VISTA position, Chester Youth Collaborative

Posted by on July 7, 2006

An opportunity for those who want to be part of a movement to improve the quality of out-of-school programs for youth as a way of opening doors and changing lives, all just 20 minutes from downtown Philadelphia.

Chester Youth Collaborative
The Wellness Center
2600 West 9th Street
Chester, PA 19013
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The Chester Youth Collaborative is a network of youth ages 12-22, community residents, youth serving organizations, and area organizations that support youth but don?t work directly with young people (for example, the Chamber of Commerce or the United Way). Chester is a mid-sized city located along I-95, roughly 20 minutes south of Philadelphia and 20 minutes north of Wilmington, DE. The Wellness Center, which is a part of Crozer-Chester Medical Center, is responsible for coordinating activities of the Chester Youth Collaborative. The vision of the Collaborative is ?a strong Chester community in which all youth reach their full potential and transition successfully to adulthood?. One section of the Chester Youth Collaborative is the Youth Serving Organizations Group. In order to achieve our vision, Youth Serving Organizations (YSOs) in the Collaborative are working on 1) strengthening the quality of our programs, by attending trainings in basic quality standards for out-of-school youth programs and then creating Improvement Plans; 2) making sure that we can offer participants a full range of youth development services- not just recreation, but academic and cultural enrichment, career and workforce preparation, and college access; and 3) tracking outcomes among youth participants, then using outcomes data to strengthen applications for funding.

VISTAS will work out of the Wellness Center?s office suite, but will spend significant time working with the Youth Serving Organizations (YSOs) within the Chester Youth Collaborative. VISTAS will work with YSOs to gather and analyze outcomes data and participate in quarterly training and technical assistance sessions aimed at helping YSOs further strengthen their out-of-school programs. VISTA members will use the results of data analysis help YSOs conduct prospect research and develop funding proposals. During the process, VISTAS will be invited to take part in and/or observe the programs of the various YSOs in order to form relationships with youth served by the programs as well as front line program staff. They will also help to coordinate and facilitate celebrations held by the Collaborative to highlight achievements being made by YSOs and their participants.

AmeriCorps Keywords- Youth Development, Children/Youth, Adolescents, Collaborative

Program Details
Program Locations: PA
Program Type: AmeriCorps*VISTA
Program Start/End Date: 4/1/06-3/31/07

Duties, Requirements and Benefits
Member Duties: Responsibilities of the VISTAS include:
1. Participating in ongoing training in the areas of positive youth development, program development, and outcomes measurement
2. Working with Wellness Center and their partner, the United Way of Southeastern PA?s Center for Youth Development, to monitor progress of Youth Serving Organizations in the Chester Youth Collaborative on their organizational quality improvement plans
3. Collecting and analyzing data needed to report on progress/outcomes among Youth Serving Organizations
4. Using data analysis to make recommendations to leadership of the Chester Youth Collaborative about needs among Youth Serving Organizations
5. Assisting with prospect research and proposal development based on needs assessments

Terms: Requires full time service with or without outside commitments
Work Schedule: Full time
Service Area: Children/Youth, Community Outreach
Length of Tour: 12 month(s)
Age Requirement: Minimum: 18; Maximum: None
Skill Requirement(s): Communications, Computers/Technology, Leadership, Youth Development, Teaching/Tutoring; Experience in program evaluation, fundraising/grant writing a plus, but training will be provided.
Education Requirement: High School Diploma; Associates Degree preferred
Language Requirement: Spanish a plus, but not required
Program Benefits: Childcare assistance if eligible, Choice of Education Award or End of Service Stipend, Health Coverage, Living Allowance, Relocation Allowance, Training
Application Information: Accepting applications From 1/1/06 To 7/1/06
Additional requirements: Resume and cover letter; Valid driver?s license; Must agree to criminal and child abuse background checks, as well as drug screen; Familiarity with Chester a plus, but not required
Contact Information: Janet S. Riley Ford (610) 497-7422;

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