Youth Development Specialist – Student Life/Affairs

Before You Apply

Peace Corps Response positions are open to returned Volunteers or U.S. citizens with significant professional and technical experience.

Project Description

A Peace Corps Response Volunteer (PCRV) is needed to serve as a Youth Development Specialist in Student Life with the Ministry of Public Education. 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), Mesoamerican Health Initiative (teenage pregnancy prevention program), Schools for a Change (gender equity & inclusion promotion program), Domestic Violence Network, specific guidance counseling programs, Unidad de Permanencia Reincorporación y Éxito Escolar (student dropout prevention program), among others. 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 Masters in Social Work or related field and an advanced level of Spanish is needed 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 the anticipated close of service date for this assignment is December 18, 2020.

Partner Information

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

Required Skills

• Advanced level of Spanish
• Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Psychology, Youth Development or other related field and five years of experience working with teachers and students in primary or secondary schools OR
• Masters in Social Work, Psychology, Youth Development or other related field and two years of experience working with teachers and students in primary or secondary schools.
• Experience in training design and implementation.
• Experience working in themes such as: sexuality, diversity, inclusion, life goals, communication, conflict resolution, and peace culture.
• Two (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.

Medical Considerations in Costa Rica

  • Costa Rica may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: Vyvanse.
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: gluten.
  • After arrival in Costa Rica, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot and mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.


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