Program Coordinator, Spark Philadelphia

Posted by Spark Philadelphia on May 4, 2015

Work differently. Join Spark.

Are you ready to work for a different type of nonprofit? Spark offers rewarding careers for hardworking professionals who want to bridge the opportunity gap for underserved students; connect with professionals in industries from architecture, to technology, to the culinary arts; and collaborate with dynamic local and national teams. Join a creative, energetic and dedicated group focused on helping seventh and eighth grade students stay engaged in school, on track for success and ready for exciting career possibilities.

Spark’s supportive National Team is dispersed throughout all four regional offices – San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia – to provide coaching, cross functional learning, leadership and resources. As a tech-savvy organization, Spark’s infrastructure integrates platforms including Salesforce, Gmail and DropBox to increase efficiency. Spark values work as a rewarding part of a balanced lifestyle and encourages team members to take advantage of a unique benefits package that includes unlimited personal time off and work schedule flexibility.

Join Spark & lead a proven program that’s poised for growth.

We’re proud of our high-energy, strategic, collaborative and solutions-oriented team

Spark seeks a Program Coordinator for our Philadelphia region.

To accelerate a career in the education and nonprofit sectors, and help us fulfill our mission, successful candidates will demonstrate exceptional project management experience, the ability to inspire and engage middle school students, and a make-it-work mentality. Candidates will also embody Spark’s Core Values: being a student and a mentor, loving what you do, taking positive risks and dreaming big, creating meaningful change in the world and making diversity a priority.

What you need to know about your role at Spark

Reporting to the Managing Director (MD) of Spark Philadelphia, the Program Coordinator (PC) will lead implementation of Spark’s apprenticeship program to prepare at-risk 7th and 8th graders to be ready, engaged, and on-track for high school. A successful Program Coordinator drives Spark’s day-to-day implementation at two to three partner schools, resulting in consistently engaged students, supportive families, collaborative school staff partnerships, and enthusiastic mentors.

Spark invests in people
• Salary: Low to mid-$30’s, commensurate with experience.
• Health Benefits: Full health coverage is provided, including medical, dental and vision no more 30 days after an employee’s first day. Spark covers up to 100% of monthly premiums, and 50% of the monthly premiums for dependents. Employee-funded flexible spending accounts for health and dependent care are offered. A life insurance policy providing $50,000 of coverage is also included.
• Learning Benefits: Spark highly values staff’s personal learning pursuits. Priority is placed on opportunities to pursue your choice of professional training opportunities, including workshops, conferences, etc.
• Retirement Benefits: For all contributions through Spark’s 401K plan, Spark will match retirement contributions dollar-for-dollar up to 3% of total salary in 2015.
• Paid Time Off: Spark staff may take time off based on the status of their work-related goals and results within the organization. This policy is part of Spark’s focus on a balanced and healthy life for staff.
• Non-Monetary Compensation: The opportunity to be an integral member of an energetic, innovative, hard-working and rapidly growing team, within an organization that has the potential to significantly change American middle-school education.

What it takes to be a member of the Spark team

• 1-3 years of work experience, ideally in the non-profit or education sectors; for-profit experience welcomed;
• Demonstrated track record of motivating and inspiring disengaged middle school youth;
• Results-focused, highly organized self-starter who works effectively in teams and independently with a high degree of resourcefulness;
• Ability to confidently manage a high-volume, deadline-driven workload with poise and optimism;
• Experience managing projects in partnership with school administration, teachers and families;
• Significant cross-cultural competency and strong interpersonal skills, including experience building successful partnerships in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods and with company partners;
• Exemplary time management and organization skills; analytical skills a plus;
• Experience managing volunteers or staff a plus;
• Proficiency in Google and Microsoft products (e.g. Drive, Docs, Sheets, Word, and Excel), and databases (specifically Salesforce experience a plus);
• Bachelor’s degree required;
• Spanish proficiency a plus;
• Legally eligible to work in the United States; no sponsorship provided.

• In addition, to be successful as a member of the Spark team in this role, you will:
o Thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment, operating with a results-orientation and exceptional attention to detail, with the ability to prioritize multiple tasks with limited time and resources;
o Have a proactive personality; no work is ‘beneath’ you and you are eager to serve others, rolling up your sleeves when necessary;
o Demonstrate mature judgment, with a high level of personal and professional responsibility, integrity and trustworthiness;
o Outstanding written and verbal communication skills;
o Have a sense of humor, even under stress;
o Be comfortable giving and receiving honest, constructive feedback;
o Have a strong desire to impact an up-and-coming nonprofit organization;
o Value relationships and accountability, empowering others to achieve superior results.

Here’s a glimpse at your future to-do list. Your time and talent will help deepen our impact, expand our reach and make more bright futures possible.

Lead Program Implementation with Partner Schools
• Manage 2-3 school partnerships to ensure the successful implementation of the Spark program;
• Develop and maintain a strong system of communication and support with school staff to ensure their successful management of program operations and implementation of weekly leadership class;
• Ensure consistent support of student engagement and safety, and implementation of student check-ins, leveraging volunteer interns when available;
• Cultivate motivational relationships with each student throughout the Spark cycle, including student enrollment, matching, apprenticeships, and celebration;
• Lead matching efforts for placement of students with mentors throughout the city aligned with student skills and desires, transportation safety, and volunteer strengths and availability;
• Ensure quality apprenticeship experiences through regular assessments, including frequent site visits;
• Raise awareness of Spark through involvement in school activities leading to greater staff and parent support for the program and greater programmatic impact on school climate.
• Implement Spark’s evaluation methods, including ensuring reporting and integrity of all participation, impact, and quality data, as well as compliance requirements;
• Support the growth of Spark’s program through donor visits to program in action at schools and/or apprenticeship locations and external communications.

Coordinate With and Support Volunteer Mentors
• Maintain regular communication with volunteers to ensure high-quality volunteer experiences, provide coaching as needed, and document support and coaching efforts in Spark’s database.
• Collaborate with Volunteer Coordinator for weekly mentor newsletters; coordinate any student or mentor absences or schedule changes;
• Organize transportation plan for each student and communicate to each stakeholder.

Keeping middle grades students engaged, on track and ready for success

Spark ( is a national nonprofit that brings underserved seventh and eighth grade students out of the classroom and into the workplace for tailor-made mentoring and apprenticeships that keep students engaged, on track and ready for success in high school and beyond. Created by educators and entrepreneurs in 2004, Spark has grown to serve more than 2,000 students in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. The program couples project-based mentoring in today’s most popular industries with a customized, in-school Leadership Curriculum that emphasizes the importance of skills, including teamwork, time management and goal setting, to equip students for success during the transition to high school.

NBC’s TODAY show, NBC Nightly News, Esquire magazine and The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring have all highlighted the benefits of Spark’s unique program. Supported by more than 80 hours of powerful, hands-on programming, 90% of Spark students enter ninth grade on track to graduate on time, compared to 70% of their peers.

We want to hear all about you and your experience

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with a targeted start date of July 6, 2015. To Apply: Please email your resume and cover letter to Please indicate “Program Coordinator – Philadelphia” as well as your full name in the subject line.

Spark is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applications from all individuals regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, and evaluate all candidates based on merit; we strongly encourage and seek qualified applications from underrepresented groups.

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