BEAM Discovery Social Worker

This summer, change the lives of motivated, high-potential students from underserved schools: help them build a supportive community together and develop the social skills they need as they discover 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 Social Worker at BEAM Summer Away, our residential program in the Upstate New York and Southern California.  

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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 our 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. Supporting students as they find their way 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.

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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, 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 (you!) to provide social and emotional support. You will be with the students during most non-academic time, running activities and using meal times to talk to any students who may need your 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 activities, breakfast, and lunch.

Your Role

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The social worker is on the program’s leadership team, helping our staff create a supportive social environment at the program. You will report directly to the Site Director.

General responsibilities include:

  • Spending time with students to build relationships with them, among them, and also among students and staff.

  • Providing counseling and support for students, especially helping those students who are having difficulty adjusting to the program or who may simply need someone they trust to talk to.

  • Providing guidance to other staff as they work to address and support mental health and other student needs.

  • Communicating with families about student progress.

  • Running one to two activities each day.

  • Substituting for absent counselors.

  • Staffing main office and answering student questions.

  • Monitoring student absences.

  • Monitoring Open Math Time.

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.

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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: The City College of New York (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.

The salary is $6,500 for the summer. Beyond the salary, we hope that you will 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.

Please note that the social worker position is open in 2019 at the Los Angeles and New York Uptown sites only.

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Qualifications

Specific qualifications we are looking for:

  • Experience supervising kids, especially in middle school.

  • Good communication skills, including in-person, by phone, and by e-mail.

  • An MSW (or comparable degree), with a valid license.

Significant pluses include:

  • Counseling experience.

  • Summer program experience.

  • Fluency in Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, or other languages commonly spoken by our students’ families.

  • 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 info@beammath.org. We will reply back and successful applicants will proceed to an interview.

Additional NOtes

If you are wondering if you are a good fit for the program, please contact us at info@beammath.org 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!

Sincerely,

Dan Zaharopol
BEAM Founder and Executive Director
dan_zaharopol@artofproblemsolving.org

Jacob Castaneda
Executive Director, LA Programs
jacob@beammath.org

Lynn Cartwright-Punnett
Senior Director of Programs
lynncp@beammath.org

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