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Senior Director of Youth Development

Rocking the Boat

Job Description


Rocking the Boat

Senior Director of Youth Development


Job Description
Rocking the Boat began as a boatbuilding afterschool project for the high-need community of the South Bronx and incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2001. Today, the organization, with an annual budget of $3,500,000 is a hub of youth-development programming that serves nearly 3,000 young people and community members annually. The mediums of boatbuilding, environmental science, and sailing are paired with social/emotional, academic, and career counseling to have profound and lasting impact on participants.


The Position:
The Senior Director of Youth Development is a Licensed Social Worker and a key member of the organization’s four-person management team. The position is responsible for maximizing participant success by coordinating services and assessing impact and outcomes for Rocking the Boat’s community of high school participants and alumni on individual and collective levels. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Senior Director of Youth Development is responsible for supervising a three-member social work and college and career counseling team. The position coordinates participant recruitment; develops and cultivates strategic school partnerships; manages participant and alumni data collection and reporting; and oversees job orientation, design, and delivery for Rocking the Boat’s apprentices and alumni Program Assistants. This position also involves representing Rocking the Boat in a range of external environments and requires regular evening and intermittent weekend work.


The Senior Director of Youth Development has five core areas of responsibility:

Social Work and College and Career Counseling Program Management: Ensure that Rocking the Boat’s clients receive comprehensive and effective social/emotional, academic, and post-secondary school guidance services

• Ensure that all participants receive biopsychosocial assessments, set, and work towards their personal development goals
• Support staff in developing and maintaining partnerships with local mental health and job placement organizations for clinical and professional referrals
• Lead and manage a three-person staff including two Licensed Masters of Social Work and a college and career advisor
• Ensure that both Social Workers are supervising Masters level interns
• Manage Rocking the Boat’s volunteer-staffed tutoring program


Youth Development Program Recruitment, Enrollment, and Retention: Ensure that Rocking the Boat’s Student and Job Skills Programs are fully enrolled with participants committed to multiple years of engagement

• Develop and cultivate strategic school and organization partnerships to facilitate student recruitment, robust attendance, and long-term engagement
• Administer Rocking the Boat’s Summer Youth Employment Program, ensuring that all Youth Development participants are eligible to receive wages through the City
• Coordinate individual participant recruitment in collaboration with the Senior Director of Programs, the Director of Communications, and direct service program staff
• Coordinate cross-programmatic events and activities such as family nights, end-of-semester celebrations, and scholarship ceremonies with the Senior Director of Programs


Promotion of a Professional Workplace Culture among High School- and College-age Staff; Provide the resources for early-stage employees to use their experience at Rocking the Boat to be successful in the working world

• Design and lead tri-annual job orientations for Rocking the Boat’s apprentices and alumni Program Assistants that include reviewing job descriptions, offer letters, the employee handbook, and performance management
• Support the Apprentice/Alumni Social Worker in leading group conversations on a range of professional competencies and on the importance of building social capital
• Oversee ongoing coaching and mentoring both individually and in groups


Evaluation: Oversee the measurement and analysis of the individual and collective impact of Rocking the Boat’s Youth Development programs
• Manage the development and deployment of a series of technical and social/emotional participant assessments
• Coordinate participant and alumni data collection in a Salesforce database
• Use data to measure success internally and identify strategies for continuous improvement
• Synthesize statistics and generate reports for external communication


Community Relations: Represent Rocking the Boat consistently and actively among parents and relevant community and affinity groups
• Represent Rocking the Boat at community meetings, events, and conferences
• Develop and manage the Parent Advisory Committee
• Promote active use of the Remind participant and parent communication app


This job description does not represent a complete, comprehensive list of all duties and responsibilities of this position; other duties and unplanned activities may be required.


Strong candidates for the Senior Director of Youth Development position will have the following minimum qualifications and attributes:
• At least five years’ experience in nonprofit management and program development
• New York Licensure as a Social Worker, LCSW preferred
• Track record of successfully leading and managing teams with a strong but flexible and creative leadership in educational/youth development environments
• Experience in cross organizational program design and development
• Working in and with racially and socioeconomically marginalized communities
• Empowering direct reports to fulfill programmatic objectives while holding them accountable
• Organizational planning and problem solving
• Developing and managing program budgets, including tracking restricted grant funds
• Collaborating with other organizations or schools
• Organizational planning and problem solving
• Database management
• Evaluation and assessment
• Experience working with Development staff to provide statistical and anecdotal content for fundraising


For more information about Rocking the Boat, please visit their website at https://rockingtheboat.org/


Other information:
• Anticipated salary range is $100,000 to $110,000 per year, commensurate with experience plus benefits. The benefits package includes health, dental, vision, a 401k with 6% employer match, and 38 days paid time off including official holidays (43 after three years).
• All Rocking the Boat employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or be willing to receive the full set of vaccinations prior to employment.
• This position holds their own desk in a private office in an accessible building. While the main building is fully accessible, some entrances and spaces within the facility necessitate using stairs or ladders
• This position involves on-site presence Monday to Friday with the opportunity for limited remote work
• Opportunity to work with a creative, well-funded organization committed to community development and youth empowerment


Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility at Rocking the Boat
Rocking the Boat is committed to creating an environment that promotes the diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility of all applicants and employees. The organization strives not only to accept but to affirm and celebrate all identities. Race, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, and veteran status are not barriers to employment at Rocking the Boat. Candidates should feel welcome to communicate any special needs or requirements to be accommodated throughout the hiring process.


To Apply:
Rocking the Boat has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Noelle Minter, Senior Search Associate
Harris Rand Lusk
260 Madison Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10016

Email cover letter and resume to: nminter@harrisrand.com

Please include “Rocking the Boat – Senior Director of Youth Development” in the subject line of your emailed application.

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