BEAM 6 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 6, our non-residential program in New York City and Los Angeles. We also hire nationally for a Director of Residential Life at BEAM 7, our residential program in the Hudson Valley.  

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About the Program

Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM) is a free, high-impact program for underserved students with 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. All of our students attend schools where at least 75% of students receive free lunch. For most of them, programs like this would otherwise be completely out of reach.

BEAM 6 is the first entry point into BEAM's programs, a five-week nonresidential summer camp for students in the summer between 6th and 7th grade. We create a life-changing experience for our students, both academically and non-academically, where they'll 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.

This is BEAM's eighth year in New York and first year in Los Angeles. 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 6 will have two locations, one (most likely in Harlem) serving students from the Bronx and Upper Manhattan, and one (most likely in downtown Brooklyn) 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.

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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 (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 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.

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Your Role

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 blessed 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 6. 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.
  • Supervising morning transportation, largely by being on-call in case of emergencies.
  • 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; and advising the counselors (who will have close personal relationships with the students) on how to handle situations that arise.
  • 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, especially student absences.
  • 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're a wonderful group of kids, eager to learn, often without the opportunity to do so at this level, and we think you'll 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 13-July 24, including training June 13-15, program dates June 18-July 20 (with a holiday on July 4), and wrap-up July 23-24.

New York Uptown Site/Dates

  • Location: TBA, a school in Harlem or the South Bronx.
  • Dates: July 3-August 14, including training July 3, 5, and 6, program dates July 9-August 10, and wrap-up August 13-14.

New York Downtown Site/Dates

  • Location: TBA, a school in Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan.
  • Dates: July 3-August 14, including training July 3, 5, and 6, program dates July 9-August 10, and wrap-up August 13-14.

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 $7,200 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.

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Qualifications

Because this role combines aspects of management, student discipline, and student counseling, we are looking for someone with a wide variety of skills. However, much more important to us than any particular background is the right fit: someone who is entrepreneurial, loves making things happen, and loves working with kids. If that describes you, we hope you'll apply!

Specific qualifications we are looking for:

  • An MSW (or comparable degree).
  • Experience supervising and coordinating kids, especially in middle school.
  • Good communication skills, including in-person, by phone, and by e-mail.

Significant pluses include:

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

Additional NOtes

If you're wondering if you're 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 of 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,

Jacob Castaneda
BEAM 6 LA Site Director
Executive Director, Los Angeles Programs
jacob@beammath.org

Ruthi Hortsch
BEAM 6 NYC Site Director
Program Manager
ruthi@beammath.org

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