The most disadvantaged children in New Orleans and the schools that serve them exist amidst a profound set of systemic barriers to meeting each child’s needs. The manifestations of poverty and its associated stressors are uncommonly prevalent in New Orleans; too many children experience deprivation, trauma, and other environmental stressors that too often result in mental illness, truancy, behavioral challenges, violence, incarceration, health deficits, and addiction issues at rates far higher than national or state averages. Furthermore, the typical institutions meant to support young people with these challenges – hospitals, CBOs, school system services – either lack the resources to meet system-wide needs, have been dismantled in post-Katrina New Orleans, are fragmented, or never existed in the first place.
As a result, New Orleans has a large number of students whose needs outstrip the capacities of schools but for whom there is no obvious set of institutions from which to seek services outside the school. This is taxing both for schools, which are often consumed with serving such students, and for students and families, whose needs require more robust services. The system as it is currently structured does not stimulate activity in the private and nonprofit sectors, and this is precisely the gap that New Pathways seeks to fill.
In response to the challenges faced by our school community, New Pathways – an established but nascent 501(c) 3 – will support children in New Orleans whose needs go beyond the capacities of schools on their own. Rather than providing these services itself, however, New Pathways will match provider supply with need, expanding the base of available services through its understanding of the sector, public funding, and needed policy reforms. The success of New Pathways will be measured by its degree of responsiveness to the needs of public schools, its development of system-wide solutions where there are system-wide deficits, and its ability to work closely with government agencies and community-based organizations to develop, broker, and execute solutions to citywide problems. To achieve this, New Pathways will take on the following key functions in partnership with schools, non-profits, and government agencies in New Orleans:
As reflected in the steps above, the Founding Executive Director of New Pathways will be responsible for developing and executing a set of aligned strategies to dramatically improve the lives and outcomes of the least served young people in New Orleans.
This is a remarkable opportunity for the right leader to address community-recognized needs and play a critical role in making New Orleans a city in which every young person gets the educational services and therapeutic supports that they need to thrive. The ED will work closely with community stakeholders, including the New Orleans School Leader Forum, YouthShift, and the New Orleans Children and Youth Planning Board to inform its strategic decisions. S/he will also collaborate with relevant staff at the Recovery School District, the Orleans Parish School Board, and other city and state agencies.
Landscape analysis and assessment of services for students with significant needs
Gather and steward a high performing group of individuals to launch New Pathways
Expand supply of and access to quality programming
The ideal Founded Executive Director will passionately believe that all young people, regardless of background, have the potential to achieve academic, professional, and personal success. This person will have a background in education, social, and/or behavioral health services and understand the critical nature of providing excellent parallel services to traditional public education to ensure that all students have the tools they need to succeed. S/he must be able to build bridges and make connections across all kinds of service providers in order to create an ecosystem of excellent services for the students who need them the most.
Additionally, the successful candidate will have the following knowledge and skills:
Next, the successful candidate will have the following professional experience:
Finally, the successful candidate must possess the following personal attributes:
The Executive Director will report to an independent, volunteer Board of Directors which currently comprises four members. S/he will have the opportunity to build a small team within the first year.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The Executive Director will earn a competitive salary, commensurate with experience.
Inquiries and applications, comprising a resume and letter of interest, should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.