Youth & Opportunity United is a comprehensive youth development organization located in Evanston, Illinois, a north suburb of Chicago. Established in 1971, Y.O.U. works to ensure every young person has the opportunity to succeed by working with families, schools, and community partners to provide a wholistic level of support where it is most needed, closing the gap between youth and opportunity. Y.O.U has an annual budget of approximately $4.5M, a full- and part-time staff of approximately 80 people, and is governed by an active, engaged, 24-member Board of Directors.
We seek a proven leader whose passion for service is demonstrated by a genuine dedication to improving the lives of children and youth. She/he/they will approach the work in an inspirational, visionary, passionate manner that is authentic, trustworthy, innovative and resilient. Driven by relationships and building meaningful connections across multiple groups (youth, families, staff, donors, partners, communities), the ideal candidate will have an effective, transparent and direct communication style with a culturally competent, equity mindset grounded in a deep understanding of the challenges experienced in marginalized communities.
Leading with respect and active listening, the ideal candidate will be a dynamic, high-energy partner with experience in, and an enthusiasm for, community engagement. A confident, non-hierarchical leader who is also flexible and humble, and views all involved in the organization through an asset/strengths-based lens, will be important. She/he/they will be a strong strategic thinker with a collaborative, engaging approach to decision making that reflects the core values of Y.O.U. and the communities it serves. The ideal candidate is a responsive and accessible leader, capable of connecting with all aspects of the organization through strong interpersonal skills.
We seek a leader who has experience working with youth and encouraging their achievement through community engagement, programming, and support. The ideal candidate will have experience in education, youth engagement, social-emotional learning, restorative justice, and/or services benefiting positive development for children. Direct experience with the age group Y.O.U. serves is preferred. She/he/they will have deep strategic planning experience, with proven leadership in assisting an organization to fulfill its mission.
The candidate will have strong comfort with and proven experience in fundraising and resource development on behalf of a non-profit institution. Exceptional candidates will exhibit fundraising experience with individual donors, institutional grantmakers, as well as resource generation through public agencies. Financial management experience of a complex budget with significant diversity in revenue streams, as well as experience in forecasting and long-term financial planning, is required.
As a team-building, inspirational internal leader, she/he/they will have significant staff management experience, with a focus on values-based leadership and professional development. Experience engaging, supporting and energizing younger staff and nurturing their development as professionals is highly desired. Experience working in a collaborative and transparent manner with an active, committed Board of Directors and/or Associate Board is preferred.
Experience with public speaking in multiple venues with diverse audiences is highly desired. The ideal candidate will have experience building positive relationships with public agencies and officials, and effectively communicating the mission, values and impact of youth engagement in the civic community. Excellent written and oral skills are required.
An understanding of the history and dynamics of the Evanston and Skokie communities is a plus, but not required. A desire to enthusiastically engage with communities in which Y.O.U. is involved is essential. Understanding of trauma-informed care is a plus; the ability to connect with the experiences of youth Y.O.U. serves is highly desired.
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited academic institution is preferred. Evidence of continuing education, certification or training is desirable.
Y.O.U. is committed to creating a diverse team environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.