BRIDGEPORT, CT - Horizons Bridgeport is seeking an Executive Director who is passionate about the power of education to close the opportunity and achievement gap for students from low-income families.
Horizons is a nationally recognized, tuition-free academic and enrichment program serving low-income students. There are over 60 Horizons programs nationwide. Horizons has a proven track record of boosting educational achievement, fostering social and emotional development, and broadening student opportunity through out-of-school time (OST) learning and enrichment opportunities that take place at host institutions.
Horizons Bridgeport: Bridgeport is currently served by three Horizons sites: Horizons Greens Farms Academy (HGFA), which opened in 2000 and Horizons Sacred Heart University (HSHU), which opened in 2010 and the new program Horizons Notre Dame (HND) to open the summer of 2019.
Horizon Bridgeport (HB) has been formed to leverage the existing sites in order to dramatically expand the Horizons program in the City of Bridgeport. HB will expand from three to four independent, regionally coordinated sites over the next two to three years, eventually enabling 1,000+ Bridgeport students to participate in Horizons, a growth of 250% from current levels. HB will provide centralized infrastructure to the four sites, facilitate the sharing of best practices, enhance collaboration and maximize economies of scale.
Horizons Bridgeport addresses the achievement gap: Research shows that without access to summer learning and enrichment opportunities, low-income students can lose an average of two months of learning during the summer. Over time, these students fall behind their more affluent peers, possibly contributing to an achievement gap. Bridgeport is the largest city in Connecticut and has graduation and college matriculation rates that are significantly below the national average. Horizons is an innovative program that remediates the “summer slide” and ultimately the achievement gap.
The Horizons Bridgeport Difference: The Horizons Bridgeport model is comprised of two core programs: K-8 and High School. A six-week summer program for K-8 classes is led by professional and nurturing teachers where students engage in an individualized curriculum that builds reading, math and social- emotional skills. Enrichment activities, including science, the arts and swimming expose the students to new opportunities. During the school year, the program offers Saturday Academy providing academic and social continuity.
In the Horizons high school program students receive one-on-one support from academic coaches and tutors during the school year. In addition, students receive SAT prep and the support of a designated college advisor who assists with the college application and financial aid process. Grade-specific summer programming and school year focused weekly sessions for each high school student are also provided.
With more than 90% of Horizons Bridgeport students returning each year, the students literally grow up in the program.
The Horizons Bridgeport Executive Director role is an exciting leadership opportunity for an individual who is passionate about the power of education to close the opportunity and achievement gap for students from low-income families. The Executive Director will report to the Board of Directors of Horizons Bridgeport and will drive the growth and direction of Horizons Bridgeport. The ED will build effective partnerships with key stakeholders; develop a diversified funding strategy focusing on corporate donors and foundation support; and coordinate Horizons Bridgeport efforts to leverage best practices and the strengths of each program site. Horizons Bridgeport’s next leader will be an individual of the highest integrity, who is enthusiastic to fundraise, and an excellent convener who is compelled to advocate and represent Horizons Bridgeport and its mission. This exceptional opportunity is for an experienced, energetic and ambitious leader to take a hands-on-role in shaping the future of this growing non-profit, on behalf of the Bridgeport children it serves.
Development and Communications:
- Create and implement a sustainable fundraising strategy (expected to exceed $1M annually in three years) in partnership with the Board
- Build and maintain strong relationships with funders/donors
- Identify and solicit new sources of funding, prepare grant proposals, and all required reporting; research and secure corporate sponsors
- Develop, plan and oversee fundraising events in collaboration with the Board
- Ensure effective donor management, accurate reporting and acknowledgement of all gifts
- Create and execute communications plan and public relations activities, including website, marketing, social media, and email newsletters
- Represent Horizons Bridgeport in the community at public events and stakeholder meetings, building awareness and connections to increase volunteer and funder engagement, including building relationships with community leaders
- Establish strategic direction and meet both short and long-term goals of the program, working with the Board of Directors
- Build productive and trusting relationships with the Board, partner programs, community members, and other key stakeholders to advance strategic priorities
- Build a pipeline of potential partners to host new Horizons programs serving Bridgeport students
- Fulfill all Horizons National reporting requirements, attend Horizons National conferences
- Develop strong partnerships with Bridgeport schools in order to support recruitment of Horizons students and families
- Work with Site Directors to share and sustain best practices
- Continue to build the newly formed HB organization and processes
- Lead collective outcomes tracking and reporting from all HB partner programs
- Manage budgeting, financial controls, reporting and resource allocation
- Report at Board meetings, serve on Board committees and ensure all members are engaged and supported effectively
- Develop and monitor project budgets to assure organizational efficiency
RELEVANT EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
- Five or more years of professional development/fundraising experience including a leadership role
- Self-starter who demonstrates high levels of motivation, organization and accountability
- Exceptional public speaking and written communication skills
- Ability to build and manage effective relationships at multiple levels within complex environments
- Excellent interpersonal skills with a demonstrated ability to build positive and respectful relationships
- Experience with financial management, including budgeting, financial controls and reporting
- Spanish speaking a plus
- Deep understanding of and connection to the Bridgeport community a plus
- Collective impact experience a plus
- College degree required, advanced degree or relevant certifications a plus
This position is full time and Horizons Bridgeport offers competitive compensation commensurate with experience and expertise.
HOW TO APPLY
Please email a resume and one-page cover letter explaining your interest, and how your skills and background match the position description to: Executive Director Horizons Bridgeport
Horizons Bridgeport is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse pool of candidates.