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Volunteer and Outreach Officer

Are you looking for a role where you can make a difference? Are you interested in helping to bridge the educational opportunity gap for Chicago Public School students by providing them with an after-school program that supports their academic, career, and leadership success? If so, consider joining the Chicago Debates team. For twenty-five years, Chicago Debates has partnered with Chicago Public Schools to provide debate programming across its district. Through the transformational activity of debate, students are empowered to find their voice, succeed in college and career, and become community leaders. As the largest of the 22 urban policy debate leagues in the country, our goal is to return to our pre-Covid operations and serve up to 1700 students across 90+ schools in the 2021-2022 school year.

Position Overview

Chicago Debates seeks a mission driven, engaging, and service-oriented candidate with a demonstrated passion for volunteerism to join our team. This role will assist us in bridging the educational opportunity gap for Chicago Public School students through the transformative power of academic debate while also growing our volunteer network. This is a part-time position that has the opportunity to grow into a full-time role in the near future. The Volunteer and Outreach Officer will report directly to the Volunteer and Outreach Manager.

Core Responsibilities

  • Assist the Volunteer and Outreach Manager (VOM) in identifying prospective volunteer sources.
  • Provide support to the VOM in securing tournament volunteers (Tab Director, Judge Captain, Table Operators, Judges, etc.).
  • Input and manage volunteer data in NeonCRM and VolunteerLocal.
  • Organize and submit tournament stipends to ensure volunteers are compensated in a timely manner.
  • Collaborate with the VOM to build a library of volunteer training materials.
  • Represent Chicago Debates in the community including:
    • Volunteer trainings
    • Outreach events such as university student fairs, law firms and other corporate partner lunch & learns/meetings, etc.
  • Assist the Program Team with execution of specialty events such as debate tournaments, fundraisers, conferences, etc.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Previous sales experience is a plus.
  • Previous debate experience is a plus, but not required.
  • Personal connections with the Chicago community are a plus.
  • Passion for urban education and can translate that passion to external parties.
  • Demonstrated out of the box thinker that contributes new ideas or sources for volunteers and community partners.
  • Strong speaking skills and can communicate with professional audiences.
  • Must have the ability to prioritize multiple assignments; work independently; communicate about challenges; plan; and most importantly, follow through.
  • Experience using technology and tabulation software like Tabroom preferred.
  • Advanced computer skills in Google Suite required (Gmail, Google calendar, Google forms and Google Drive) and Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint and their Google Docs equivalents).

Other Requirements

  • Legal clearance to work with minors.
  • Willingness to travel and work beyond regular office hours during our tournament season from October – June.
  • Valid driver’s license, auto insurance, a clean driving record, and reliable transportation.
  • Must be available to work some evenings and two Saturday’s a month during tournament season (October – June).
  • Strong ethics, maturity, and appropriate boundaries for adult interactions with minors, including compliance with all Chicago Public Schools HR and reporting requirements.
  • Physical demands include working at the computer but also carrying supplies (boxes up to 50 pounds, paper, printers, computer, t-shirts, food, etc.) for tournaments and teams from your car to a variety of school and event locations.


  • Strong connection to the Chicago Debates mission.
  • Empathy, humility, flexibility and willingness to serve and lead teachers, students, volunteers, and contract staff in an often-challenging and fast-changing urban education setting.
  • Positive, solution-oriented approach in a team working toward common goals.
  • Strong cultural competency in serving a diverse population of teachers and learners with a variety of needs and challenges and communication styles.
  • Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills.
  • A self-starter, creative, and forward thinker.
  • Team player, enjoys collaborating with others.
  • Self-aware, teachable, and eager to learn.
  • Strong work and financial ethics.
  • Must have the utmost integrity and an ability to process, protect and exercise discretion in handling confidential information and materials.
  • Professional and ethical commitment to student protection and student privacy.

Work Schedule

This position is part time 20-30 hours a week. As the organization grows there is potential for this position to transition into full-time employment in the near future.

  • Wednesday through Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Saturday (two Saturday’s a month): 8:00am-5:00pm (estimated)

Chicago Debates is an equal opportunity employer


$19-20 per hour. This position is not eligible for benefits.

To Apply

Submit a cover letter with hourly pay requirements and a resume to Anthony Bolden, Director of Programs at Cover letters without salary requirements will not be considered.

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