Healthy Community Initiative

Thriving Youth. Thriving Community.



Tackling Obstacles & Raising College Hopes (TORCH) Support Specialist

November 1, 2021

20-40 hours per week, depending on selected candidate’s interests and availability; hours will be primarily during the traditional school day, with some evening hours

Now in its 29th year, the Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) is a community-based organization whose mission is to foster collaborative communities in Rice County, Minnesota, that empower youth, strengthen families, and build community.

One of HCI’s flagship initiatives, Tackling Obstacles & Raising College Hopes (TORCH) works to increase the high school graduation and postsecondary attendance/completion rates of Northfield youth who are from low-income homes, students of color, and/or potential first-generation college attendees. Now in its 18th year, TORCH works with more than 400 youth in grades 6-12, plus 125+ alumni.

HCI seeks a bilingual individual to provide support to youth at the Northfield Middle School, Northfield High School and Northfield Area Learning Center, as well as establish and maintain connections with Somali-speaking parents.

Tasks for the TORCH Support Specialist include:

  • Provide one-on-one and small group academic support to TORCH students
  • Assist students with the completion of paperwork necessary to successfully enroll in postsecondary programs, register for workforce development programs, and complete financial aid applications
  • Build and foster strong relationships with Somali students in grades 6-12 who are identified as needing additional support to finish high school
  • Connect with Somali students’ families and serve as a link between TORCH, families and the local education system; complete home visits and neighborhood-based outreach as needed to connect with families
  • Meet regularly with the TORCH team to review data and identify youth to serve; track student progress; determine which interventions to connect to individual students or groups of students
  • Provide attendance and behavior coaching for students targeted for needing assistance as determined through the multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) approach; promote positive behavior expectations
  • Maintain program records, complete ongoing youth assessments and track data in the Salesforce system
  • Assist with securing summer enrichment opportunities for students

Required qualities for the TORCH Support Specialist include:

  • Bilingual (English-Somali)
  • 2-5 years of related experience supporting diverse middle and/or high school youth
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Word, and Excel) and Google Suite
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships with students and staff
  • Highly organized with superior attention to detail
  • Excellent ability to multi-task and troubleshoot issues
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision and as a member of a team
  • Capable of completing work on time in a fast-paced environment while maintaining a positive attitude
  • Experience working with diverse families
  • Willingness to maintain the standards, carry out the purpose, and adhere to the policies of the Healthy Community Initiative
  • Reliable transportation with the ability to travel throughout Rice County
  • Maintenance of a cell phone is an expectation of employment

Reports to: TORCH High School Director

To apply, please submit a cover letter, résumé, and contact information for three professional references to Tessa Kiesow, TORCH High School Director, Application review will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.