Program Manager, Take the Lead

Chicago, IL

Are you passionate about youth development? Have a knack for coaching and leading activities with middle school students? Do you enjoy working in a school setting?

The Program Manager position may be PERFECT for you! 

Take The Lead (TTL) Program Overview

Take the Lead is a leadership development and high school readiness program that provides middle school students the opportunity to serve as leaders on their sports teams, in their classrooms, and in their school community. Program participants engage small-group mentoring sessions facilitated by their Program Manager that help build leadership and social emotional learning skills needed to become leaders among their peers and prepare for high school. During these sessions, young leaders also plan and complete service learning projects. Through leadership retreats hosted at corporations, cultural institutions, and schools across Chicago, they meet fellow participants and build their peer networks and social capital.

This program manager is responsible for the South Region.

Position Summary

Program Manager, Take the Lead, dedicates their time to manage relationships with estimated 60 youth in the program and partnerships with the schools they attend. They are responsible for managing all Take the Lead program engagement, implementation, quality, and impact goals for their youth and within their region. 

A Day in the Life of a Program Manager - TTL:

 Oversee the day-to-day operation at TTL Partner Schools with estimated 60 youth.

  • Recruit and retain an estimated 60 5th-8th grade students across 6 partner schools to participate in the program with an emphasis on alumni of the Urban Initiatives soccer program

  • Attain all programmatic goals as assessment by specific key performance indicators

  • Deliver program with fidelity and high quality, including facilitation of monthly small group skill building sessions and engagement of youth in sport-based leadership development opportunities at every school you manage

  • Support on-site execution of quarterly retreats for all program participants

  • Develop a coaching relationship with all students you engage with and conduct outreach to engage with their families

  • Collaborate with UI staff to coordinate periodic site visits and field trips at schools managed; ensure events have appropriate coverage

  • Complete regular program quality reflections to support continuous quality improvement

  • Provide regular feedback to program leadership to support program development

  • Support of summer programming operation 


  • Passion for Urban Initiatives’ mission

  • Commitment to interrupting all forms of oppression in the workplace

  • Commitment to supporting a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for youth

  • Ability to build relationships and communicate effectively with a diverse set of stakeholders including other staff members, youth, coaches, families, partner organizations and funders through a variety of different mediums. 

  • At least two years of experience working in the youth development fieldSuperior relationship development and management skills

  • Superior communication skills, both spoken and written

  • Strong presentation and group facilitation skills (demonstrated experience preferred)

  • Quick learner and problem solver, experienced in managing conflicts

  • Strong time management, administrative, analytical, and organizational skills

  • Self-directed while balancing multiple tasks within a team-based work environment 

  • Ability to be flexible and manage multiple priorities while maintaining high quality of work

  • Demonstrated experience working with a diverse group of people, particularly those living in underserved neighborhoods

  • Willingness to travel locally as needed

  • Spanish speaking is a plus


  • $50,000 base salary

  • Health, dental, and vision insurance premiums paid 100% by Urban Initiatives (for employees and for their children)

  • Life, short term disability, and long term disability insurance paid 100% by Urban Initiatives

  • Option to contribute to a 401K with up to a 3% match of your salary after one full year of employment

  • Flexible schedule and work from home environment

  • 120 hours of paid time off (PTO), accrued monthly (PTO may be prorated based on start date.)

  • Paid holidays (Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day)

  • Comp time


Apply by clicking below.

Target Start Date is September 21, 2022

Urban Initiatives is dedicated to intentionally fostering a climate of purposeful inclusion in our workplace, and candidates of diverse backgrounds and identities are strongly encouraged to apply. Urban Initiatives is an Equal Opportunity employer. Personnel are chosen on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. This is in accordance with federal and state law.

Urban Initiatives Overview

Founded in 2003, Urban Initiatives is a nonprofit organization that runs youth development programs in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Urban Initiatives’ mission is to use the power of sport and play to empower Chicago’s youth to achieve academic success, develop social-emotional skills, and build social capital. Currently, Urban Initiatives serves an estimated 60 schools throughout the City of Chicago.

Urban Initiatives is preparing to scale program operations to have a significantly greater impact across Chicago. Our programs support social-emotional learning (SEL) and demand for these services is greater than ever. Growing the management capacity of our program team to implement the Take the Lead program and manage relationships with youth is critical to providing quality and impactful services as we grow.