Family Outreach Assistant

Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics, a project of the Art of Problem Solving Foundation, is seeking a Family Outreach Assistant. You'll be part of a close-knit team helping exceptional young people to achieve their full potential. As Family Outreach Assistant, you'll work with our students and families to help them attend our events, apply to good high schools, and attend advanced summer programs. You will also help compile mailings to families and assist with general office work and data entry. You will work closely with our small staff and you will be an integral part of putting our program together.

About the Program

Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM) helps underserved New York City middle school students with talent in math enter a realistic pathway towards becoming scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and programmers. We organize summer programs for students who have just finished 6th and 7th grade to help them study advanced math, and then we work with the students and their families throughout middle school and high school to help them navigate the educational system and continue their studies.

During the academic year, BEAM organizes a number of events to support students and families. We hold weekly office hours for students where they can come in with any questions: application help, homework help, or whatever else they need. We hold information sessions for students and parents where they can learn how to apply to good high schools and summer programs, and we give each student customized recommendations for their next steps. We have reunions and field trips where they can explore places like Google and Yale University.

Access to our events and to outside opportunities requires mentorship and coaching for both students and families. Additionally, many families may need to overcome substantial challenges to help students attend our events. The primary role of the Family Outreach Assistant will be to guide families through this process and to keep them actively participating in our program.  Because this is unlikely to take your full time, extra time will be spent supporting BEAM's work in an administrative capacity.  This part of the job can be customized to your skills.

Your Role

Approximately half your time will be spent communicating with families by phone or e-mail, tracking students' progress through academic milestones, and preparing mailings to families about upcoming events and opportunities.

Family contact is unlikely to take your full time; the rest will be spent in a support role for the program.  This is likely to involve data entry, scanning documents, and coordinating other aspects of our office, although the specific roles can be customized to your skillset.  For example, an exceptional writer might help compose alumni newsletter and e-mails to families.  A strong organizer might put together the logistics of our events.  We are a small team, and we each customize our role to fit our strengths.

Responsibilities

  • Call families and students to keep them aware of upcoming events and opportunities. Encourage them to come to our events and help them arrange transportation. Help them complete applications to schools and other programs. These calls will sometimes need to be placed during evenings and weekends, but they can be done from home.
  • Become an expert on application processes and procedures to NYC public high schools, various math and science summer and academic-year programs, and to colleges. Help families with their applications, especially with navigating complicated bureaucracies.
  • Attend some of our weekend events (typically on Saturdays) as well as some Thursday office hours where you will help students and families with applications.  You may also need to be available to meet families at other times if they cannot make our events.
  • Assist students and families with travel, possibly by occasionally picking up a student at home.
  • Answer e-mails and phone calls from parents and from others who wish to contact us.
  • Design and prepare mailings informing students and families about our events.
  • Potential support work can include:
    • Fold, assemble, and stuff mailings to students and families.
    • Scan documents, store and sort them electronically.
    • Update student contact information on our spreadsheets.
    • Communicating with staff about necessary paperwork, arranging travel, running background checks for new hires.
    • Additional work as needed to support the Art of Problem Solving Foundation's second major program, the USA Mathematical Talent Search. This will include sorting and scanning papers, mailing books and T-shirts to prize winners, and so forth.

We are a young organization, and so we will adjust the responsibilities based on your background.  For example, you may assist in writing or preparing mailings in Microsoft Word, updating our website, or managing logistics for program events.

Qualifications

Above all, we are looking for someone who communicates well (both verbally and in written form), works well independently, has an entrepreneurial spirit, and who is devoted to the work that we do.

Minimum qualifications include:

  • Strong communication skills, including:
    • Verbal communication: Able to explain complicated application procedures to families over the phone.
    • Written communication: Able to respond to family questions by e-mail and to provide professional e-mail replies to those who contact us online.
  • Empathy; the ability to form close bonds with our students and families.
  • Proactive: willing to reach out repeatedly to families who may not be replying.
  • Fluency in Spanish.
  • Computer aptitude, including familiarity with Microsoft Word and Excel, and the ability to pick up new computer skills quickly.
  • The ability to understand and then explain forms and bureaucracy, such as the NYC high school admissions process, applications to various summer programs, and college applications.
  • A true dedication to helping individual students: someone who will get to know them on a personal level and go the extra mile to make sure they get the best outcomes possible.

Additional pluses may include:

  • Experience with the NYC high school selection process, or with admission to summer programs or colleges.
  • Experience working with children or families of children.
  • Strong skills in Microsoft Office, especially Word and Excel; knowledge of mail merge a plus.
  • Experience with Salesforce.
  • Fast typing skills or experience doing data entry.
  • Experience coordinating logistics with external vendors. (For example: printing, event space, catering, bus charters.)

Salary and Benefits

Salary will be $15-$20/hour depending on experience and fit with the position. (Substantially higher salaries may be available to those with more extensive experience appropriate to an "administrative assistant" role.) The work week will be 40 hours per week.

The work location will generally be our office in midtown Manhattan, although during the summer you will spend a few days visiting our summer program sites so that you can get to know the students, and events may take place in other locations in NYC. Evening and weekend calls to families can be made from home so long as you log the time.

The Art of Problem Solving Foundation is a small organization and we do not currently provide health insurance as a benefit. We can provide assistance arranging personal health insurance, which all of us have done.  We are likely to add health insurance as a benefit in the next 1-2 years.

We provide 8 paid holidays and an additional 15 days of paid time off (which includes both vacation and sick days; we do not distinguish between the two). Paid time off will increase by one day for each year worked for your first five years of employment.

In addition, we provide a very flexible schedule for work. We expect that you'll need to spend about 1-2 hours on two nights a week calling students and families, which can be done from home. We may also ask you to help staff weekend events. Time spent working during the evening or weekends gives you the flexibility to adjust your work hours during the day, for example to meet your kids after school or to take extra time for appointments or errands.

As you continue employment with us, depending on your background we will provide paid training to supplement your skills, especially in computer areas such as Microsoft Office, typing, or web page design and maintenance.

Application Process

To apply, please send a cover letter and resumé to info@beammath.org.

We believe in the importance of demonstrated ability and work samples. A few applicants will be chosen for the second stage, where we will ask you to complete sample projects to show us your work. From there, some applicants will proceed to an interview which will be the final step of the hiring process.

We will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Finally

We believe strongly in communication and collaboration. In the spirit of that collaborative atmosphere, we strongly encourage you to ask questions about the position!

We're very excited that you're interested in the program. Thank you for applying to BEAM.

Sincerely,
The BEAM Staff
info@beammath.org