STATUS: Exempt, Full time

REPORTS TO: Program Manager

SALARY: $53,020

Friends of the Children Austin is one of the fastest growing chapters of a 30-year-old national professional mentoring organization. Our model is proven to break the cycle of generational poverty for children who face the highest risks by providing professional mentors to the most vulnerable youth in our community for 12.5 years, kindergarten through high school graduation.

We employ trained, full-time, salaried mentors called “Friends” to provide a stable, caring, and sustainable relationship in each child’s life.

Are you looking to make a lasting, measurable difference in the lives of children who need it most by developing intensive, long-term, trusting relationships?

Friends Austin matches program youth with mentors who identify as the same sex. We have a cohort of 8 male youth that we are seeking to pair with an extraordinary individual who will spend a minimum of four intentional hours per week with each of them.

The Friend will report directly to the Program Manager/Program Director and will:

  • Embody a commitment to positive expectations.
  • Nurture and promote each child’s individual strengths, talents and abilities.
  • Help assure physical and emotional well-being.
  • Teach life and academic skills in creative ways.
  • Provide diverse enrichment activities.
  • Model responsible behavior.
  • Simultaneously manage multiple priorities to ensure goals are met.
  • Be comfortable with, and adept at, logging information into a database in a timely and accurate manner.

The Ideal Candidate Will

  • Be culturally competent and trauma informed.
  • Have superior scheduling and time management skills.
  • Have data entry and database management skills, as well as a commitment to detail accuracy.
  • Be willing and excited to make a minimum 3-year commitment.

Are you this amazing leader? Here is what we have to offer you:

  • A committed leadership team and the opportunity to grow with a quickly scaling non-profit.
  • You’ll be part of a dynamic and supportive national network, with a proven, evidence-based, highly unique model.
  • A team of talented employees who are passionate about working together to create an extraordinary organization.
  • Respect for work-life balance. You will work hard, and we expect you to recharge your batteries.
  • A comprehensive benefit package including three weeks of paid vacation, paid holidays and paid sick leave.
  • Most of all, you get to be a leader at an exceptional organization that helps children facing incredible odds change their life story every day.

Are you ready to use your skills to make an impact in the Austin community? See the position details below. 

Friends of the Children is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to addressing discriminatory practices, and to working toward racial equity and inclusion. The equal employment opportunity policy of Friends of the Children provides fair and equal opportunities for all employees and job applicants regardless of race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, or genetic information, in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local law. Friends of the Children hires and promotes individuals solely on the basis of their qualifications for the job to be filled.

Basic Function

The following statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed by individuals assigned to this position.  They are not intended as a comprehensive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified:

A Friend works intensively with eight (8) children as a positive adult role model to develop a caring, trusting, and sustained relationship with each child. For each child, a Friend will set positive expectations; nurture and promote their strengths, talents and abilities; help assure physical and emotional well-being; teach life and academic skills; provide enrichment activities; and model responsible behavior. A Friend will fully document activities and participate in an ongoing evaluation process. Friends will work primarily one-on-one with their children. A Friend must also know, understand, honor and support the organization’s mission, vision, values, principles and policies, and be able to clearly articulate the organization’s function.

Core Job Accountabilities

  • Spend time with children, one-on-one and in the classroom.
  • Develop, maintain, and follow a Roadmap or Transition Plan for each child.
  • Set realistic expectations and goals based on each child’s strengths, talents, abilities and needs.
  • Teach life skills and healthy habits to contribute both to basic development and learning, and to contribute to building positive self-esteem.
  • Develop a talent/skill/area of interest with each child to help develop positive self-esteem and experience growing confidence.
  • Provide enrichment resources and activities which include opportunities for cultural awareness, diversity and community service.
  • Contribute to children acquiring behavioral management skills, tolerance, respect for others, courtesies, and compassion.
  • Develop positive relationships with families, teachers and others involved in each child’s life.
  • Facilitate development/progress of academic skills and learning.
  • Model and promote good problem solving and decision-making skills.
  • Participate in the programming and resources available through the organization, effectively utilizing program resources to meet the needs of each child.
  • Maintain spending within budgetary guidelines.
  • Complete, distribute and collect time summaries, activity journals, short term plans, expense reports and evaluation materials accurately and in a timely manner.
  • Attend and actively participate in team meetings and staff functions.
  • Provide information and support to development team and related activities as needed.
  • Fulfill other responsibilities as required.

Essential Skills And Abilities

  • Spanish proficiency preferred but not required.
  • Ability to relate to children and to develop and sustain trusting, supportive relationships with them.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with children in varied capacities and settings to help them learn and grow.
  • Ability to cultivate trusting relationships with children, parents, teachers, community members and other supportive adults in youth’s environments.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and communicate appropriately within the workplace.
  • Ability to use creativity and initiative in planning activities to continually develop children.
  • Ability to work independently in diverse environments with limited supervision.
  • Ability to work as a team player.
  • Ability to manage several concurrent issues and solve problems effectively exercising appropriate discretion and judgment.
  • Ability to set goals and develop plans to meet those goals to ensure the development of each child.
  • Ability to complete administrative tasks accurately and on time.
  • Ability to handle high mobility and driving demands safely and with good judgment.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; organizational and time management skills.
  • Ability to have compassion, patience, and cultural competency for families/youth who have experienced trauma.
  • Basic computer and keyboarding skills, proficiency with e-mail systems, familiarity with MS Outlook and Access (or other database applications).
  • Ability to exercise good judgment independently, in various situations and environments, and under varying levels of stress.

Additional Job Requirements

  • Maintain current driver’s license, good driving record, and vehicle insurance.
  • Maintain First Aid/CPR certification.
  • Transport children in personal vehicle as required for mentoring activities within a 30-mile radius

Working Hours

This is a full-time, exempt position. Due to the nature of a Friend’s role, the work hours are somewhat non-traditional, and include late afternoon and evening work. We recognize that each Friend’s daily work schedule will vary due to the uniqueness of the role and the needs of the individual children being served. Each Friend is expected to exercise appropriate discretion in this regard. During the school year, the general workweek is Tuesday through Saturday, with Sunday and Monday as days off. During the summer, and for spring and winter breaks, many Friends work a standard Monday through Friday workweek. The Program requires that you see each of your assigned children both in- and outside of school, for an average of four hours each week, although how you accomplish that is at your discretion within established Program guidelines.

Education And Experience Required

Associate degree required; Bachelor’s degree preferred, plus one to three years’ experience working/volunteering with children. Mentoring experience with children facing the greatest systemic obstacles preferred.