Youth Specialist at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, Raleigh, NC; open until filled.
About: This is a full-time, 11 month position. The primary purpose of this position is to explore and support the development and implementation of a multi-fronted NC Food Youth Initiative by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and key partners. The Food Youth Initiative (FYI) seeks to create a youth-led food initiative in NC through a food youth council and possibly a public campaign. The individual in this position must be able to move CEFS’s statewide youth programs from their current planning stage through pilot, assessment and implementation phases. This work will require collaborative teamwork on the planning crafted by youth teams in the summer of 2012 with CEFS Youth and Community Food Systems Coordinator as well as with numerous statewide partners, including youth leadership as well as food-focused organizations. In addition to designing and implementing the pilot stage of the project, this specialist must be adept community organizing and outreach as well as at assessment and evaluation for moving these projects forward. This requires that the individual in this position must be able to independently plan projects, research and study best practices with youth food system programming, identify and implement effective strategies with and for youth, grow strong relationships – both existing and new – for expanding the youth network, with within articulate a progressive power analysis of race and the food system, conduct all aspects of data collection, prepare presentations and reports, and prioritize youth experience and opportunity. In addition, the individual will be required to help hire, supervise and train part-time and project-specific youth participants. Additionally, the individual in this position will assist in the coordination if the newly developing Farm to School Coalition group, which has a large youth membership as well as being wholly focused on strengthening good food access in the school environment. There is a strong education and training component to this position, especially with teens and young adults. Individual must be able to supervise youth participants who will be dispersed across the state and convey an energy and optimism about youth empowered leadership in food system equity and good food access. By food system equity and “good food” we mean food that is affordable and accessible to all income populations; food that supports local farmers and helps build a strong local economy; food that is fair and just in its regard to the workers who grow, process, and sell; and food that is culturally valued and healthy for individuals and communities. Individual also must relate well to youth, youth organizers, and community-based organizations, as well as with various stakeholders from large agencies and enterprises. Youth involved currently in the project will be involved in the assessment of candidates for this position and have specifically identified essential characteristics and qualities: passion for this work and for youth, willingness to learn and humble attitude, respect for both youth and elders, creativity and humor, and a transparency and honesty.