BEAM Discovery — Director of Student Life
This summer, change the lives of motivated, high-potential students from underserved schools: help them build a community together and awaken a love of mathematics.
This page contains information about working at BEAM Discovery, our non-residential program in New York City and Los Angeles. We also hire nationally for a Director of Student Life at BEAM Summer Away, our residential program in the Upstate New York and Southern California.
About the Program
Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM) is a free, high-impact program for students from low-income and marginalized communities, who have demonstrated potential in mathematics. Our goal is to give our students access to the same resources for advanced study as their more affluent peers by helping them get into top high schools, summer programs, enrichment programs, and other opportunities for success. For most of our students, programs like this would otherwise be completely out of reach.
BEAM Discovery (formerly BEAM 6) is the first entry point into BEAM's programs. It is a five-week non-residential summer camp for students in the summer between 6th and 7th grade. We aim to create a life-changing experience for our students, both academically and non-academically, where they will be in a community of peers interested in mathematics for perhaps the first time in their lives. We supplement the social environment with activities, field trips, guest lectures, and more. All of our staff (including faculty) are welcome to join in on these activities.
As far as we know, nothing quite like this exists elsewhere. Our experience has been that the program really changes lives and serves as a model for outreach across the country, while expanding the talent pool for mathematics and related fields.
In New York City, BEAM Discovery will have two locations, one in West Harlem serving students from the Bronx and Upper Manhattan, and one (most likely in downtown Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan) serving the students in Brooklyn, Queens, and Lower Manhattan. In Los Angeles, the program will be run in the Koreantown/Pico-Union neighborhood.
About the Students
Our students are bright and motivated but can't get sufficient challenge at their existing schools. They are excited to be here and ready to learn, but they may not have the mathematical background of other students who have had more regular access to enrichment.
BEAM has a strong focus on community-building and on choice for the students. In general, students grow and build self-reliance, but some students are not used to the relative lack of structure and require firmer guidance. Creating the structures that support students through this transition will be a major part of your role.
In the end, you will be amazed at how much students change both mathematically and through their personal growth during the summer.
Program Structure and Staff
The summer staff at BEAM work together to make the program happen. The team consists of:
The Site Director, a member of BEAM's year-round staff, who oversees the site and manages the day-to-day.
The Director of Student Life (you!), who manages the counselor team and coordinates all of the non-academic aspects of the program from activities to discipline.
A counselor team of roughly 20-30 college students (and some high school students who are junior counselors). The counselors meet the students in the morning for transportation to the program, run activities, are teaching assistants in courses, and assist with some of the program's administrative functions.
Ten faculty members who teach classes and also run some activities.
A social worker to provide social and emotional support. The social worker will be with the students during most non-academic time, running activities and using meal times to talk to any students who may need their support.
A nurse to manage any needed medical care.
For students, the day includes four hours of math (divided into two hours of classes and two hours of "Open Math Time," which is an independent study period when students have flexibility to explore different areas of math), two hours of counselor-led activities, breakfast, and lunch.
The Director of Student Life is on the program's leadership staff, coordinating all non-academic components of the program. You will report directly to the Site Director.
Your primary responsibility will be managing the counselor team. The counselors are mostly college students, often with some high school students as well. We are fortunate to run an extremely competitive hiring process; our counselors are highly motivated and energetic, and generally amazing to work with. Still, most of them are still learning how to function in a work environment and how to work with younger students, and your leadership will have to take this into account.
Beyond the counselor team, you will coordinate several other non-academic components of BEAM Discovery. By its nature, a summer program requires flexibility and adapting to new needs so any list of responsibilities will be incomplete, but here is what we expect:
Managing the counselor team:
Assisting in their training in the days before the program.
Briefly checking in with each counselor daily, and being present to answer any questions or address concerns.
Writing mid-program feedback e-mails for the counselors during the program.
Coordinating program activities:
Using counselor preferences to decide what activities to run and assign counselors (and faculty) to run them.
Using daily student preferences to place students in activities.
Purchasing all necessary supplies.
Ensuring that all activities run smoothly and create an awesome experience for the students.
Managing field trip transportation.
Supervising morning transportation, largely by being on-call in case of emergencies.
Managing program discipline: coordinating our system of warnings and "yellow cards" and dealing with any more serious infractions in consultation with the Site Director.
Communicating with parents about any issues at the program.
Miscellaneous roles such as running lunch with counselor assistants or sending home weekly program-wide updates to parents.
In general, we want our staff to be informal mentors for the students. We stay on a first-name basis with the students and often join them for activities or meals. You will get to know the students well, and you will form close bonds with many of them. They are a wonderful group of kids, eager to learn, often without the opportunity to do so at this level, and we think you will be as excited as we are to lead them on this journey.
SALARY AND OTHER DETAILS
Los Angeles Site and Dates
Location: TBA, a school in the Koreatown/Pico-Union area
Dates: June 19-July 30, 2019 (excludes July 4)
New York Uptown Site/Dates
Location: City College (West Harlem)
Dates: July 2-August 13, 2019 (excludes July 4)
New York Downtown Site/Dates
Location: TBA, a school in Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan
Dates: July 2-August 13, 2019 (excludes July 4).
Information for All Sites
In general, weekends have no commitments, although you may opt to come on field trips. The program will likely run 9am-4pm, although specific times may change depending on the host campus. There may also be a few hours of planning before the summer to coordinate the counselor team's activities or to prepare to lead parts of staff training.
The salary is $5,500 for the summer. Beyond the salary, we hope that you will also see the program as we do: a labor of love that reaches the students most in need, and a program with the potential to have a transformative effect on achievement in mathematics and related fields.
Specific qualifications we are looking for:
Experience supervising and coordinating kids, especially in middle school.
Good communication skills, including in-person, by phone, and by e-mail.
Significant pluses include:
Previous experience at BEAM, either as a Counselor/TA or as a Faculty member.
Leadership and management experience.
Fluency in Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, or other languages commonly spoken in New York City.
A background in teaching.
An interest or background in math.
We encourage applicants to take a risk on the application and see what happens. BEAM loves welcoming new people into our family.
How To Apply
Please send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will reply back and successful applicants will proceed to an interview.
If you are wondering if you are a good fit for the program, please contact us at email@example.com to discuss your background.
We aim to provide strong role models for our students, and that means finding a staff that shares the background of our students as much as possible. Thus, we especially encourage applicants who come from underrepresented minority groups, applicants who have faced financial hardship while pursuing their education, and/or applicants who have experience in the New York City or Los Angeles school system. We are an equal opportunity employer, and so persons of color, women, and those with disabilities are all encouraged to apply. Showing a diversity in mathematical achievement is critical to our program's success.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Successful applicants will proceed to an interview. 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.
We are always available to answer any questions you might have, so please feel free to get in touch. We look forward to working with you this summer!
BEAM Founder and Executive Director
Executive Director, LA Programs
Senior Director of Programs