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Middle School Program Assistant (Downtown Portland)

compensation: $15-16 per hour; 20 hours per week
employment type: part-time
non-profit organization

Are you a highly relational person who loves working with energetic 6 th -8 th graders? Are you excited to work with middle school students to support their goals and dreams? Do you believe young people are capable of powerful activism? Consider joining Camp Fire’s Middle School Team!

Apply here!

Who Are We?

In Camp Fire Columbia’s Middle School Program, we work with 270 students in 5 middle schools across the Portland Public and Reynolds school districts. We’re based in schools during the day doing mentoring, making family connections, connecting with school staff, and advocating for and with our students to mitigate inequality of outcomes. After school, we facilitate curriculum and field trips for students using themes such as: identity development, community-building, community-based learning, and social justice. We believe in our students and their families and spend our time building meaningful relationships, mixing in fun wherever possible, and figuring out ways to engage in social justice.

Position Overview:

This position is responsible for applying a deeply relational approach to work in partnership with Camp Fire programs in Portland Public and Reynolds School District to support the implementation of culturally responsive programming for students from historically marginalized backgrounds or who have been identified as Academic Priority.  This position works with staff to support afterschool programming, field trips, and incentive trips across 5 Middle School sites. This position works with students to express care, challenge growth, provide support, share power, and expand possibilities, all through an equity lens, within the classroom and beyond. 

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Relationships: Build resilient connections with students at all 5 sites, consistently collaborate with program staff to support site needs, and be a positive representation of the organization as you interact with students, teachers, administration, and school partners.
  • Program Support: Maintain the culture of inclusion and community with students across all 5 sites through substituting and co-instructing after school social justice curriculum, spark finding field trip support, and other activities.
  • Logistics: Maintain communication with program coordinator and site staff to assess program needs and respond accordingly. Availability from 1-6 pm M-Th required to support after school program and field trips as a chaperone and with driving. Be responsive to unforeseen circumstances.

Job Duties:

  • Cultivate and sustain responsive, power-sharing mentoring relationships with program participants at 5 Middle School program sites.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to mitigating inequality, fostering relationships, and maintaining safety within the school community and beyond.
  • Engage in self-study for professional development as challenging tasks arise, or when you identify an area of self-growth. 
  • Build and maintain firm, consistent classroom management structures and boundaries. Use adaptability to facilitate learning opportunities in challenging situations, and to successfully substitute across all student cohorts.
  • Safely transports youth in Camp Fire vehicles on monthly field trips and follows field trip protocol as needed across 5 program sites
  • Model relational engagement by being willing to do what we ask our students to do, demonstrating healthy relationships and boundaries, recovering from setbacks, and having fun.
  • Use a variety of scheduling and planning techniques to prioritize and accomplish simultaneously-occurring aspects of program and site support needs (field trips, subbing schedule, communication with site and office staff)
  • Maintain punctual, regular and predictable attendance and accessibility.
  • Attend meetings and events, as required. Proactively communicate about scheduling conflicts and subbing needs within the program.
  • Invest in a positive team culture via intentional communication, acknowledging and taking responsibility for impact, and proactively uphold responsibilities in order to maximize positive impact for each person involved.
  • Ensures policies and practices are followed that lead to safe and successful program experiences for all participants and staff. 
  • Displays excellent communication skills including presentation, persuasion, and negotiation skills required in working with coworkers, volunteers, parents, and contractors; including the ability to communicate effectively and remain calm and courteous under pressure.
  • Use a variety of communication resources to remain effective and relational under pressure.
  • Commit to a culture of development by openly receiving, implementing, and sharing feedback.
  • Engage in self-initiative and independent work to accomplish job duties. Including, self-study, research, and asking for support as needed. 
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Ability to use a deep commitment to equity to flexibly frame, adapt to, and navigate unforeseen situations.
  • Dedication and investment in developmental relationships in all contexts.
  • Dedication and investment in social justice and mitigating social inequalities.
  • Ability to collaborate as part of a team of students, families, school staff, and co-workers.
  • Ability to prioritize and multitask effectively.
  • Belief in the value and potential of each individual and a commitment to disrupting oppression.
  • Ability to model and put into action the concepts that are taught in the curriculum lessons.
  • Use self-starting, personal vision, and creativity to build relationships while simultaneously accomplishing all position requirements.


Ability to perform essential job duties with or without reasonable accommodation and without posing a direct threat to safety or health of employee or others. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • One year of experience teaching and/or mentoring underrepresented youth is strongly preferred. 
  • Bilingual in Spanish is preferred.
  • This position requires a valid insurable Driver’s License if driving on behalf of the organization. 
  • A current CPR/First Aid Certification is required.
  • Lift and carry 30 pounds.
  • Sit and/or stand for long periods of time and maintain engaging energy levels for duration of
  • programming.
  • Maintain a high level of professionalism, creativity, energy, organization, self-motivation, empathy, and
  • patience.
  • Quickly adapt to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Follow through on responsibilities and direction of your supervisors in a positive manner.
  • Appreciate middle school culture.
  • Show dedication to social justice.

Compensation and Benefits:

Compensation: $15-16 per hour; 20 hours per week 

Benefits: Paid sick leave, 24 paid volunteer hours, 401k with employer 3% match, extensive professional development,

and a highly supportive work culture.

Our Commitment:

Camp Fire welcomes and embraces all youth of diverse cultures, beliefs, experiences, and identities. We are committed to creating a culturally-responsive, inclusive, and safe environment for all children, families and staff.

Camp Fire Columbia is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Employment decisions are made without regard to race, age, religion, color, gender, gender expression and identification, sexual orientation, national origin, physical or mental disability, marital or veteran status, or any other classification protected by law.

Organization Overview: Camp Fire has been an innovative leader in youth development since 1910. At Camp Fire Columbia, we believe that every child should have the opportunity to find and pursue their spark, a passion that inspires and drives them to set and achieve goals for their future. Our comprehensive program starts with early intervention at the elementary level, bridges the learning gap for middle school, and helps students thrive and plan for bright futures during high school. During the schoolyear, Camp Fire works in partnership with more than 22 schools in the Metro Area. During the summer months, we offer summer camps in the Portland metro area and at our beautiful 552-acre camp, Camp Namanu. Our programs directly serve over 3,000 kids ages 5-18 each year across an eight-county area, including the greater Portland metro region.

  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
  • do NOT contact us with unsolicited services or offers

post id: 7020565921


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