Operations / Administration Project Director: Post-Secondary Readiness Project
Advocates For Children (AFC) is a dynamic social justice organization that strives to ensure a high-quality education for New York students who face barriers to academic success, focusing on students from low- income backgrounds. AFC works on behalf of children and youth who are at greatest risk of academic failure due to poverty, race, ethnicity, disability, homelessness, immigration status/limited English proficiency, or involvement in the child welfare or\ juvenile/criminal legal systems. We use uniquely integrated strategies to advance systemic reform, empower families and communities, and advocate for the educational rights of individual students.
AFC is expanding the work of its Post-Secondary Readiness Project (PReP) and is looking for an experienced Project Director to build out the project and lead the team going forward. As expanded, PReP will advocate for students in New York City, with an emphasis on students with disabilities, to access the full range of post-secondary opportunities and will develop and coordinate a network of organizations to help students with disabilities succeed. The project has the following goals:
• Advocate for individual students to obtain the support they need to graduate from high
school and transition successfully to college or other post-secondary programs.
• Partner with other organizations to create a collaborative, or network, of support for
students with disabilities and their families bridging the transition from high school to
• Build capacity within AFC and our partner organizations to support students and their
families in this transition.
• Use what we learn in working with students on the ground to advocate for changes in
policies, programs, and practices on a systemic level.
The Project Director will spend a substantial amount of time in year 1 creating the collaborative – identifying potential partners and working with them to build an effective structure – and then will coordinate the collaborative’s activities in subsequent years. This position also will supervise PReP staff, which currently consists of a Staff Attorney and the Social Work Manager/Transition Specialist. Due to anticipated funding, AFC expects to add .5 FTE of an Administrative Assistant to the project in year 2 and another Staff Attorney in year 2 or 3. The Project Director will report to AFC’s Supervising Attorney.
Duties and Responsibilities:
• Responsible for supervision and direction of AFC’s Post-Secondary Readiness Project
• Responsible for creating, developing, and managing an NYC-based collaborative of
agencies and organizations supporting students with disabilities and their families in the
transition from high school to post-secondary opportunities.
• With support of Development staff, manages subgrants and relationships with subgrantees pertaining to this project.
• Works with PReP staff to set annual goals, monitor their progress, and provide reports as
• Provides, and collaborates with others to provide, training and technical assistance to
parents, youth, and professionals inside and outside AFC who serve students and their
families in the transition from high school to post-secondary opportunities.
• In collaboration with AFC’s Policy Director and with support from Policy staff, leads AFC’s
policy reform advocacy to address systemic barriers to successful transition of NYC
students to post-secondary opportunities, and helps inform the advocacy of the statewide
Coalition for Multiple Pathways to a Diploma, which is coordinated by AFC.
• Drafts and updates informational materials for parents, professionals, and youth as
• Provides one-on-one legal representation and/or non-legal advocacy to a small caseload
of transition-age students and their families who are experiencing school-related
difficulties, such as inappropriate special education placements and services, enrollment
issues, or school discipline.
• Writes grant reports and proposals relating to the project.
• Responds to the media, the local and national education community, and the public
concerning requests for information related to the work and focus of the project.
• Records contemporaneous and accurate entries in Salesforce database and uses Salesforce to manage and report on PReP activities.
• Understanding of and alignment with AFC’s mission. Please review AFC’s work at www.advocatesforchildren.org.
• 6+ years of experience as a supervisor/manager that includes supervision of staff and project design and management.
• Experience with advocacy in education or a related field.
• Knowledge (personal and/or professional) of the needs of students with disabilities transitioning to adulthood and familiarity with the governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations that play a role in supporting these students in New York City.
• Ability to lead the design and management of projects, including tracking, prioritizing, and meeting deadlines
• Experience with leadership in a coalition or collaborative context.
• Ability to supervise the team’s education advocacy case work and training activities
• Capacity to manage difficult conversations and problem solve challenges while sustaining
relationships with key stakeholders and moving AFC’s work forward.
• Ability to effectively engage across cultures, identities, and ethnicities and with both students and families.
• Desire to learn, both as an individual and as part of an organization, and apply diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism principles.
• Strong presentation skills and comfort with presenting or speaking publicly to a variety of audiences, including youth with disabilities, parents, community partners, and public officials.
• Organized, detail oriented, and able to work independently on tasks and deliverables.
• Strong writing ability.
• Strong meeting facilitation skills
• Bachelor’s degree required; JD or Master’s degree in a relevant field a plus.
Fluency in Spanish and ability to converse with students/families whose first language is Spanish
is a plus.