College Access and Alumni Pathways Associate

Dreamyard Project, Inc.

Mission Statement

DreamYard collaborates with Bronx youth, families and schools to build pathways to equity and opportunity through the arts.

About DreamYard

DreamYard Project is the largest arts provider in the Bronx, and uses project-based arts learning to ignite the transformative spirit in youth, public schools and communities. DreamYard’s school-based and out of school programs are based on 21st century learning and social justice pedagogy principles. Our work is aligned with the NYC Department of Education (DOE) Blueprint for the Arts and the NY State Learning Standards, and encourages young people to pursue educational pathways toward higher learning, meaningful careers and social action. Our nationally recognized programming has grown tremendously in response to student interest and community need.

Co-Executive directors Jason Duchin and Tim Lord founded DreamYard (DY) in 1994. Since then, DreamYard has worked with more than 100 public schools and over 100,000 young people and families. DreamYard has developed a robust educational community in the Bronx – from its network of 50 partnering public schools including the DY Preparatory High School to year-long programs at the DY Art Center. 

Vision and Approach

At the DreamYard Art Center, we seek to offer quality programs, services and experiences at the intersection of art and social justice for young people from K–12th grade and beyond. We aim to include families, community members, and a variety of stakeholders as we develop pathways towards equity, sustainability, and justice. We believe in quality instruction merged with relevant social justice pedagogy principles to inspire students to strengthen character, scholarship and artistic voice to create change. Our core values of Activate, Create, Connect, and Nurture describe our commitment to teaching for equity, justice and hope. We strive to support students’ academic and artistic needs while working toward becoming an anti-racist society. 

The Community 

DreamYard is focused entirely in the Bronx, a borough that possesses incredible cultural, human and economic strengths. The organization believes that the arts are a necessary part of developing those strengths to their greatest potential. 

Job Description

As a part-time member of DreamYard’s Art Center Programs team, The College Access and Alumni Pathways (CAAP) Associate will assist young people at the DreamYard Arts Center in defining, refining, and achieving their educational and professional life goals. The primary role of the CAAP Associate is to engage DreamYard participants, including but not limited to prospective and current college students, to ensure that they are supported and are receiving resources to help them succeed in their college endeavors. Serving as a resource hub for young people and their families, they will combine academic enrichment, college prep, tutoring, mentoring, individual case management and advisement, all delivered within the framework of DreamYard’s commitment to racial and social justice. 

This position provides a creative, compassionate, persistent person with the opportunity to develop a strong network of critical support that helps Bronx youth, many of whom are first-generation college students, focus on the path to college graduation or other sustainable life opportunities.

Essential functions:

  • Counsel students on college application process, including essay preparation, financial aid, and other key elements of the college admissions process 
  • Build and Maintain a library of college preparation and admissions resources for students.
  • Build and Maintain database for students’ academic progress, college acceptances, scholarship tracking and disbursement
  • Plan and facilitate college readiness workshop series aligned with DreamYard’s racial equity prime
  • Maintain connections with partner schools & college readiness organizations
  • Track student pipelines towards secondary educational opportunities and / or creative career pathways
  • Build positive, appropriate relationships with participants and families 
  • Represent DreamYard and the Art Center in a manner that reflects our core values, our vision, and our approach
  • Support colleagues in programs both on and off site as needed

While this list may represent the primary duties required of this role, the list does not constitute a complete or exclusive list, and is subject to change.

Desired Qualifications and Competencies:

  • Minimum of 2 years of experience as a college access coordinator (or similar youth work experience); experience in the creative arts, and / or social justice & culture based work a strong plus
  • In depth knowledge of New York City public education system, local and national college application process, local and national financial aid structure, policy, and deadlines
  • Ability to successfully plan and lead workshops; willingness to collaborate on projects and participate in team building activities
  • Experience working closely with immigrants, youth, people of color, and communities who have historically and structurally been marginalized
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to collaborate with diverse groups and stakeholders in working towards common goals
  • Excellent research, written and verbal communication skills; excellent project management, organizational, problem solving, and negotiation skills 
  • Proficient computer skills (spreadsheets, powerpoint presentations, word processing, data input)
  • Able to set clear goals and high expectation for students, self, and colleagues; committed to excellence
  • Is a lifelong learner, committed to continual professional and personal development
  • Enjoys working both independently and collaboratively towards a common vision
  • Thrives in a dynamic work environment; is flexible and comfortable with organizational change and growth
  • Has experience with and passion for working with young people who have a broad range of abilities and learning styles; embraces a strengths-based approach to youth work
  • Ability to think critically and creatively; effective advocacy and negotiation skills
  • Ability to create and manage dynamic systems that are student and people centered
  • Ability to work some evenings and some weekends
  • Fluency in written and spoken English; bilingual Spanish speakers strongly encouraged to apply
  • Direct working knowledge of the South Bronx and the Morrisania community a plus

DreamYard Project

DreamYard is committed to the principles of arts education, educational equity, and social justice. Accordingly, we welcome and encourage applications from a diverse range of individuals. People of color, Indigenous people, formerly incarcerated people, women, non-binary, LGBTQ individuals, Bronx residents / natives and Spanish-speaking applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. DreamYard Project Inc. employs without regard to race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, or any other attribute not related to superior performance. 

COVID19 Protocol:

Must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the commencement of employment and must be willing to adhere to all COVID-19 workplace safety policies and protocols.

DreamYard offers competitive salaries, an excellent benefits package, and generous paid time off; starting salary for this position is commensurate with experience and with similar positions citywide.

DreamYard is an equal opportunity employer.