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YOUTH PROGRAM COORDINATOR, CHICAGO LIGHTS URBAN FARM

Facilitate community-building and educational activities for high school job-training program

The Chicago Lights Urban Farm is a ¾ acre farm in the Near North community of Chicago. The Farm is dedicated to cultivating a thoughtful and engaged community of youth and adults through economic and educational opportunities, hands-on learning, and access to fresh, local, and sustainably grown produce. The Farm provides a safe sanctuary for community members, grows a variety of annual and perennial crops, offers programming for youth, distributes produce to the community, hosts volunteers, holds several community events, and provides space for community gardening.

The Youth Program Coordinator is a part-time position that manages an urban farm-based high school development and job training program called Chi-Lights Farm Corps. This role consists of facilitating high school-age youth in farm-related tasks, community-building and educational activities, and workshops on agricultural and social justice-related topics. The Coordinator is an integral part of the Farm, as they work alongside staff, child and youth program participants, and volunteers.

Responsibilities

  • Oversee and coordinate the high school program up to three sessions per year.
  • Plan curriculum and recruit for the high school program.
  • Lead activities and teach workshops for youth, recruit guest speakers, and identify off-site experiences. Offer hands-on experience in farm and marketing skills through engaging with Farm microenterprises and education practices.
  • Act as lead instructor and liaison for the Farm’s partnership with After School Matters through protocol compliance and relationship cultivation.
  • Attend professional development trainings both through ASM and other organizations.
  • Seek and cultivate partnerships that strengthen the youth program.
  • Stay connected with past program participants and organize a yearly Youth Advisory Council meeting for program input.
  • Assist with production and farm work tasks as needed.
  • Participate in community outreach activities and work with volunteers when able.
  • Use the S.P.I.R.I.T. principles of hospitality when interacting with visitors, guests, members, and staff of Fourth Presbyterian Church and Chicago Lights.
  • Attend staff meetings as required.
  • It is impossible to convey every single task into one job description. As the role evolves over time, this job description will be adjusted accordingly.

Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience with high school-age youth with education and interest in youth development models
  • Experience with gardening/urban farming principles and practices
  • Commitment to social justice values and engaging youth on these topics
  • Must have valid Driver’s License or willingness to obtain
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills; able to build relationships with youth and adults
  • Flexible availability and able to shift gears quickly and efficiently
  • Physical and mental endurance; ability to lift 40 pounds, stand for long periods of time, and work outside in any weather
  • Comfortable operating as member of a team and working with people of all ages
  • Understanding of and commitment to providing trauma-informed care
  • Strong work ethic and judgment, apparent collaboration skills, and a commitment to Chicago Lights’ mission
  • Commitment to racial equity and social justice: Recognize the role of race, income, age, immigration status, and other identities in shaping disparities, and work toward amplifying community voices to advocate for equity. Recognize how your own identities show up in the work, and welcome, reflect on, and act on feedback with an eye toward continuous learning about race, ability, and other lines of difference.

Schedule

This position is seasonal and runs from September to end of December and carries the possibility of continuing next year when the youth program resumes. Weekly hours will be around 20 and will include two evenings per week when the program is running. Exact days and hours may change and will be determined based on CPS schedules, After School Matters requirements, and seasonal farm operations. Occasional Saturdays and Sundays may be required for special events.

Compensation

Position will start at $16.50/hour

    Apply

    Please send cover letters and resumes to jobs@fourthchurch.org. Applications are due September 27, 2021. No phone calls, please.

    Fourth Presbyterian Church and Chicago Lights are committed to equal employment opportunity for all qualified persons, without regard to race, color, citizenship status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, age, creed, physical or mental disability, marital status or familial status, veteran status, military status, source of income, political affiliation, or any other factor protected by law.