DOWNCITY DESIGN: Youth Program Manager

Position Overview

The Youth Program Manager is an educator, facilitator, and organizer of DownCity Design’s free design education programs for teens.The Youth Program Manager provides administrative support to ensure the smooth operation of all youth programs at the DownCity Design studio, including managing program resources, coordinating logistics, and overseeing outreach and recruitment efforts. They also serve as a Lead Design Educator for DownCity Design programs, facilitating groups of young people through the design/build process as they create service projects for community clients.

If you are a highly organized individual who is passionate about the power of design education and loves to work with youth, we want you on our team!

Who We Are

DownCity Design is a non-profit community design studio that empowers people to imagine and create stronger futures for their communities, using the tools of design. Our free design education programs help residents become change-makers by inviting them to create interventions that respond creatively to challenges and opportunities in their communities. Participants in our free in-school, after-school, and summer youth design programs work together to design and create amenities that make their neighborhoods better places to live, work, and learn. We also convene adult design programs and community design dialogues to help groups re-imagine public spaces and address pressing community challenges using the design process as a framework for collaborative problem solving.

Since our founding in 2009, over 2,800 teens have participated in DownCity Design’s in-school, afterschool and summer learning programs. Together, those students have designed and built over 90 urban amenities in and around Providence, including community gardens, play structures, greenhouses, and outdoor classrooms. Our young designers identify and deeply understand a community need or problem, brainstorm and prototype possible solutions, share and refine their ideas, and build solutions. Our youth programs help develop essential skills and habits of mind like collaboration, communication, creative problem solving, and persistence, while showing teens that they have the power to make change happen.

The Youth Program Manager is part of a community of individuals who are committed to promoting the mission of DownCity Design. We are looking for a joyful collaborator with a design-based creative practice, fluid communication skills, solid project management skills, flexibility, and a willingness to learn and grow.

This position will commence between June – August 2022.

Key Responsibilities

Program Leadership and Management

  • Oversee and support the youth design educator teams at the DownCity Design studio.
  • Foster a welcoming, positive environment for youth participants and educators in DownCity Design’s programs at the studio.
  • Co-lead the hiring process of new design educators with the Education Director and PCTA Site Director. This includes creating job posts, collecting resumes, scheduling and facilitating interviews, and making hiring recommendations to the Education Director.
  • Prepare onboarding materials for incoming youth design educators.
  • Support the training of new design educators
  • Supervise daily operations of Youth Programs, including attendance, overseeing snack, preparing materials, and offering support to design educators as they arrive and leave programs at the studio.
  • Support design educators in tracking program expenditures to budget.
  • Offer support to design educators as they adapt curricular resources to meet the needs and constraints of particular programs.
  • Ensure respectful and responsible use of the DownCity Design facilities.
  • Maintain contact with students and their families regarding program information and additional resources.
  • Plan and organize special events for Youth Programs, including the student open house, celebration and other cross program events.
  • Manage data collection systems and evaluation methods that enable us to demonstrate the impact of DCD programs.
  • Lead youth management for the Summer Design Studio up until the start of summer programs. This includes setting up interviews, following up with students, and confirming enrollment.
  • Organize, recruit and oversee the Student Advisory Board.
  • Contribute to the DownCity Design Program Committee. 

External Relationships

  • Participate in meetings with partners and collaborative initiatives.
  • Build connections with other community organizations, keep informed about relevant community meetings, and participate in those meetings when they relate to our mission.
  • Support the Community Outreach position in communication efforts to spread the word about DownCity Design’s mission and work, including providing translation for materials as needed.
  • Communicate regularly with program partners to coordinate program logistics and troubleshoot problems.
  • Support partners with the recruitment of students for youth programs.


  • Serve as a Design Educator for an average of 12-16 hours of DownCity Design programs each week (when programs are in session), along with full-time teaching during our summer session.
  • Lead instruction for each class, including slide presentations, activities, readings and demonstrations.
  • Work one-on-one with students to support their learning.
  • Help to oversee lunch/snack and “down time” activities.
  • Plan, facilitate and chaperone appropriate field trips for teachers and students, including written materials to enhance the on-site learning experience.
  • Monitor youth participation/attendance.
  • Ensure that students are properly trained on tools and equipment before operating and oversee safe operation.
  • Participate in and support parent and community events as related to class activities, i.e. final exhibition and celebration.
  • Attend all required meetings and educator orientation.
  • Facilitate all required pre and post assessments with students, including completion of quarterly rubrics.
  • Additional responsibilities consistent with the role of advancing the organizational mission.

Facility Management and Oversight

  • Support Project Manager in the maintenance and organization of the DownCity Design facility, including classroom, shop, van and outdoor space.
  • Support the Project Manager in the coordination of volunteers to assist in studio organization and maintenance.
  • Oversee the inventory of materials and supplies in the DownCity Design studio and implement systems to annually take inventory.
  • Participate in the ongoing renovation and organization of the DownCity Design facility project.


Highly qualified candidate will have/be:

  • Experience teaching or working with youth (ideally high school students)
  • An undergraduate or graduate degree in Education or Design (or equivalent experience) strongly preferred.
  • A deep knowledge of design processes and principles, including brainstorming, ideating, and prototyping.
  • Experience with design and fabrication of small scale projects using wood as a primary material
  • Administrative experience, including proficiency with Microsoft Office suite and data entry
  • Comfort with curriculum design and student engagement strategies
  • Knowledge of best practices for positive youth development
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented, and professional
  • Experience coordinating projects and events, and communicating with partners and constituents
  • Experience supervising and supporting team members preferred
  • Openness to creative collaboration and working as a team

The Youth Program Manager can expect:

  • Meaningful work in a supportive, collaborative environment
  • A community of colleagues dedicated to designing a just and equitable future
  • Training opportunities in youth development and adaptive supervision
  • To gain experience applying the design process to project-based learning
  • Regular engagement with an inspiring generation of young people
  • To become a valued member of the DownCity Design community
  • New connections with a team of passionate and innovative design educators
  • Access to fabrication tools at the DownCity Design studio, including laser cutter, 3D printer, table saw, miter saw, drill press and hand tools

Additional Information

The Youth Program Manager will report directly to the Education Director, and will meet weekly to manage workflow and prioritize tasks, as well as provide regular updates on ongoing program activities. Performance will be reviewed three months after date of hire, with an annual review thereafter.

This is a full-time, permanent, salaried position. The Youth Program Manager will be expected to work an average of 40 hours per week throughout the year, with occasional evening and weekend hours.


Compensation:  $36,000 – $42,000 annual salary, depending on experience

Health & Dental Insurance:  DownCity Design offers a menu of health insurance plan options, and pays 50% of a “gold” level health and dental insurance premium. Spouse and dependent benefits are available, paid in full by the employee.

Retirement Plan: DownCity Design matches contributions to a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan, up to 3% of employee’s salary annually.

Paid Time Off: DCD offers 4 weeks of paid time off annually, including 2 weeks of flexible vacation time and fixed week-long breaks in December and August. DCD also offers 15 paid staff holidays, including your birthday!

Paid Sick / Personal Leave:  7 days / year

Non-Discrimination Policy

DownCity Design is committed to supporting a diverse staff and creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all employees, volunteers, contractors and participants. Individuals identifying as BIPOC, members of traditionally marginalized populations, and multilingual individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.

DownCity Design provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all its employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, marital status, gender identity, domestic abuse victim, genetic information, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

How to Apply

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis; we highly encourage applicants to submit applications by May 22, 2022. Please submit a resume, cover letter, and portfolio of at least 3 design and/or teaching work samples through our application portal linked here. No phone calls, please.