The Academy Project

Executive Director

Employment type
Full Time
about 1 month ago
Los Angeles, CA

Today the heartbreaking reality is that 50% of children in foster care in Los Angeles end up homeless, institutionalized or incarcerated upon ageing out of the system. Only 4% receive any higher education.   

The average number of schools a foster youth attends while in foster care is seven. This instability causes a significant disruption to academics and relationships, impacts motivation and ultimately contributes to the dismal educational and life outcomes for this population.

At The Academy Project, we believe these dismal outcomes can be changed through community, empowerment and education. We are busy building an alternative educational engagement model that will provide those currently most at risk of not securing a high school diploma, with the support, services and encouragement they need to write their own ending.

And there’s an opportunity for you to be a key part of the story!

We are looking for an energetic and compassionate educator to take the lead in developing and delivering our after-school and summer programs.  This is an exceptional opportunity to help build a program from the ground-up, working with a passionate and enterprising team to effect real and immediate change in the lives of foster youth.


The Academy Project is a 501c3 nonprofit that provides the education, support, and holistic individual guidance needed to unleash the potential in foster youth in Los Angeles, CA, while freeing and fueling their innate desire to thrive

The design of the Academy Project’s program of services has been heavily influenced by research and findings that show what factors can have a beneficial effect on changing outcomes for foster and at-risk youth. This includes research conducted on behalf of The Academy Project by Princeton University.

The Academy Project will provide stability in an educational setting, shown by many studies to have a significant impact in helping foster youth to succeed educationally, while also providing them with the opportunity to form strong relationships with peers and caring adults.  

The Academy Project:

  • Believes foster youth, like all children, have infinite potential and deserve unconditional love, support and guidance
  • Provides the critical intangibles of stability, safety, consistency and nurturing that are painfully absent from the lives of many foster youth
  • Supports healthy growth and development, providing a safe place to explore and make mistakes without fear of unproductive punishments or abandonment
  • Takes an ”open source code” approach, encouraging other interested entities to leverage their proven approaches in helping youth, and by combining efforts, becomes a catalyzing force in optimizing the effects of these programs‬


The Director of After School and Summer Programs (“Director”) is responsible for two distinct programs:

  • After School Enrichment Program (“Co-Op”)
  • Summer Programs (“Xavier”)

The Director creates and implements inclusive and engaging after school and summer programs for students in seventh and eighth grade, by working with staff, caregivers and outside partners / vendors to ensure that all programming reflects The Academy Project’s mission.
Responsibilities include:

  • Conceptualizing, developing and implementing after-school and summer program curriculum to reflect organizational goals
  • Designing and executing a system for recruiting, training and organizing volunteers and staff
  • Managing use of space for all summer and after school activities, working closely with location staff to achieve goals
  • Setting and supervising routines, schedules, and procedures for staff and students
  • Managing the student registration process for both programs
  • Assigning activities and other responsibilities among staff, monitoring and evaluating their performance
  • Supervising the ordering of food, supplies, and equipment, and arranging for proper distribution.
  • Maintaining and reviewing records and evaluations of all programs, operations, staff, and facilities
  • Managing the daily fiscal and administrative duties associated with after school and summer programming
  • Defining and monitoring student safety and crisis management plan, including emergency procedures.
  • Organizing and/ or approving trips off-site field trips
  • Working closely with Director of Marketing to create such things as website content, registration pages, and advertising for after school and summer programs
  • Maintaining communications as needed with all stakeholders, including The Board, caregivers, staff members and outside partners / vendors.


  • Special passion for making an impact in the lives of children that otherwise may not have the chance to learn and develop to their full potential
  • Bachelor's Degree (required)
  • California Education Specialist, Level I or II credential in SpEd – Mild/Moderate, at the intern, preliminary or clear level (desirable)
  • Experience working with foster youth and/or familiarity with Dependency System (desired)
  • Knowledgeable and experienced in best practices related to after school program management and/or summer programs (desirable)
  • Proven experience in curriculum development tailored to student’s individual needs (required)
  • Experience in conflict resolution and/or social emotional learning (required)
  • Experience supervising groups of children in both indoor and outdoor settings (required)
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills (required)
  • Passion and accountability towards ambitious goals
  • Current CPR and first aid certifications (desirable)
  • Excellent planning and organization skills (required)
  • Proven collaborator with a history of working closely with a variety of colleagues (required)
  • Must be compassionate and sensitive to each student’s circumstances and required confidentiality procedures(required)
  • Understands the importance of having a growth mindset and modeling behavior to encourage students as such (required)
  • Strong leadership skills, ideally with experience in supervising volunteers and/or other educators (required)
  • Must be creative and flexible and always strive to adopt an innovative approach (required)

The Academy Project does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of age, actual or perceived race, actual or perceived gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.

To apply

Please send resume and cover letter/statement explaining why you are the best person for this job to [email protected]