Program Director

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Deadline to Apply:

Friday, February 23, 2018, 11:00pm



Austin, TX
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:


Job Description:

Program Director:

Salary range: $40,000-$46,000 annually, commensurate with experience

Job Classification: Exempt                             

Status: 100% paid time

Posting open until: February 23, 2018             

Earliest start date: As soon as possible



The Austin Youth River Watch office is located in the Hornsby Bend area of Austin, zip code 78725. Duties will include driving to various schools and project sites all across Travis County.


About Austin Youth River Watch

Austin Youth River Watch (AYRW, or “River Watch”) provides an out-of-school time program that transforms the lives of underserved teens through youth development and environmental education activities focusing on Austin’s creeks and watersheds, service learning, community engagement, and adventure. Our students, the “River Watchers,” learn real-world science by monitoring water quality and performing restoration projects to improve watersheds throughout central Texas. In addition, we facilitate opportunities for our students to experience adventures in nature, learn about careers in related fields, build leadership skills, and engage with the broader community through our program. 


We are hiring a full-time Program Director to work with River Watchers both independently and with a small team of program staff. The Program Director reports to the Executive Director.


Responsibilities and Duties


Direct and provide environmental education programming.

  • Lead and facilitate program staff in implementing the River Watch program, including daily programming and special programming, such as overnights, restoration projects, and educational field trips.
  • Direct programming by coordinating logistics, and by training, supervising, evaluating, empowering, and supporting all program team members.
  • Provide additional support by cultivating community relationships and recruiting volunteers.
  • Lead and facilitate programming for up to 10 students two evenings a week during the school year, regularly during the summer, and as needed throughout the year. Transport students during programming as needed.
  • Direct and empower program staff to: develop program content and curriculum aligning with state standards, teach current environmental science principles, and complete environmental restoration projects using best practices.
  • Lead and empower program staff to recruit, train, and mentor River Watchers, interns, and volunteers for various activities. Ensure the safety of all participants for program activities.
  • Master the AYRW Mentor Test content in order to teach these concepts to students, and support program staff in their teaching. Look for opportune teachable moments on a daily basis, and assist in the development of instructional materials and activities to aid various styles of learners.
  • Attain and maintain status: as a Certified Water Quality Monitor (training provided); in CPR/1st Aid certification (adult, child, and infant); and other trainings and certifications when appropriate.
  • Learn and reinforce concepts relating to ecological and hydrological enhancement, or stream improvement, associated with River Watch environmental restoration projects.
  • Procure and maintain monitoring equipment and program supplies in conjunction with other staff, including water quality testing reagents, restoration supplies, outdoor gear, food and drink, and other necessary materials.
  • Work with staff to regularly ensure the fleet of River Watch 12-passenger vans are in good operating condition, and safe for students, staff, interns, and volunteers.


Direct and provide youth development programming.

  • Lead and empower staff to facilitate social and emotional learning, life skills development, and peer mentoring throughout the program. You will be expected to be with youth multiple hours a day at least two evenings a week during the academic year, and for additional activities as needed.
  • Work with staff to plan and participate in youth leadership, service, career awareness, and community engagement activities. Assist in the planning of these events as needed.
  • Lead and empower staff to help students achieve personal, academic, and River Watch goals.
  • Collaborate with the Readiness Committee and program team members in facilitating career exploration, financial literacy, and other life skills development activities.
  • Be willing to connect students with resources, and to help brainstorm/edit college admission essays, resumes, and scholarship documents, including writing letters of recommendation.


Participate in program administrative and development activities.

  • Lead and facilitate the program staff in academic year and summer program design, outreach and evaluation efforts, and other program development tasks as needed.
  • Lead and empower program staff in recruiting students to maintain full River Watch enrollment by cultivating relationships with schools and other educational organizations, and by working with contacts to provide referrals. Maintain a working wait-list for interested students when needed.
  • Direct and implement the collection of student and participant attendance and demographic data, permission slips, surveys, and other forms as needed. Document all data and records as required.
  • Work with other staff to regularly clean and maintain the River Watch office or “EcoHouse.”
  • Support website, social media, mail and other program communications as needed.
  • Develop and maintain good relationships with AYRW staff and board members, parents, teachers, and other community stakeholders. Actively promote a positive program environment.
  • Build community relationships with individuals, businesses, and other organizations to secure opportunities for River Watch restoration projects, special programs, and donor cultivation.
  • Identify, develop, and lead presentations for community outreach and events.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.


Skills and Experience



  • Supervisory experience with paid or volunteer staff.
  • Experience in program management and administration, ideally in nonprofit settings.
  • A minimum of three years working with secondary school students.
  • Experience in educating and mentoring youth, especially at-risk youth. A passion for helping young people envision and work towards personal achievement is essential.
  • Bachelor’s degree in natural or environmental sciences, science education, or geography; or education and experience in related fields, such as social work or general education.
  • Environmental monitoring and watershed restoration experience.
  • Demonstrated competency with environmental science and outdoor education activities. Our program includes overnight and multi-day camping and canoe trips.
  • Demonstrated competency driving a multi-passenger vehicle, such as a van or commercial vehicle, to transport others for extended periods of time in populated areas.
  • Strong organizational and communication skills (active listening, speaking, and writing).
  • Technology skills: MS Office programs; Google Drive, Gcal, and other cloud-based applications; CRM/database programs (GiftWorks, Salesforce); and social media.
  • Passing a comprehensive criminal background check.
  • CPR/1st Aid certification (adult, child, and infant). Can be attained once employed.
  • Basic water rescue certification or equivalent. Can be attained once employed.



  • Experience with youth development or counseling activities strongly preferred.
  • Bilingual in English/Spanish preferred. Multi-lingual appreciated.
  • Familiarity with LCRA, CRWN, or Texas Stream Team water quality assurance/quality control.
  • Experience with WordPress or other web design platforms preferred. Graphic design and the creation and editing of video and multimedia appreciated.
  • Competency and experience with building and outdoor maintenance tasks preferred.


The ideal person will:

  • Have a passion for working with youth to achieve personal and educational goals;
  • Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to cultural differences;
  • Be a self-starter who is able to anticipate and address needs in dynamic contexts;
  • Have a demonstrated ability to create positive learning environments;
  • Demonstrate a willingness to grow and learn in youth development and environmental education fields by attending trainings, conferences, and other opportunities;
  • Have courteous and professional conduct, and represent Austin Youth River Watch in a responsible and professional manner by modeling our mission to all stakeholders;
  • Maintain appropriate professional boundaries with youth, parents, staff, board members, program partners, volunteers, and community members; and
  • Demonstrate the ability to work with diverse staff, volunteer, and student teams, and possess strong conflict management skills.


Working Conditions

This job requires significant time driving a 12-passenger van during afterschool and summer programming. The Program Director must be able to lift heavy objects (up to 50 pounds), and may be subject to standing, walking, sitting, bending, reaching, stooping, kneeling, crouching, or crawling frequently or for long periods of time. Work is performed primarily outdoors, with exposure to varying temperatures and potentially inclement weather. This employee will occasionally need to participate in experiences that can be physically demanding.


The Program Director will be exposed to hazardous chemicals, though safety equipment will also be made available. This employee must be able to perform job duties with minimal supervision, and may be required to handle tools that require strict accordance with safety protocols.


The approximate daily schedule for program staff during the school year is as follows: September-May, 12:00-8:00 PM, with afterschool programming approximately 4-8 PM, Monday through Thursday; and 9 AM to 5 PM on Fridays. During the summer program, June-August, the approximate daily schedule is 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Meetings and other commitments can be scheduled at other times, as needed. We run an extended camping trip for River Watchers during the week of Spring Break, and staff may work 120-130 hours during this period. The Program Director can expect to work on several weekends throughout the year, which includes multiple overnight campouts, sleepovers, and special events each semester. Schedule flexibility can be expected following these intense time periods.



Application Info

Austin Youth River Watch, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. AYRW is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, or veteran status in employment, educational programs, or other activities. If you need assistance or an accommodation during the application process because of a disability, it is available upon request. AYRW is pleased to provide such assistance, and no applicant will be penalized as a result of such a request.

How to Apply:

Interested and qualified applicants should submit a resume, a cover letter with your statement of interest, and a list of at least three references to Candidates who progress in the application process will be invited for interviews in Austin, Texas, beginning in late-January.