Program Coordinator, Chicago – On-Site

Candidate Profile & Core Values

Spark ( is a Career Exploration and Self-Discovery Program that provides middle school students opportunities to understand, experience and pursue what’s possible for their future through skill-building workshops, 1:1 mentoring, and high school transition programs.

Spark is leading The Possibility Movement by bringing together diverse communities of families, schools and companies who care, share, teach and inspire. Spark Lab, Spark Mentorship and Spark High School Pathways use workplace experiences, mentoring and guided support to help students explore careers, build skills and find the right path to a successful future. Innovation and creativity flourish in a culture that’s always learning and always teaching!

Candidates will embody Spark’s Core Values: being a student and a mentor, working with passion and compassion, committing to collaboration, diversity, equity , and trusting/respecting each relationship.
Join a culture of possibility.

Reporting directly to the Senior Program Manager (PM), the Program Coordinator will implement Spark’s middle grades programming for their assigned partner schools. Coordinators should expect to spend 80% of their time directly on-site at their respective partner schools and 20% of their time working remotely from our office or at home.

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• Commitment to social justice and racial equity
• Expected and recent college or university graduates, AmeriCorps alumni, and former youth leaders are welcome to apply
• Experience and passion for providing direct service or volunteering with youth, preferably middle school students
• Ability to build and leverage relationships across multiple stakeholders such as school partners, families, and students
• Ability to plan and execute initiatives to meet agreed upon goals and targets
• Demonstrated ability to effectively manage student and classroom behavior
• Comfortability traveling via public transportation to school and corporate sites or reliable access to a vehicle and ability to drive to and remain on-site
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office, GSuite, familiarity with Salesforce and email or phone communications
• Must reside in the region they are applying, or be willing to relocate; Spark cannot provide moving assistance
• Fluency in Spanish is a plus
• Must be able to pass a Chicago Public School Fingerprint Based Background check
• 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:
• Be an independent, results-focused, highly-organized self-starter;
• Thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment, operating with a results-orientation and exceptional attention to detail;
• Have a proactive personality; eager to partner with our communities
• Be comfortable giving and receiving honest, constructive feedback
• Team-centered and collaborative
• Possess high-level strategic thinking skills and flexibility while working with youth

Core Responsibilities

As a Program Coordinator, you will be critical to Spark’s success as you are the face of Spark within schools and the primary relationship manager for our students and their families.

Program Implementation (45%)
Lead Student Recruitment, Enrollment, and Retention
• Serve as primary Spark staff liaison for students
• Work with the program team and school partners to set targets at each of your schools
• Execute student recruitment process to meet agreed upon goals
• Design and implement strategies to keep students engaged in the program throughout the school year

Student Coaching & Behavior Management
• Develop system and conduct regular check-ins with each Spark cohort (30 – 40 students) at your assigned schools
• Collaborate with school partners to develop and implement student management techniques and ensure student well-being
• Coach students through building relationships with caring adults and provide project support
• Observe and support on-site or virtual mentorships
• Facilitate Spark Lab and High School Pathways sessions for Spark students and adult volunteers (up to 60 participants)

Build Spark Culture Within Schools
• Support Spark’s position as a cornerstone partner in each of our schools by building relationships with students, families, and staff; providing support for school’s goals through Spark programming virtual and in person
• Identify and use school’s methods of communication and systems to effectively communicate Spark updates and resources with students, family, and staff
• Attend applicable non-Spark events (Report Card Pickup, conferences, field trips, showcases, etc) at each of your partner schools

Program Logistics (25%)
• Lead Student Transportation (Spark follows on-going COVID-19 regulations)
• Serve as primary Spark staff chaperone on trips to and from the school to Spark sponsored locations with your cohort; expect to travel 4 days a week

Support Programmatic Events
• Help staff and schools prepare for Spark’s mentorship kick-off and culminating events, as well as support in any fundraising or community-building events
• Lead student and family participation in any Spark events

Family Communication (20%)
• Communicate with student families for weekly program reminders and updates
• Conduct monthly phone calls home to families for every student in your cohort
• Communicate and coordinate with families on an ongoing basis to address any student concerns, such as attendance, participation, or behavior

Data Collection & Entry (10%)
• Administer, collect, and enter informal and formal student surveys and evaluations
• Maintain accurate records for students (attendance, consent forms, etc.) and maintain all database input needs

Compensation & Benefits

Salary: $42,000
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 percent of monthly premiums for employees, and a portion 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, and more.
Retirement Benefits: Spark offers a 401K plan for employees to make retirement planning investments. Spark will match 100% of the first 4% of employee contributions.
Paid Time Off: Employees receive unlimited PTO.
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 the trajectory of middle-school education nationwide.

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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Spark Employment Application

Spark Employment Application

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Thank you for your interest in Spark!


Please note that unless otherwise noted on the job description, Spark requires employees to be located in one of our operating regions and does not provide relocation assistance.

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Voluntary Demographic Questions

At Spark we believe that building a diverse team is essential to fulfilling our mission, and we are commited to creating an inclusive and equitable workplace where everyone can bring their whole selves to work and thrive.

With this goal in mind, we respectfully request the following demographic information in order to track our talent recruitment and hiring outcomes. We invite applicants to self-identify this information based on a short list of options. We recognize that questions that ask respondents to check boxes inherently do not capture the complexity of identity; however, we hope that the options represent an earnest attempt to collect data at scale while also respecting all identities. We ask that in participating you select the option that most closely aligns with how you self-identify. 

Responses to this survey are entirely OPTIONAL, and your responses, or declining to respond, will not impact the status of your application. Any information that you do provide will be recorded separately from your employment application and will not be visible to hiring managers. The data will only be analyzed retrospectively by our operations staff and reported in its aggregate form. Thank you!