Healthy Community Initiative

Thriving Youth. Thriving Community.



TORCH Director, Northfield Middle School

June 23, 2021


Now in its 17th year, Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes (TORCH) is a collaborative school-community partnership to address disparities in education. Originally TORCH served exclusively Latinx students, but because of the program’s success, TORCH is now available to all traditionally under-served students, including youth who would be first-generation college students and young people from low-income homes.  TORCH works with more than 500 Northfield youth in grades 6-12 (plus alumni) each year, providing academic advising, tutoring, postsecondary access, career exploration, and connections with community opportunities and resources.

TORCH is a program of the Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) and TORCH staff are employees of HCI.

TORCH seeks a full-time director to lead the middle school program with youth in grades 6-8.


  • Track student progress and conduct individual academic counseling sessions with each TORCH student in their cohort at least twice per month
  • Work with each student to create an individual plan that identifies areas of need, interventions, goals, and college aspirations
  • Communicate with parents to discuss future plans and opportunities for youth. Ensure that parents are aware of academic progress
  • Coordinate events, activities and communication for the purpose of affirming and rewarding those TORCH students who have achieved academic success and/or met their goals
  • Coordinate schedules and supervise AmeriCorps staff assigned to serve the TORCH program
  • Recruit and maintain a pool of volunteer tutors to work with TORCH students one-on-one or in small groups
  • Communicate with teachers, guidance counselors and social workers in those cases where additional or different levels of academic support and intervention are necessary
  • Recruit TORCH students for summer programs
  • Arrange and lead college visits for groups of TORCH students

Required qualities

  • Bachelor’s degree (ideally in the field of counseling, social work, youth development, or a related area) or related experience
  • Ability to engage and communicate effectively with TORCH students and their families
  • Ability to work collaboratively with TORCH team members, school district staff and other groups and organizations
  • Ability to supervise volunteer tutors and AmeriCorps staff
  • Ability to plan, implement and evaluate academic support interventions
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to understand and work with different cultures and backgrounds
  • Ability to collect and analyze data to inform programming
  • Ability to speak before groups and make public presentations to promote the TORCH program
  • Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously
  • Ability to work select evening and weekend hours
  • Must possess and maintain a valid Minnesota driver’s license and auto insurance and be able to travel throughout the community
  • Willingness to maintain the standards, carry out the purpose, and adhere to the policies of HCI
  • Maintenance of a cell phone is an expectation of employment

Preferred qualities

  • Familiarity with Northfield and Rice County organizations and resources
  • Familiarity with higher education resources and opportunities
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish or Somali
  • Experience in grant writing, grant reporting, and fundraising

To apply, please submit a cover letter, résumé, and the contact information for three professional references to Zach Pruitt, Application review will begin on July 19 and will continue until the position is filled.