Senior Director, Community Engagement

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ABOUT THE POSSIBLE PROJECT:

The Possible Project (TPP) is a multi-year, youth entrepreneurship program offering students exciting project-based experiences:

  • 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 maker equipment, such as laser cutters, 3-D printers and clothing printers/presses
  • Personalized college and/or career advising

Throughout their TPP journey, high school 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 1000 students in the greater Boston area. The organization employs 30+ 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 and 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 sq ft Boston Innovation Center serving 1000 students a year, launching in September 2021. In addition to offering expanded program space, this Center will provide opportunities to collaborate and support an Ecosystem of community and business partners that enhance student learning, authentic work-based experiences, and career opportunities. 

The Role:

The Senior Director of Community Engagement will play an important role in developing and leading TPPs Ecosystem and community-centered approach, building the necessary, complementary  partnerships to make it a reality, and working closely with the  leadership team to represent TPP in Boston communities and with community and corporate organizations, schools, and government agencies. Specifically, the Senior Director of Community Engagement will represent TPP by developing and sustaining:

  1. external partnerships in the community around the Innovation Center: maintain a database of coalitions, attend community events, and build relationships and bridges in surrounding neighborhoods with small business owners/entrepreneurs and community centers. 
  2. relationships with tenants in the Innovation Center: convene monthly meetings, develop workshops and arrange collaborative events to build community and shared vision for complementary work. 
  3. manage the community space in the Innovation Center: develop and implement a strategy for use of the community space for local non-profits and community engagement 
  4. relationships with governmental entities: create/sustain communication with local politicians and city representatives. 
  5. partnerships with districts, schools, and administrations: attend DOE events, support recruitment efforts, monitor TPPs partnerships with schools, and present TPPs work. 
  6. Alumni engagement: develop and implement a strategy for TPP Alumni engagement.

Reports to: Chief External Affairs Officer

Responsibilities

  • Partner closely with the Chief External Affairs Officer and other leadership team members to develop and carry out an Ecosystem / community-centered plan for the launch and ongoing engagement with TPP’s Boston-based Innovation Center, including facilitating a Community Advisory Committee.
  • Partner with TPP’s leadership team to ensure strong understanding of and leveraging of surrounding community assets; this means: identifying key partners, securing MOUs (as needed) and documenting: key contacts, interactions, outcomes to inform TPPs community-strategy
  • Build relationships and partnerships with community-based and student-serving organizations in Boston to gather input on TPP strategies, and collaborate to serve students and communities effectively and holistically.
  • Understand and connect with the business community in proximity to the Innovation Center, and work with local business owners and TPP leadership to create a strategy that enhances and accelerates the success of that business community while also connecting its members with TPP students, alumni, programming, and enterprises; this means: research and outreach, setting measurable targets (number of local businesses, identify what success/progress looks like), and ongoing engagement. 
  • Stay closely apprised of developments and initiatives in Boston communities, and represent TPP in community-driven and community-centered initiatives and meetings. This means: setting a metric for the number of engagements, working closely with the Communications team to identify key messages, and reflect most current information about TPP to external audiences.
  • Play a key role in initiating, maintaining, and sustaining TPP relationships with Boston Public Schools, individual high schools, the Boston Mayor’s office, and other public entities such as the Boston City Council, Boston Police Department, etc.
  • In collaboration with the CEAO, manage TPP’s student enrollment meaning: manage / develop  recruitment systems, practices and marketing,  identify key potential partners, develop relationships, represent TPP and the Program to schools, engage leaders in understanding the Program, work with teachers to identify potential students for TPPs Intro to TPP, and connect all students to TPPs Enrollment Team
  • Collaborate with TPP leadership to develop and implement an alumni engagement strategy and related key practices (e.g. contact database management, surveying, communications, events, referrals to support services, etc.) 
  • Collaborate with TPP’s Program team to help ensure that design and implementation efforts take an approach to its curriculum and program delivery that takes into account the assets, needs, and perspectives of Boston students, families and communities.

Critical Skills, Experience and Competencies

  • Five or more years of community organizing or community development experience with progressive leadership responsibilities 
  • Demonstrated history of developing impactful organizational and community partnerships and engagement, ideally in Boston communities
  • Familiarity with and relationships in Boston communities, particularly Roxbury, Jamaica Plain and Dorchester, including relationships with community leaders and community-based and student-serving organizations.
  • Experience with government and public relations preferred but not required 
  • Highly organized to maintain databases in Salesforce or other SIS platform 
  • An asset-based and collaborative approach to developing partnerships
  • A belief in the potential of all young people to achieve their highest aspirations, and a passion for providing them with opportunity and tools to do so
  • An entrepreneurial approach, and a belief in the power of entrepreneurship to spark curiosity and learning for young people

DEI Statement:

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.

 

The Possible Project is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, cultural heritage, ancestry, political belief, age, marital status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability or veteran status

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