Youth Development Specialist

Project Description

The Ministry of Public Education in Costa Rica has requested the support of a Peace Corps Response Volunteer (PCRV) to serve as a Youth Development Specialist focused on student life/affairs. The Pedagogical Advisory Department within MEP is the local authority for all public education programs related to student life/affairs. These programs include Programa Convivir (focused on improving student relationships and a sense of community in schools), promotion of gender equity and inclusion, Network for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Orientation Program, Permanence Unit for Reintegration and School Success, attention to the phenomenon of drugs, and management of coexistence in the educational center. All of these programs are aimed at promoting participatory activities within schools in a sustainable manner, promoting sexual and reproductive health, strengthening positive human relationships within the educational community, as well as promoting positive relationships based on respect, participation, inclusion, identity, a sense of belonging, celebration of cultural and sexual diversity, and to promote academic success.

A PCRV with a degree in social work or related field and an advanced level of Spanish has been requested to support these initiatives and contribute to the design of new strategies and methodologies to provide guidance and training for teachers, students and administrative staff of MEP’s Regional Office. The PCRV’s help will be needed to focus on preventative work using the restorative practices methodology for homeroom teachers in coordination with the Regional Guidance Advisor. The Volunteer will design and implement workshops and trainings on conflict prevention, sexual and reproductive health, and academic success along with implementing a monitoring system to measure the impact of the training and consultations provided to school staff. The goal of this assignment is to strengthen the student life programs and skills of school staff.

Please note that departure dates and other details of this project could change because of the uncertainties as Peace Corps and local partners resume volunteer operations. Candidates selected for this position will be arriving in Costa Rica together as a group, so while the departure dates for the whole group could change, dates cannot be changed for individual candidates.

Partner Information

Ministry of Public Education (MEP) – Guápiles Regional Education Office

Required Skills

• High tolerance for ambiguity and high level of flexibility – some details of this project could change because of the uncertainties as Peace Corps and local partners resume volunteer operations
• Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Psychology, Youth Development, Counseling or other related field and 5 years of experience working with teachers and students in primary and/or secondary schools OR Masters in Social Work, Psychology, Youth Development, Counseling or other related field and 2 years of experience working with teachers and students in primary or secondary schools.
• Advanced level of Spanish. The Volunteer must feel conformable providing training to students and teacher who only speak Spanish.
• Two years of recent experience (during the last 10 years) working in preventive programs related to the promotion of a culture of peace, conflict resolution and/or the prevention of bullying.
• Experience in training design and implementation.
• Experience and/or updated knowledge on topics such as diversity, inclusion, life goals, communication, work with people with disabilities.
• 2 years of experience working in transitioning or developing international countries, or with underserved multicultural communities in the United States.
• Willingness to approach the position through the Peace Corps’ philosophy on development.

The Peace Corps embraces and leverages the diversity of its volunteers as a reflection of America's diversity. Peace Corps Response is committed to reflecting the diversity of the United States in the professionals we send into the field to support the mission of world peace and friendship. Applicants with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Serving in Costa Rica

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Costa Rica: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.


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