Chicago Garden Instructor Needed

January 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Gary Comer Youth Center
7200 S. Ingleside Ave., Chicago, IL

Position Title: Instructor, Garden Apprentice and Internship program, Gary Comer Youth Center

Position Summary
In this part-time position, the Garden Apprentice and Intern Program Instructor will implement a year-round garden-based green career exploration program for 13- to 18-year-olds, teach garden and environmental science classes, facilitate on-the-job training in three produce distribution projects, and help to maintain the GCYC rooftop garden and grounds. The position reports to GCYC Garden Manager.

Gary Comer Youth Center
Having opened its doors in June 2006, the state-of-the-art Gary Comer Youth Center (GCYC) offers positive extracurricular alternatives in a welcoming and safe environment. The mission is to provide the support for all members to graduate from high school, prepared to pursue college and careers. Located on Chicago’s South Side, GCYC draws its primary membership from the youth of the South Shore Drill Team, Paul Revere School, Gary Comer College Prep High School, and youth residing in the broader 3rd District of the Chicago Police Department community. For more information:

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:
• Teach garden and environmental science classes to high school youth
• Organize and lead green career exploration workshops, field trips, career days and community service days for youth, families and community members
• Facilitate youth participation and leadership in garden-based entrepreneurial projects
• Provide leadership and supervision of youth during all aspects of apprenticeship and internship programs
• Manage daily program operations, including recording keeping and administrative duties
• Facilitate youth team building, character development and conflict resolution in an engaging, safe and positive environment
• Work collaboratively with all GCYC departments, including volunteers and external partners
• Assist with maintenance of 8,600 square foot organic rooftop farm and GCYC grounds
• Attend mandatory trainings and meetings as required
• Work up to 30 hours per week within the following schedule:
o CPS school year: Monday-Friday, 3 p.m. – 8 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.;
o CPS days-off, including spring break: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.;
o CPS summer break: Monday – Saturday: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
• Work outside year-round, ability to lift 25 lbs.

Experience / Education:
• Minimum of two years of experience working directly with youth in a program with a demonstrated track record of supporting high school graduation rates and career readiness.
• Preference will be given to applicants with significant experience growing food in an urban environment
• College degree, BA or BS required

Qualifications include:
• Knowledge of youth development and programming principles
• Demonstrable cultural competency with a dedication to working with youth, families and community members
• Experience working with and supervising 13- to 18-year-old youth, preferably in an urban agriculture setting
• Experience in environmentally responsible vegetable production gardening practices
• Ability to motivate and engage youth to explore green careers
• Excellent organizational and communication skills
• Ability to multi-task, troubleshoot and problem solve effectively
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite

Hourly Rate: Dependent upon qualifications and experience.

To apply: Email cover letter, resume and three references to: Marji Hess, GCYC Garden Manager,