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Career Story: Director Of Operations For A Youth Development Program

Director Of Operations For A Youth Development Program

Job Title: Director Of Operations

Type of Company: We are a youth agriculture and community service program.

Education: BS, Resources Management, State University of New York •• MS, Forestry, University of Idaho

Previous Experience: I have worked in community development and natural resource conservation for more than 25 years.

Job Tasks: I handle planning and administrative tasks and take the lead in running programs for teens and community members in our non-profit organization. My responsibilities and duties include things like preparing budgets, monitoring finances, hiring. I work closely with two other people to coordinate the different parts of the program we each work on.

Part of my job is to plan, organize, and facilitate a six-week summer employment program for teens. In order to do that I liaise with the county agency that pays the youth. I prepare job applications and distribute them widely, talking to school counselors and others who work with teens to let them know about this opportunity. We interview each interested youth and select those who will participate in the program. I then work with the teens to ensure that all of the necessary paperwork is completed.

As director of a youth development and employment program I develop a curriculum for the six-week program. Kids work in the gardens, but they also spend time learning about agriculture, developing leadership skills, participating in community service events and other activities. The curriculum I design ensures that each of the youths is able to participate in all the activities. It also includes time for reflection and assessment. I think that's part of the reason the program has been so successful: so much effort has gone into designing and facilitating it.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is watching teenagers learn and develop during the program. The feedback we get from them, and the significant changes participation in the program makes in their lives is very rewarding.

The worst part of my job is writing proposals for funding. In general, the success rate of proposals is very low, and we have had our share of rejections -- which can be disheartening after spending many many hours in preparation.

Job Tips: Working with teens requires lots of positive energy, and can lead to incredible rewards.

Be willing to learn overtime. There is often no right or wrong, just different ways of doing something.

Organization skills are essential!

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