BEAM Discovery Junior Counselor

BEAM Alumni (in NYC) and high school students (in LA) who are age 16+ are invited to give back by working at BEAM Discovery, our program for students the summer after 6th grade.

More about the program

BEAM Discovery is a five-week program for students who are between 6th and 7th grade.

Mathematically, BEAM Discovery is designed to give young people the chance to start doing more advanced math and prepare for the BEAM Pathway Program, which starts with a residential program the next summer.  Students choose their own classes; each person picks a logical reasoning class, a math team strategies class, a math fundamentals class, and an applied math.

Beyond the math, we want to create an incredible community for everyone who comes.  Students meet others from all around the city who are interested in math--plus, they meet you, older BEAM students who will be role models for them.  They choose activities each day to build the community, and they start seeing themselves in new places and in new ways.

BEAM Discovery runs daily, approximately 9am-4pm (with travel time, you will likely work 8-5:30).  You will be a teaching assistant for classes, you'll help lead activities, and you'll create a community for all the students there.


Are you ready to come back to BEAM to inspire the next generation of BEAM students?

Junior Counselors

As Junior Counselors, you'll work with college student Counselors to make BEAM Discovery a reality. It's your job to create the unique social environment at the program and also to provide critical support for the academics. You'll have breaks during the day and in the evening, but this is more intense than a standard 8-5:30 job.

Your role includes:

  • Making everyone feel welcome and watching out for their happiness at the program.

  • Assisting classes by working with students individually and in small groups (see below).

  • Attending a training class provided for counselors on mathematics and teaching pedagogy (see below).

  • Meeting students at a subway stop near their home and both bringing them to the program and going home with them at the end of the day.

  • Running three to five activities per week for students at camp. (Sports, board games, dancing, art, theater, quiet reading time, watching a movie... everything is fair game.)

  • Supervising field trips on the weekend (but not every weekend!).

  • Above all, being a role model to inspire the students and telling them they should apply to the BEAM Pathway Program next year!

This is a demanding job, but it is also very rewarding.  A typical schedule might look something like this:

8:00am-9:05amMeet a group of students at a subway stop near their home and bring them to campus.
9:05am-9:20amBreakfast with the students
9:20am-10:20amTA your class.
10:25am-11:20am"Open Math Time" — help students with their mathematical work
12:30pm-1:00pmLunch with the students
1:05pm-2:05pmTake class on teaching and pedagogy.
3:10pm-4:10pmRun your afternoon activity
4:10pm-5:30pmBring your group of students back home.
8:00am-9:05amMeet a group of students at a subway stop near their home and bring them to campus.
9:05am-9:20amBreakfast with the students
9:20am-10:20amTA your class.
10:25am-11:20amStudy hall, help students with their mathematical work
12:30pm-1:00pmEat lunch with the students
1:05pm-2:05pmTake class on teaching and pedagogy.
3:10pm-4:10pmRun afternoon activity
4:10pm-5:30pmBring your group of students back home.

Counselors will be able to express preferences about which classes they teach and which time blocks they get off. Additionally, counselors will occasionally help with other duties such as collecting program-wide attendance, setting up for lunch, and other miscellaneous tasks.

Some weeks, BEAM will host Saturday field trips, which last a few hours and allow you to experience purely social time with the students.  Saturday field trips will meet later in the day, at 9am or later.  Right now, our plans include renting out a movie theater just for BEAM, a trip to Dave & Buster’s, and one more field trip we’re still planning.


During the program, you will help a lot of kids, gain teaching experience, and learn some new math yourself. You'll also get the chance to be part of a tight-knit team, and you will be a critical part of shaping what the program looks like.  You will have the full responsibility of a counselor, although counselors will be in charge for supervising off-campus trips.

Classes at BEAM Discovery

Students at BEAM Discovery take four classes, one in each of these subjects:

  • Logical Reasoning

  • Math Fundamentals

  • Math Team Strategies

  • Applied Mathematics

Counselors will TA one hour a day, as well as tutoring in and supervising "Open Math Time", during which students can work on anything as long as it's math. Counselors will also have the opportunity to develop other mathematical activities outside of standard classes.

One of the unique features of BEAM Discovery is that all counselors take a special course taught by BEAM faculty that covers both mathematics and pedagogy. Through the class, counselors will get support for their roles as TAs and tutors, and they will also develop mathematical content to run math activities directly for the students. We hope that the class will help all of the counselors grow both as mathematicians and teachers.

Additional Details

The time commitment for BEAM Discovery counselors is approximately six weeks in total: Three days of program orientation and set-up, five weeks with the students, and two days of wrap-up. Below are tentative program dates:

  • In NYC, orientation is July 2, 3, and 5, the program runs July 8-August 9, and wrap-up is August 12-13.

  • In LA, orientation is June 19-21, the program runs June 24-July 26, and wrap-up is July 29-30.

Alternate arrangements can be made if you have finals during the week of training, but please tells us during the application process.

The salary for the summer is $3600. You will be provided with an unlimited MetroCard for the entire BEAM Discovery program. In addition, you will receive breakfast and lunch each weekday at the program, along with at least one meal during any weekend field trips. During orientation, you'll also receive CPR and First Aid training and certification. We especially hope that you'll see the program as we do: a way to give back and help some students who will grow into incredible individuals.


You must:

  • Be at least 16 years old by the beginning of the program.

  • Be enrolled in high school this year.

  • In NYC: have attended BEAM/SPMPS in middle school.

  • Be eligible to work in the United States: you must be a citizen, permanent resident, or have DACA. (But talk to us if something else applies.)

  • If you will be 16 or 17 for any part of the summer, you must be able to get working papers (NYC) or a work permit (LA) from your school. (This is not required for any staff member who will have turned 18 on or before the first day of staff training.)

  • Like math and be able to explain it to students (in particular, why things are true, not just a memorized procedure).

  • Be reliable and take initiative.

  • Be able to help kids have fun. (You don't need to be very outgoing if you can engage kids in fun activities, but it helps.)

Please note that we do not arrange housing for this program, so you must have housing in New York City or Los Angeles.  If you don't live in NYC/LA, then we hope you'll apply to work at the BEAM Pathway Program once you're in college!

Quentin and Zarius

BEAM Alumni: Should I do this?

If you are already enrolled in an academic program for this summer, we think you should do that instead. If you're going to Carleton, or a math program, or have an internship at a tech company, or you're doing All Star Code, you should stick with that plan. Those programs will help you grow academically and you shouldn't give up on those opportunities.

If you don't have other plans, though, we hope you'll join us!  You'll have a great summer (although you'll work hard), and you'll learn a lot, too. It will also help with your college application!

The Application

The main part of the application is nine short-answer questions. We've made this into a webform to fill out. We will review applications as they come in, so the sooner you get them in, the better!

Additionally, please send a high school transcript to:

  • if you’re applying for NYC

  • if you’re applying for LA.

An unofficial transcript is fine—a printout of your grades or a photo of your report card works well. You can apply even if your grades aren't that good right now.

We are going to take applications on a rolling basis. The sooner you submit your application, the sooner we can schedule an interview and get you a response. If you are unsure of your summer plans, we encourage you to apply early and then work out the details with us afterwards. If you need a quick decision from us, apply and let us know of your constraints, and we may be able to provide a quicker reply.

Make sure to check your e-mail regularly for a reply, because that is how we'll send your interview invitation and hiring offer!


Here's what previous years' junior counselors had to say about the experience:

"Last summer, I went back to BEAM to work as a Junior Counselor at BEAM Discovery. It was a great experience; the kids were so nice and interesting and fun to get to know. I felt like they really respected me because they knew that I had been there and had advice for them. I got to TA for the Logic with KenKen class, and KenKen I first learned to do at BEAM in 2013.

The first day that I had to chaperone students on the subway was terrifying. What if someone got lost? But by the third day, we all knew each other, and we spent the commute talking about video games or what they had learned in class." -Tanasia

"It was one of the best summers of my life. I loved attending BEAM, and I wished school was more like BEAM, but it wasn't. It was really great to be able to go back to BEAM and be in that interesting learning environment again. Also, the kids at BEAM actually understood the concepts! They wanted to learn more than was required, which made me feel like everything I
was teaching mattered." -Zavier

You know us, of course, and like always we're happy to answer any questions you might have. It will be really great to work with you this summer!


Lynn Cartwright-Punnett
BEAM Discovery Site Director

Daniel Zaharopol
BEAM Discovery Site Director

Ruthi Hortsch
Junior Counselor Hiring Manager

Jacob Castaneda
BEAM Discovery Site Director & Counselor Hiring Manager