Founded in 2003, Urban Initiatives is a nonprofit organization that runs youth development programs in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Urban Initiatives’ mission is to empower Chicago’s youth to become agents of community change through academic success, healthy living, and leadership development. We drive systemic change by connecting stakeholders and strengthening the social fabric of the community. Urban Initiatives takes a collaborative, whole child approach to development in order to provide children with ongoing opportunities to reach their full potential.
Play with Potential Overview
Launched in 2012, Play with Potential is Urban Initiatives’ recess program that aims to maximize the health, academic, and social-emotional learning benefits of daily recess. The program engages all students in a school, grades K-8, and aims to maximize students’ access to safe, fun, and active play. We have dedicated on-site staff and a broad curriculum that elevates the power of play at recess.
We are currently seeking a leader to oversee this program, which is currently offered in 24 schools throughout Chicago.
The Play with Potential Director dedicates their time to overseeing the strategic direction and high-quality implementation of Urban Initiatives’ recess program. This includes developing and managing the implementation of the annual plan as well as responsibility for reaching all Play with Potential departmental goals. More specifically, this person dedicates their time to program development, school partnership management and development, recess staff cultivation and training, and management of our three-person manager team. The Director supports three program managers who oversee program implementation in 7-8 schools each, 21-24 schools total, and ensures that program standards are being met across all sites. The Director ensures that the management team has a consistent and intentional approach to supporting School-Based Program Coordinators and REC Coordinators.
Play with Potential program direction and oversight, including the development of an annual plan
Oversee curricular enhancements
Ensure high quality program implementation across all sites
Supervise 3 program managers
Oversee program staffing (hiring, training, management, etc.)
Direct school partner retention and expansion plan
Coordinate program evaluation efforts with support from the evaluation team
Manage the program budget
Manage external relationships such as principal relationships and relationships with other program partners
Engage in a collaborative work culture
Attend organizational special events
Requirements and Qualifications
Deep belief in the power of sport and play to change lives
Demonstrated ability to set goals in alignment with organization and programmatic objectives and create effective plans for achieving them
Demonstrated ability to solve problems strategically and think critically
Excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills
Outgoing and positive demeanor
Strong project management skills; ability to prioritize and meet deadlines
Demonstrated ability to build a team dynamic while maintaining a professional tone, supporting the professional development of others, and holding people accountable
Demonstrated ability to prioritize the needs of your role, with the needs of others, and the big picture projects being managed.
At least five years of experience in a management position preferred
Proven track record of success in youth development preferred
Desire to work collaboratively with the Urban Initiatives team
Regular access to a car for travel to partner schools across the city
Additional Salary Information: Competitive compensation package including salary, health, life, 401K and PTO benefits.
Founded in 2003, Urban Initiatives is a nonprofit organization that runs youth development programs in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Urban Initiatives’ mission is to empower Chicago’s youth to become agents of community change through academic success, healthy living, and leadership development. We drive systemic change by connecting stakeholders and strengthening the social fabric of the comm...unity. Urban Initiatives takes a collaborative, whole child approach to development in order to provide children with ongoing opportunities to reach their full potential. Currently, Urban Initiatives serves 13,000 students from 37 underserved communities with our continuum of programming.