Illinois: Gary Comer Youth Center seeks Urban Agriculture Instructor

19 May
Position Summary

The Urban Agriculture instructor will develop and implement year-round garden-based educational programs for youth K- 12.  The instructor will also manage all grant-related programming and administrative duties. The instructor will develop and implement  garden-based classes for in-school and out-of-school programs. The position reports to GCYC Garden Manager.

Gary Comer Youth Center

Having opened its doors in June 2006, the state-of-the-art Gary Comer Youth Center (GCYC) offers positive extracurricular alternatives in a welcoming and safe environment. The mission is to provide the support for all members to graduate from high school, prepared to pursue college and careers. Located on Chicago’s South Side, GCYC draws its primary membership from the youth of the South Shore Drill Team, Paul Revere School, Gary Comer College Prep High School, and youth residing in the broader 3rd District of the Chicago Police Department community. For more information: www.gcychome.org. 

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Teach urban agriculture and related environmental science classes to 6th  through 12th grade youth as an in-school elective, after-school enrichment and after-school and school vacation program
  • Organize and lead green career exploration workshops, field trips, career days and community service days for youth, families and community members
  • Train part-time instructors, student interns and volunteers to assist or lead garden education classes
  • Facilitate youth participation and leadership in garden-based entrepreneurial projects
  • Provide leadership and supervision of youth
  • Manage daily program operations,  including grant requirements, recording keeping and administrative duties
  • Facilitate youth team building, character development and conflict resolution in an engaging, safe and positive environment
  • Work collaboratively with all GCYC departments, including volunteers and external partners
  • Attend mandatory trainings and meetings as required
  • Work outside year-round, ability to lift 25 lbs.

Experience / Education:

  • Minimum of three years of experience working directly with 6th through 12th grade youth in a program with a demonstrated track record of supporting high school graduation rates and career readiness.
  • Minimum of two years experience developing agricultural education curriculum aligned with state 6th-12th grade learning standards
  • Minimum of two years experience as instructor of urban agriculture or related field  in-school and out-of-school classes and programs
  • Preference will be given to applicants with significant experience growing food in an urban environment
  • College degree, BA or BS required; master’s preferred

Qualifications include:

  • Knowledge of youth development and programming principles
  • Experience developing and teaching new programs to middle school and high school aged youth both in-school and out-of-school
  • Demonstrable cultural competency with a dedication to working with youth, families and community members
  • Experience in environmentally responsible vegetable production gardening practices
  • Ability to motivate and engage youth to explore green careers
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills
  • Ability to multi-task, troubleshoot and problem solve effectively
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite

Salary: Dependent  upon qualifications and experience.

To apply: Email cover letter, resume and three references to: Marji Hess, GCYC Garden Manager, mhess@gcychome.org by May 29, 2011. 

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