Ready for Work In-School Director

VPP is seeking to fill a full-time position: Ready for Work In-School Director. The individual who fills this position will take a leadership role in helping VPP manage the design and adaptation of the youthCONNECT model into High Point High School as part of VPP’s Ready for Work: Champions for Career and College Ready Graduates in Prince George’s County initiative. The individual will also liaise with the school’s Title 1 department and ensure the integration of the community hub into youthCONNECT at High Point. VPP offers a highly challenging and intellectually engaging environment, an opportunity to meet and interact with thought leaders in multiple disciplines and across sectors, as well as, the chance to be part of a great team of people with similar social purpose.

This is a full-time 30 – 34-month position with the potential for a longer appointment. The successful candidate will work directly with VPP’s Investment Practice Group and executive team, leadership at High Point High School, and nonprofit organizations.

Background

Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) is a philanthropic investment organization that builds strong nonprofits and strategic networks that measurably improve the lives of children and youth throughout Greater Washington. Since its founding, VPP has raised and deployed $110 million to help vulnerable young people gain access to quality education, health care, career training and a better chance at a brighter future.

In 2010, VPP was selected by the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) as one of eleven national organizations from around the country that were awarded SIF grants as part of its inaugural portfolio. VPP and six high-performing nonprofits created the youthCONNECT model, a network of nonprofit organizations working together to help vulnerable youth, ages 14-24, successfully transition to adulthood. The six youthCONNECT Network Partner organizations are guided by a shared set of outcomes, and VPP functions as the Network’s backbone. Since 2010, more than 20,000 young people in Greater Washington have benefited from youthCONNECT.

A few years ago, County Executive Rushern Baker invited VPP to bring the youthCONNECT model to Prince George’s County as part of his Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI). In 2014, VPP and its Network Partners began working with Suitland High School’s leadership to build the youthCONNECT model at the school. In January 2015, VPP piloted the youthCONNECT model serving 300+ students with five Network Partners. In school year 2016-2017, more than 1300 students were served.

In November 2015, VPP launched Ready for Work: Champions for Career and College Ready Graduates in Prince George’s County. Ready for Work is a six-year (2015 – 2021) cross-sector initiative aimed at ensuing Prince George’s County students graduate from high school career and college ready. Ready for Work is comprised of three key components: (1) increase students’ academic and technical skill development; (2) help students develop fundamental life skills (via the integration of the youthCONNECT model); and (3) provide students with direct work experiences. Ready for Work has been implemented in three high schools: High Point, Oxon Hill and Suitland.

VPP’s large-scale, cross-sector, multi-year funding efforts combine investment capital, strategic assistance and a network of talented professionals, with expertise in education, workforce development, social change, corporate philanthropy, government relations, outcomes, evaluation and finance. VPP also advises philanthropists, corporate and nonprofit leaders and policymakers on how to integrate VPP’s investment strategy approaches into their own philanthropic initiatives

Key Job Function & Responsibilities

  • Lead the design and adaptation of the youthCONNECT model into High Point High School in collaboration with the high school’s leadership team, youthCONNECT Network Partners, the Title 1 Office, and the Community Hub
      • Serve as VPP’s representative in High Point High School;
      • Oversee the day-to-day implementation of the youthCONNECT Partner’s programs and services to students;
      • Work in partnership with High Point’s leadership and teachers to ensure the youthCONNECT model is meeting the needs of High Point’s students;
      • Represent the voice and perspective of each Network Partner, equally, in discussions about youthCONNECT with school, PGCPS and county representatives;
      • Serve as the “public face” of the youthCONNECT Network inside High Point High School. As appropriate, make presentations to students, teachers, parents/guardians and other stakeholders;
      • Represent the youthCONNECT Network in meetings with key PGCPS and Prince George’s County representatives. This includes at Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative meetings in the school and in other settings. The goal is to ensure alignment and coordination of effort, where appropriate, in order to better serve students and improve student outcomes;
      • Work with Network Partners to help build “the Network” – as evidenced, for example, by Network Partners leveraging each other’s expertise and working together to better serve student needs;
      • Design, manage and lead regular (e.g., monthly) meetings of the YouthCONNECT Network;
      • Support VPP’s Director of Outcomes Assessment and Learning in managing the performance management infrastructure and reporting for youthCONNECT at HPHS; and,
      • Assist Network Partners, as needed, with communicating with key HPHS stakeholders (e.g., Principal, Asst. Principal, and teachers), in the implementation of their programs and services.
  • Act as liaison to the Title 1 department at High Point High School. This includes the dissemination of data and documentation about students served by youthCONNECT and Community Hub programming at High Point.
  • Integrate the Community Hub services into YouthCONNECT at High Point High School. This programming will include services (orientation, legal, food, clothing, etc.) targeted at newly arrived immigrant students and their families that is provided by an extended set of community partners.
  • Use one’s professional judgement and personal experience leading the design and adaptation of the youthCONNECT model to provide strategic input into VPP’s future planning for Ready for Work.

Professional and Personal Qualifications

  • Superb organizational and interpersonal skills, combined with the ability to diplomatically prioritize and communicate competing priorities.
  • A flexible and enthusiastic approach to work, including the humility and grace to work effectively with others in a collaborative work place.
  • Confidence and enthusiasm when communicating to external partners, the VPP team and VPP investors and board members in both formal and informal presentations.

Specialized Knowledge/Skills/Abilities

  • Bilingual in Spanish
  • Previous successful teaching and/or school leadership experience within Prince George’s County Public Schools
  • Depth of knowledge and experience with large urban/suburban public schools, school systems and a demonstrated ability to successfully navigate such schools and school systems
  • Previous knowledge and experience with Title 1 programming and implementation in school settings preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to write and prepare documents/correspondence in a concise, logical, grammatically appropriate format
  • Demonstrated ability to make decisions using sound judgement
  • Experience developing and managing strong partnerships and relationships, managing conflict and building consensus
  • Demonstrated skills in convening and facilitating collaborative work toward achieving social change
  • Excellent public speaking skills in both small and large settings with an ability to tailor presentations to different stakeholder groups
  • Ability to work with, report on and utilize data in decision-making
  • Understanding of the challenges and barriers faced by communities around ethnicity, race, class and gender, as well as a commitment to improving outcomes for vulnerable children, youth and families
  • Reputation as an experienced leader with a demonstrated ability to manage conflict in a professional and respectful manner with equitable consideration of multiple perspectives

Education and Experience

  • 10 or more years of professional experience
  • Three or more years of experience as an administrator in an educational setting
  • Five or more years of experience managing programs/initiatives and facilitating group discussions in order to achieve shared goal(s)
  • Master’s degree in social or behavioral sciences, education, human services, or a related field

This is a full-time 30 – 34-month full-time position with the potential for a longer appointment. Compensation for this opportunity has been designed to attract candidates with significant experience and a commitment to this community and the nonprofit sector.

To Apply

Please send a cover letter, resume and a writing sample to info@vppartners.org with subject line: “Ready for Work In-School Director.”