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Theater ,
submitted by
Scott Merchant

Youth Development Coordinator

CircEsteem values a diverse workplace and strongly encourages women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, members of ethnic minorities, foreign-born residents, and veterans to apply. CircEsteem is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, citizenship status, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.

Organizational Background

CircEsteem’s (CE) mission is to unite youth across all backgrounds and identities by fostering self-esteem and mutual respect through the practice and performance of circus arts. Founded in 2001, CE began by offering circus classes for at-risk youth in the Uptown neighborhood utilizing social circus methodology. In order to reach more at-risk youth, CE expanded programming to 17 Chicago neighborhoods and 4 suburbs. Programs are provided free of charge or at a reduced rate for low-income families.

Position Summary:

Youth Development Coordinator is responsible for managing the social and emotional health component of CircEsteem’s programming. YDC will work in coordination with the Program Coordinators, under the supervision of the Program Director, to plan and produce program components that address social and emotional needs, identify and refer youth to appropriate social services (as needed), and counsel youth on various topics of importance as per CircEsteem’s curriculum.

YDC will be involved with the CircEsteem programs to be determined based on need.

The position is full-time, 40 hours per week. In the event that the employee is asked to work special events for CircEsteem, flex leave may be awarded to compensate for additional hours worked. Position receives a salary, Paid Time Off, and benefits in accordance with CircEsteem’s Employee Benefits Policy.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Youth Advocacy

  • Individually mentor youth as requested by parents, program coordinators, instructors, etc.
  • Refer youth to appropriate service providers, when necessary, and follow up with the provider to ensure service is being conducted
  • Assist youth with college, scholarship, and loan application completion
  • Assist youth with the One Summer Chicago application as they become eligible
  • Assist youth with work permits
  • Conduct group informational/activity meetings for teens
  • Conduct group discussions/activities with each program as outlined by the CircEsteem approved curriculum
  • Coordinate the collection of grades/report cards from youth participants, as needed, and review with the program coordinator


  • In coordination with Program Coordinator, schedule appropriate discussions with groups and have the ability to hold discussions when topics arise
  • In coordination with Program Coordinator, connect circus skills and vocabulary to social work
  • In coordination with Program Coordinator, determine group topics/subjects as they relate to daily lesson plans and program curriculum
  • In coordination with Program Director, design and upkeep data to track program outcomes
  • Create and maintain student files

CircEsteem Staff and Instructors

  • Conduct workshops for Instructors and staff on various subjects in coordination with the Program Director
  • Be available for instructors or staff to discuss issues they may have with a program participant
  • Attend program meetings
  • Attend staff trainings
  • Assist in special events as requested and any other duties as assigned by the Program Director

Education and Experience

  • MSW required. LCSW or currently pursuing licensure preferred
  • Fluent writing and speaking Spanish preferred
  • Experience with special needs youth preferred
  • Experience working with immigrant and refugee populations
  • Flexible with constantly changing situations
  • Team player and collaborator
  • Independent, critical thinker who has the ability to problem-solve
  • Small group instruction
  • Ability to positively communicate with co-workers, administration, parents, youth, and referring agencies


  • Salary: $45,000 – $52,000/ year
  • Benefits: 1% of salary is contributed monthly towards 403b retirement account or Health Insurance Plan
  • Paid Time Off: 15 days paid leave, 5 days paid sick leave
  • Flex Time: Special events and excess overage of hours will result in the awarding of Flex Leave. Flex Leave must be approved by supervisor before additional hours are worked.

Please submit a Letter of Interest and Resume to to be considered for this position.

Contact Info:
Jose Velarde, Office Manager
Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago