Cultivating Community (based in Portland, Maine and active in greater Portland and greater Lewiston) is committed to growing sustainable communities in three ways: by feeding our hungry, empowering our youth and community, and healing our planet. We are a community food project. In our urban and school gardens and at our suburban organic farm, we grow produce that feeds hungry people. We use that community food work as a platform for youth and community development.
Our youth grow and distribute food, learn about sustainable agriculture and food systems, and work together to solve problems and strengthen their own communities. We have independent youth programs as well as partnerships with schools. We are also a farmer training project. We connect Maine’s newest Americans primarily immigrants from East Africa and Central America with the land, skills, and resources needed to start farm-based enterprises.
In connection with this we operate a community garden in a predominantly refugee neighborhood of Portland and provide farmland access in Lisbon, ME near Lewiston. Finally, Cultivating Community is an environmental action project. We model organic, sustainable, and low-impact practices and incorporate these ideals into our education, training, and volunteer programs.
The Youth Programs Manager is a year-round, full-time position managing all of Cultivating Community’s programs for a richly diverse community of young people ages 5-22. These programs extend from our own independent, dynamic youth development programs for teens to evolving garden-based learning partnerships with schools.
Cultivating Community’s nationally-recognized youth development programs bring young people into the vibrant world of growing, harvesting, cooking and sharing food to feed our community, develop their skills, and build their understanding of their own role in solutions to our community problems. The program brings together two powerful needs the need for dynamic, engaging opportunities for youth, and the need for greater access to local, healthy food to create powerful outcomes for the resilience and health of our community. Of the 200 youth we have served since 2001, 88 percent are low income and 70 percent are new to the United States, with roots in more than fifteen different countries. In 2011, Cultivating Community’s youth programs will serve fifty teens intensively and over 1,300 Portland-area youth at our farms and school gardens.
Our programming with schools brings students ages 5-22 out into the garden to learn about subjects from poetry to math and especially their own health and the health of our planet through school gardens. We currently partner with seven public schools in Portland.
The Youth Programs Director is responsible for managing, designing and coordinating these programs, collaborating closely with the core leadership team at Cultivating Community, and supervising a team of enthusiastic educators.
This position will be based in Portland, ME.
The Youth Programs Manager supervises all of the youth programs and school partnership staff and volunteers. This includes one seasonal full time Youth Programs Educator and one full time FoodCorps member and up to five seasonal program staff during the growing season from April to October.
Supervision includes the outreach and hiring process, modeling program delivery, coordinating training, and organizing staff schedules and objectives. It also includes providing program leadership and vision, giving regular and thoughtful feedback, and supporting members of the program team in building their skills. He or she may also supervise additional short term or periodic volunteers and other guest educators.
Receives direct supervision, general guidance, and specific support from the Executive Director.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Coordinate, design, develop and manage our independent youth development programming, including:
- Summer Youth Growers program, June-August
- Fall Community Culinary Crew program, September-November
- Winter leadership workshops, January-March
- Grow Internship positions, April-October
- Independent youth leader internships as needed
- Develop and implement farm and garden activities furthering youth development program goals
- Publicize programs, conduct outreach, and recruit youth for participation
- Staff programming where necessary, including leading youth crews in daily farm work, games, feedback, standards, and educational workshops
- Manage, integrate and support garden-based school partnerships by:
- Directing and supervising garden-based programming led by FoodCorps member
- Communicating with schools, administrators, parents and teachers as necessary
- Designing and conducting trainings in garden-based education to teachers, educators and volunteers
- Support development staff as needed, including grant reporting for foundation, local, state and federal grants, writing grant proposals, and developing funder relationships.
- Manage and develop fee-based and revenue-generating educational programs for young people on our gardens and farms.
- Document program activities and evaluations on an on-going basis including tracking youth performance and honing evaluation tools and rubrics. Redesign programs in response to evaluation measures and youth, staff and community feedback.
- Manage structures and trainings for youth program staff leadership and skill development.
- Participate in local and national conversations and working groups related to youth in food justice.
- Participate at staff meetings and community events.
- Perform other project related duties as required.
QUALIFICATIONS, EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE
Background in delivering and managing food justice-based youth programming required. Background in either 1) low-income and/or immigrant and refugee communities, 2) education or 3) sustainable agriculture required; background in all is preferred. The individual must be available to work a flexible schedule, including some evenings and weekends and occasional overnights. Bachelorˇ˝s degree or three to five years of relevant experience. Driving record and background check will be performed.
Commensurate with experience.
HOW TO APPLY
Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for at least three references by November 18, 2011. E-mailed applications are preferred and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with ˝Youth Programs Director˝ in the subject line. Applications can also be sent via U.S. Mail to:
Youth Programs Educator
P.O. Box 3792
Portland, ME 04104
The letter of interest should explain your qualifications and your interest in the position. People from the communities in which we work (Cumberland and Androscoggin Counties, Maine with a key focus in Maine’s Iraqi, Latino, Somali, Somali-Bantu, and Sudanese communities) are particularly encouraged to apply.