Job Openings >> Program Director- Enrichment Programming
Program Director- Enrichment Programming
Title:Program Director- Enrichment Programming

Program Director (Enrichment Programming)

Schedule: Monday – Friday 10:30am-7:30pm; two days a week from 12:00pm-9:00pm; must be able to work occasional Saturdays.
Summer Schedule: 9:00am-6:00pm; First week of camp will likely involve an early start of 7:30am


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 of our youth to graduate from high school, prepared to pursue college and careers. Located on Chicago’s South Side, the Gary Comer Youth Center draws its primary membership from the youth residing on the South Side of Chicago with a focus on Grand Crossing residents. GCYC is the oldest and largest institution sitting on the Comer Education Campus which includes our organizational partners Gary Comer College Prep High School, the South Shore Drill Team and Gary Comer Middle School. For more information, please visit:


Comer Education Campus: With a comprehensive approach to education and youth development, the Comer Education Campus is devoted to guiding young people to and through college and into adult life. The campus constitutes a unique partnership between Gary Comer Youth Center, Gary Comer College Prep, Gary Comer Middle School, and the college success initiative UtmostU. The campus serves over 2,000 youth from across Chicago’s South Side, offering out-of-school time enrichment, academic enhancement, and college success programs. Working with best-in-class partner organizations, the Comer Education Campus empowers young people with the tools they need for post-secondary and life success. For more information, please visit:


Position Summary

Program Director is a significant part of organizational leadership by ensuring that the programming Gary Comer Youth Center provides is high quality and engaging for our youth. Program Director leads the organization’s efforts in the design, coordination and execution of programs at the Gary Comer Youth Center for youth in grades 3 – 12 with an emphasis on middle school students and teens. This Program Director will provide direct supervision of staff and leadership of programs in the areas of media and technology, the arts, as well as sports, fitness and recreation. Additionally, this leader will provide program coaching and assessment for instructors and programs respectively in other program areas ensuring that all programs successfully operate within the GCYC programmatic framework. se programs and opportunities are expected to be engaging, enlightening and enjoyable.

This role also includes serving as the director of camps and specialty days out of school. While this is an administrative role, it is also designed to be highly accessible to youth, their parents and the community. Therefore, the Program Director serves as a role model for other team members, colleagues, youth and the community we serve by demonstrating mutually respectful and caring behaviors while upholding the mission, values, policies and procedures of the organization in her/his daily practices in this role.


Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Serves as leadership for the program delivery for youth (specifically teens and middle school youth) that the Gary Comer Youth Center provides afterschool, evenings and Saturdays.
  • Responsible for the supervision and leadership of program staff and instructors under the purview of the program director (includes trainings, curriculum design, program evaluation, achievement of goals, adherence to policies and procedures, creating work schedules & time clock approvals and performance evaluations).
  • Develops and supervises all components of the program schedule for school year and summer programs as well as any special program offerings for program areas under this leader’s purview.
  • Responsible for the program evaluation process for the organization, leading a committee of leaders to complete this task.
  • Serves as the leader and coordinator for the middle school and 3rd- 8th grade afterschool program, camps and other special activities for elementary school students. This includes provision of programs under the director’s purview and ensuring there is programming provided by the other program areas with guidance from the Center Director. This includes creating a balanced schedule that gives all middle school youth options in all program areas weekly. During the summer and school breaks, the program director is the lead coordinator.
  • Ensures that teens have programs in the areas of sports, fitness and recreation, visual and performing arts, as well as media technology on a weekly basis. Works with employees and managers of other teams to achieve goals related to teen programming and outcomes.
  • Responsible for accurate completion of program administrative tasks including grant compliance and budget management for programs. Must complete all deliverables assigned from the corresponding compliance managers. Additionally, be able to present reports to community, staff and other stakeholders.
  • Responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of program areas, bulletin boards and supply inventory under the purview of the program director on a quarterly basis.
  • Responsible for special projects assigned by the Center Director or Executive Director.
  • Manages partnerships and relationships related to all areas under the purview of the Program Director.
  • Ensures that the program offerings of GCYC reach their individual attendance goals and that the Center achieves its program attendance goals overall.
  • Responsible for maintaining a physically and emotionally safe environment to further ensure proper youth supervision and managing conduct issues and incidents.
  • Attends required staff meetings and trainings.
  • Works with other staff to execute effective outreach, recruitment and retention strategies.
  • Responsible for accurate data collection and data entry for grant and program compliance.
  • Supports the mission of GCYC.
  • Works collaboratively in a team setting serving the needs of youth.
  • Is committed to the safety and development of all GCYC members.
  • Takes on other duties as needed.
  • Serves as a role model for youth and community.
  • Abides by the employee handbook and established GCYC policies and procedures.


  • Ability to ensure the delivery age appropriate programs and activities that lead to positive youth development.
  • Ability to report outcome measurement and evaluation activities related to program areas under purview.
  • Ability to develop high quality program plans and curriculums while assessing the quality of those written by others.
  • Working knowledge and experience working with communities of color, specifically the African American community.
  • Experience with and strong understanding of budgeting along with the factors that impact budgets – ability to problem solve in the area and work within the given budget.
  • Experience with successfully leading teams (direct reports and collegial).
  • Experience with project management.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills - specifically the ability to give effective group presentations and facilitate meetings efficiently.

Education & Skill Requirements

  • Five years or more of working directly with youth and program development.
  • Two years or more of building centered program operations experience required.
  • Three years or more of direct staff leadership and supervision required. Five plus years preferred.
  • Undergraduate degree required. Master’s degree is a plus.

Core Competencies

  • Must be able to demonstrate strong meeting facilitation skills.
  • Must be able to effectively lead people their work in a respectful, professional manner.
  • Must be result oriented – driven to successfully achieve or exceed goals and expectations.
  • Has strong leadership skills – specifically coaching and provision of positive feedback.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the difference between leadership and management and knows when to facilitate either skill set. This includes ability to garner support from direct reports, colleagues and other stakeholders for initiatives under the Program Director’s purview.
  • Must have strong negotiation skills and knows how to compromise when appropriate.
  • Must have strong conflict resolution skills, typically working to help others resolve conflict and not being in the center of conflict.
  • Must have general working knowledge and experience with outreach and promotion of youth programs and events. Must be able to comfortable with social media for this purpose.
  • Must possess genuine care and concern for youth – especially pre-teens and teens.
  • Program area management skills that are engaging, non-oppressive and age appropriate.
  • Strong project management and organizational skills. Must be able to initiate and finish projects.
  • Able to communicate effectively with youth, co-workers, stakeholders and families in a respectful and culturally competent manner via written and verbal communication.
  • Must enjoy working with teams but can also work independently.
  • Enjoys being the leader but is also confident enough to take directions from others.
  • Must be able to take initiative and problem solve. Must be a creative thinker.
  • Demonstrates strong accuracy in all areas of work.
  • Must possess adaptive vitality.
  • Demonstrates understanding of the positive youth development philosophy.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of guidance and discipline principles & conflict resolution strategies.
  • Must demonstrate cultural competency, dedication to working with youth, families and community members in our care.
  • Must have basic computer literacy skills – including Microsoft Office, independent use of the internet and ability to learn and properly utilize software systems.

Physical Work Requirements & Environment:
GCYC environment is consistently bustling with youth and community members. Center’s work is fast paced and varied. Our work is done on site where our youth and families are. Therefore, it is required that team members meet these requirements:

  • Must be able to work some Saturdays or Sundays.
  • Must be able to wear business casual clothes on most days of work.
  • Must be able to ride various modes of transportation including school and coach buses, airplanes, cars, vans and public transportation.
  • Be able to stand and move with youth during programs, field trips and special events throughout the day.
  • Possess the ability to walk during field trips and to complete building and program rounds.
  • Have the ability to lift up to 25 pounds.
  • Ability to leave spaces used for work in a better condition upon completion of the work
  • Can share space and resources with others when needed.
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