitates effective communication across the team and ensures that the management team has a consistent and intentional approach to supporting School-Based Program Coordinators and REC Coordinators.
Play with Potential program direction and oversight, including the development of an annual plan and ongoing management of strategic plans for core program functions
Oversee program curricular enhancements and staff professional development plan
Ensure high quality program implementation across all sites
Supervise four program managers, including oversight of day-to-day responsibilities and work plans to support areas of specialization by providing; provide both individual support and lead team meetings
Oversee program staffing strategy (hiring, training, management, etc.)
Direct school partner retention and expansion plan
Coordinate program evaluation efforts with support from the evaluation team
Manage the program budget and ensure fiscal responsibility across the recess team
Manage external relationships such as principal relationships and relationships with other program partners (University of Illinois Chicago, CPS Office of College and Career Success – Community Schools Initiative, Loyola Service Learning, North Park University, City Colleges of Chicago, Mid-South American Job Center)
Engage in a collaborative work culture to support cross-department communication and meeting organization goals
Attend organizational special events
Deep belief in the power of sport and play to change lives
Demonstrated ability to set goals in alignment with organization and programmatic objectives and create effective plans for achieving them
Demonstrated ability to solve problems strategically and think critically
Demonstrated ability to empower others in leadership and delegate effectively
Excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills
Strong project management skills; ability to prioritize and meet deadlines
Demonstrated ability to build a team dynamic while maintaining a professional tone, supporting the professional development of others, and holding people accountable
Demonstrated ability to prioritize the needs of your role, with the needs of others, and the big picture projects being managed
At least five years of experience in a management position preferred
Demonstrated success in youth development role preferred
Desire to work collaboratively with the Urban Initiatives team
Ability to travel to partner schools across the city
Apply to email@example.com and include “Play with Potential Program Director” in the subject line. Your application should include your email address, a copy of your resume, and a cover letter describing any related experience.
About Urban Initiatives
Founded in 2003, Urban Initiatives is a nonprofit organization that runs youth development programs in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Urban Initiatives’ mission is to empower Chicago’s youth to become agents of community change through academic success, healthy living, and leadership development. We drive systemic change by connecting stakeholders and strengthening the social fabric of the community. Urban Initiatives takes a collaborative, whole child approach to development in order to provide children with ongoing opportunities to reach their full potential. Currently, Urban Initiatives serves 13,000 students from 37 underserved communities with our continuum of programming.