About the Possible Project
The Possible Project (TPP) is a multi-year, youth entrepreneurship program offering students exciting project-based experiences, including:
- the creation and running of student-directed, passion-based ventures
- hands-on experiences within TPP Social Enterprises
- work-based learning opportunities through internships and fellowships
- learning about and use of high-technology design software and maker equipment, such as laser cutters, 3-D printers and clothing printers/presses
- personalized college and/or career advising
Throughout their TPP journey, students work with dedicated educators, advisors, peers, and field experts; earn stipends; design products and services in a state-of-the-art makerspace; attend pitch panels and marketplaces; build and apply essential skills, mindsets, and social capital; and explore the exciting opportunities that exist post-high school. Students have fun learning, growing and interacting with peers as they design their futures.
TPP is in its second decade of operations, having served nearly 1,000 students in the greater Boston area. The organization employs 25+ professionals with plans to grow significantly in Boston over the next four years, as well as other cities beyond 2025. TPP offers a strong professional development ethos, a fast-paced entrepreneurial culture, innovative curriculum & pedagogy, and a commitment to excellence and student impact. Importantly, TPP is highly committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in everything we do.
Currently in an expansion mode, TPP plans to open a 35,000 square-foot Boston Innovation Center launching in Fall 2021, and serving 1,000 students a year by 2024. This facility, located in the Jackson Square neighborhood, will serve as TPP’s headquarters and program space beginning in fall 2021. In addition, the Innovation Center will have community space available for use by neighborhood groups and nonprofit organizations, office space for partner organizations, and co-working space for local entrepreneurs. It is TPP’s hope that the Innovation Center will be a strong contributor to the already vibrant ecosystem of neighborhood organizations, youth programs, and businesses in Jackson Square and the surrounding communities. The opening of the Innovation Center will also represent the first time that TPP hosts Boston students from multiple high schools in the same space; with this larger and more diverse group of students, a strong student support leader will be critical to TPP’s success and that of its students.
About the Director of Student Support Role
TPP is seeking a Director of Student Support to play a critical role in making the launch and ongoing operation of TPP’s Innovation Center as powerful and inclusive as possible. Alongside other key organizational and program leaders at TPP, the Director of Student Support will be responsible for strengthening and stewarding the student experience at TPP and in the Innovation Center. This individual will work to ensure that TPP students, staff, tenants, and guests view and experience the Innovation Center and TPP as collaborative and inclusive spaces that are safe both psychologically and physically. The Director of Student Support will be responsible for maintaining strong relationships and rapport with students, families and TPP staff, both individually and collectively, and for connecting students and families to outside support when necessary. In addition, The Director of Student Support will also be responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with partner organizations and agencies that can support the safety of TPP students, staff and tenants, and for developing and carrying out an overall safety and incident management plan for TPP’s programs. The person in this role must have a stellar track record of developing trusting relationships with young people and their families, as well as with community leaders and partner organizations.
Connect With and Support Students:
- Develop a student intake process and conduct or oversee the process with each incoming TPP student
- Maintain a strong presence and rapport with all TPP students collectively, and as many individual TPP students as possible
- Work with students and other TPP staff members to develop and uphold high standards of conduct and behavioral norms in the TPP program and Innovation Center
- Provide input as needed into the TPP program plan for each student, as developed by the TPP Pathways team and the student
- Confer with other TPP staff members as needed to support their work and relationships with students
- Refer students and families to other TPP staff members and or outside resources for supports as needed
- Foster relationships with key external student support providers
Behavior and Incident Management:
- Create and support an environment where behavioral standards and norms are upheld and enforced through a caring, supportive and asset-based approach
- Investigate and resolve all incidents in a fair and just manner through restorative practices
- Provide mediation to resolve conflicts between students
- Investigate and address student complaints and grievances
- Maintain behavioral records required by policy, regulation, law and good practice
- In partnership with TPP’s Operations team, ensure that TPP and the Innovation Center are considered safe spaces by all students
- Develop partnerships with community leaders, organizations, and public agencies to support a positive and supportive culture at TPP, and enhance the safety of TPP students in and around the Innovation Center
- Represent TPP with external partners, and facilitate partner meetings
- In partnership with TPP’s Operations team, create and manage a comprehensive safety plan for students
- Confer with staff, students and families on security matters
- Coordinate with TPP’s Operations team and external partners to assure proper protocol is followed in case of incident
- Assist in developing and administering practices dealing with building access control and security
- Partner with Operations team to determine needed transportation supports for students, if necessary
Program Knowledge and Input:
- Maintain deep knowledge of TPP’s programs and of resources that exist within the organization and with key organizational partners
- Lead meetings with TPP program staff to facilitate additional support for individual students or specific TPP classes when necessary
- Advise as needed on modifications to the TPP program to meet individual student needs
- Work with TPP program leadership to identify and explore new program opportunities as needed
Necessary Background & Experience:
- An understanding of the diverse and complex issues facing youth, in particularly those who face multiple risk factors
- Knowledge of the cultural dynamics throughout Boston’s diverse communities, and how they affect youth
- Existing network of Boston-based youth development, violence prevention, and public safety agencies
- Minimum of 7+ years of experience working directly with or on behalf of diverse, youth and young adults in Boston communities
- Experience with restorative justice and trauma-informed practices
- Social work or counseling background a strong plus
Critical Skills & Capabilities:
- Ability to meet deadlines, pay attention to detail, take initiative, think creatively, and solve complex problems all within a demanding and sometimes intense work environment
- Strong written and verbal communication, presentation, project management skills.
- Ability to manage and complete a high volume of work at a consistently high level of quality
- Ability to work independently and maintain collaborative relationships with other team members
- Mature interpersonal style, and an ability to interact and act as a bridge builder with a diverse range of organizations and people
- Willingness and ability to work flexible hours outside of regular business hours (if needed).
We believe every member of our team and student body deserves opportunities for growth, success and inclusion. We recognize that for many of our students, staff and communities, their life journeys run through oppressive structures and systems (e.g. classism, racism, sexism) — and that’s what makes our organizational culture and work so necessary and important.
We believe that diversity in perspective, backgrounds, ethnicities and lived experience is a strength, and from that strength, we can accomplish great things with the students we serve. Together as students, staff, organizations, communities, volunteers, and partners, we are intentional about creating safe spaces where all members can speak authentically and be themselves.
We are committed to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. As members of The Possible Project community, our progression along this ongoing journey raises thoughtful questions, reveals biases, and opens conversations. We celebrate one another and are unified in our commitment to young people, excellence, and innovation. This work is our shared responsibility and our opportunity to welcome all members who share in our mission and strive to provide pathways that further prepare students in achieving their desired success.