The Focus Forward Project Welcomes Applications for Volunteer Teachers

The Focus Forward Project is currently looking for volunteers to teach courses to federal inmates in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, and to individuals out on bail.

Each course is taught by two Focus Forward Project volunteers who are responsible for:

  • Attending training session taught by Focus Forward staff on Focus Forward course curriculum and Bureau of Prisons policy 

  • Leading weekly class sessions for 8-14 participants

  • Working with class participants to create resumes and reentry plans

  • Planning and leading graduation ceremony

  • Writing letters of support on behalf of each participant to be sent to their sentencing judge 

Volunteer time commitment is 3 hours per week for 12 weeks.  

For more information, please contact us and send an email to info@thefocusforwardproject.org

Volunteer Reflection

Teaching for the Focus Forward Project has been the most enjoyable volunteering opportunity I’ve ever had.  After years of volunteering, I am delighted to have found in Focus Forward a non-profit that is incredibly well organized, bases its programming on hard data, and meets a real need in the community it serves.  

No matter what kind of day I’ve had, walking into our class always puts a smile on my face.  I’ve never before had the pleasure of teaching such motivated, enthusiastic students.  In spite of the challenging experiences they are going through, the Focus Forward participants never cease to impress me with their positive attitudes, desire to better themselves, and wonderful support of one another.  In twelve weeks, our class has become a real community of friends.  We have laughed together, cried together, applauded achievements, commiserated over losses, and watched each other grow as people.

The students I’ve taught through Focus Forward inspire me every time I see them.  They are working so hard to be better fathers, husbands, sons, friends, and citizens.  Even under great stress, they have maintained a sense of humor.  And it has been truly moving to watch the quieter members of the class gradually blossom.

Not only is working with Focus Forward incredibly satisfying and a lot of fun, it’s been a vital learning experience for me.  Helping this handful of people has just whetted my appetite for service and made me more dedicated to improving the lives of people who need a hand.

-- Kendra L.


The Focus Forward Project Internship

Focus Forward is looking for a dedicated intern to be engaged in all aspects of the organization, including operations, fundraising, and programming. The intern will work closely with the Executive Director and will also interact with members of the Board. The intern will to some extent be able to determine their own schedule, but must commit to work a minimum of 15 hours per week. It is preferred that the intern commit for the remainder of the academic year.

Please apply by sending your resume and cover letter to info@thefocusforwardproject.org.

Responsibilities:

  • Help track participant information, including data entry
  • Conduct grant research and help with grant writing
  • Help manage social media, including Facebook and Twitter
  • Help develop and manage database to track donors, participants and volunteers
  • Work with Executive Director on revising Focus Forward curriculum
  • Help train new volunteers
  • Assist with preparation for classes held in federal jails
  • Organize program materials
  • Help plan graduation ceremonies for participants
  • Help track donor information and promptly acknowledge new donations

Qualifications:

  • Passion for criminal justice reform.
  • 2+ years work experience.
  • Currently pursuing graduate degree.
  • Demonstrated success in project management.
  • Database-building and management experience preferred, but not required.
  • Strong speaking and writing skills.
  • Organized, energetic, self-starter.
  • An excellent listener who communicates well with diverse populations.

The ideal candidate is passionate about criminal justice, and is dynamic, compassionate, and motivated to contribute to a growing organization that has a significant impact on the lives of hundreds of people.