Impact Alabama SpeakFirst Coach  AmeriCorps Member

Company:   Impact America
Business Type:   Non-Profit
Location:   Birmingham, AL
Required Major:  
Required Education:  
Required GPA:  
Salary:   Stipend
Employment Type:   Full-Time    
  Contact Information
Contact:   Stephen Black
President and Founder
  Phone:   (205) 934-0664

Job Description

A SpeakFirst coach will work with Impact Alabama staff and the SpeakFirst coaching team to develop and implement debate curriculum for the SpeakFirst initiative. The SpeakFirst initiative brings together twenty exemplary high school students from Birmingham area schools that do not provide a formal debate structure into an all-star debate team that participates in tournaments in Alabama and across the Southeast. The team specializes in Public Forum Debate, which focuses on practical and philosophical questions about current domestic and foreign policy issues, and emphasizes the ability to debate and convey arguments about these issues persuasively to a judge. SpeakFirst coaches serve as advisors, discussion-leaders, and mentors who guide and improve the students research, argumentation, and speaking skills for each monthly topic. SpeakFirst coach responsibilities include managing and coaching practices three evenings per week, inclusive of lesson planning and thorough editing of student work; coordinating registration and participation in 8-10 weekend tournaments throughout the academic year; designing a summer debate orientation for new students; and organizing recruitment for the next class of students. In addition, you may manage volunteer tutors and mentors, supervise homework tutoring sessions and standardized test preparation, coordinate college admissions planning and summer internships for students, and design extracurricular events to expose the students to important cultural and historical attractions throughout Alabama. Responsibilities will also include collaborating with our SpeakFirst Middle School Coordinator to lead the SpeakFirst Middle School Debate League. This includes designing weekly workshops for middle school coaches in seven program schools, supervising instruction weekly at one of the program schools (Mondays, 3-5pm), and hosting four tournaments. SpeakFirst coaches are full-time AmeriCorps members who also serve with Impact Alabamas other service initiatives: FocusFirst, SaveFirst, and CollegeFirst. SpeakFirst coaches will conduct 3-5 vision screenings for preschoolers, learn basic tax law to serve six hours per week at a SaveFirst tax site (February and March), and have the option to assist with the CollegeFirst Summer Advanced Placement Institute for high school students in Birmingham.


Successful candidates will exhibit a commitment to improving the lives of economically disadvantaged families, a record of community service and/or civic engagement, leadership skills, the ability to work well with a diverse group of individuals (e.g., high school students, community partners), flexibility in a fast-paced environment, a positive attitude, strong research and analytical writing skills, and an aptitude for public speaking. Debate experience is strongly preferred but not required. Candidates for the SpeakFirst coach position with prior experience in education will be prioritized. A strong candidate will be able to speak to challenges and successes in curriculum design and daily lesson planning as well as to provide constructive feedback to students. SpeakFirst devotes four full-time coaches to twenty students to ensure a rigorous learning environment is maintained. In addition to participating in the creation of collaborative curriculum strategies with the SpeakFirst coaching team, coaches should be able to manage a substantial amount of independent work hours conducting research and preparing based on delegated tasks.

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