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21/22 Gap Year Service Opportunity : Student Support Specialist (Denver Metro Area)

Organization Summary:
Colorado Youth for a Change (CYC) is an educational nonprofit organization with a statewide scope, which provides direct service to high school aged youth. CYC’s mission is to solve Colorado’s dropout crisis. CYC utilizes an outreach, relationship, and case management approach to support in-school youth to remain in school. CYC started Corps for a Change in 2015 as a way to increase preventative programming within the organization. Corps for a Change focuses on attendance and school engagement support.  

Position Summary 
Corps for a Change has 25 AmeriCorps members who will engage with in-school youth to assist in combating the dropout crisis. AmeriCorps members will focus on interventions such as one-on-one meetings, home visits, phone calls, and tutoring, in order to address individual student barriers to improve attendance and increase engagement in school. Due to COVID-19, some of these services may be provided remotely. The goal of the Corpsmember term of service is to support students to be more engaged in school, improve attendance, and help support a path toward academic success.  

Position Duties 
  • Quickly build relationships with youth identified with low attendance  
  • Monitor student attendance and conduct one on one meetings to support students in being successful in school (academics, attendance, social-emotional needs, general school engagement) 
  • Engage parents/guardians through phone calls, meetings, and home visits 
  • Provide tutoring to students as needed 
  • Address barriers to student learning by connecting them with in-school and local community service providers so they may focus on school 
  • Track all students’ progress within CYC’s database, school databases, and other spreadsheets 
  • Complete CYC intake process (pre- and post-survey, identities and life events information) 
  • Member will collaborate with school staff, students, families, and CYC staff in order to successfully accomplish responsibilities 

Additional Position Duties in response to COVID-19:  
  • Support additional school and district-wide engagement and outreach efforts/needs as they relate to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on education and student engagement 
  • Virtual 1v1 student meetings and interventions -supporting students/families/communities with accessing technology needs while schools are remote/hybrid  
  • Supporting students/families/communities with accessing food while schools are remote/hybrid 
  • Supporting students/families/communities with accessing hygiene and basic needs resources while schools are remote/hybrid  
  • Serving at community organizations, food banks, and faith-based institutions that are responding to community needs  
  • Supporting the broader community through COVID-19 via virtual and in-person service opportunities such as making and distributing PPE, writing letters to isolated community members, recording "at home" book readings for elementary aged students, etc. 

 Hours and Term of Service: 
Members are required to serve full-time, during a typical school schedule, with some mandatory night and weekend hours. A typical member schedule is from 7:30am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. However, this is flexible depending on the needs of the site and/or the member. 1200 hours of service are to be completed between August 16th, 2021 and May 31st, 2022. Members are required to participate in regular team meetings remotely/in Denver and three “Days of Service” throughout the course of the service term (MLK Day, 9/11 Day of Remembrance and Cesar Chavez Day). 

Member Training: 
Members will participate in a five-day onboarding training at the beginning of their service term. It will be both online and in-person. Members will participate in interactive trainings, self-directed learning projects, etc. In addition, members will receive one-on-one supervision training twice per month by their CYC supervisor and participate in ongoing professional development trainings facilitated by CYC staff and through community partners of CYC. Members will also participate in professional development opportunities at their service sites which vary depending on the site. Members are also required to participate actively in “cluster groups” which meet regularly to create a space for members to support and train each other in best practices. These groups will have 5-6 members and group membership will be based on where members are serving.  

Service Location: 
CYC AmeriCorps members will be placed at one main school site during their term of service. There will be regular opportunities to connect as a larger team with your fellow Corpsmembers, in addition to bi-weekly supervision with your CYC supervisor. Service locations sites are located in, though not limited to, Denver, Commerce City, Aurora, Fort Collins, Jefferson County, and Thornton.  

Position Requirements:  
  • 18 years of age or older   
  • Be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident  
  • Have a high school diploma or G.E.D; College degree or some college experience preferred.  
  • Not have served more than the allowed number of AmeriCorps terms previous to this term.  
  • Submit to a full background check, including a sex offender registry check, state criminal history registry check, and FBI fingerprint-based check. This position has recurring access to vulnerable populations and selection is contingent upon satisfactory results of these checks.  
  • Strong planning and time-management skills. 
  • Strong capacity to be flexible and adaptable to varied circumstances. 
  • Consistent follow-through. 
  • Ability to accept and incorporate constructive feedback from coaches and program staff. 
  • Ability to work with diverse personalities. 
  • Ability to adapt to a sometimes challenging and high-pressure environment. 
  • Strong personal standards of excellence, ethics, and integrity. 
Preferred Qualifications:  
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills  
  • Independent, self-motivated work style  
  • Excellent follow-through and strong organization skills  
  • Experience working with middle and high school age youth, especially disadvantaged youth  
  • Volunteer experience and interest in service learning  
  • Access to a reliable vehicle and valid driver’s license  
  • A passionate and committed belief that youth can rise above seemingly insurmountable obstacles and return to school, graduate, and enter into post-secondary education.   
  • Bilingual – Spanish/English a plus 

  • Living allowance is up to $11,750 total, pre-tax and paid twice per month. This equates to $618.42 per pay period.  
  • Members who complete the minimum 1200 service hours, will receive an education award of $4,441.50 at the end of a successful term of service, which can be used to repay student loans or for current or future education. Other education award amounts are as follows: 
  • 900 hours – $3,172.50 
  • 675 hours – $2,417.14 
  • 450 hours – $1,678.57 
  • Mileage reimbursement or bus fare. 
  • Cell phone and laptop for use during service term. 
  • Members participate in professional development and training including personal strengths, inclusivity, working with high needs students, communication styles, and a variety of other topics.  

Disclaimers: In accordance with AmeriCorps Regulation 45 CFR 2540.100, this position does not duplicate work of previous or existing employees or volunteers, supplant the hiring of workers, or include service or duties that have been performed or were performed by a current employee, an employee who recently resigned or was discharged, an employee subject to a reduction in work force, or an employee who is on leave. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is committed to achieving a diverse, high-performing workforce. No persons involved with this program will discriminate based on race, religion, creed, color, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation, disability, marital/parental status, or military service. We strive to provide a service and work environment free of sexual, racial, ethnic, religious or other harassment.