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The job of a youth coordinator involves overseeing and developing activities and programs for children in a variety of settings. The ideal youth coordinator has strong leadership skills, an understanding of educational services, recreational activities, and is an effective communicator. Though a college education is not necessary to work as a youth coordinator, it is helpful, and some organizations and businesses will not consider applicants who do not possess specific skills and educational degrees.
Because each organization and business has its own unique needs, it is best to contact human resources directly to learn about the skills and requirements necessary to become a youth coordinator at a particular location. From there, writing a good cover letter, resume, getting letters of recommendation, and even building an impressive portfolio are all helpful.
Youth coordinators work directly with children, as well as with community members and other organizations. Being able to communicate well is a must for this type of position. In order to become a youth coordinator, an individual must be able to demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills. This can be done through examples, such as what might be seen in a portfolio, or in a recommendation letter. A well written resume and listing of a college level communications course, or any work experience that required communication skills could be adequate as well. Any grant writing experience is definitely a plus for this type of position.
Another aspect of the job of a youth coordinator involves presentations and attending meetings. This of course also requires communication skills as well as technological knowledge. Knowledge and experience using word processing programs, creating presentations, and other media is very useful, and often times required.
Because youth coordinators must be able to work well with students of diverse backgrounds they need to understand the needs of children as it relates to their community and culture. A background in social services, education, or psychology is often required. Generally, a bachelor's degree, or being enrolled in a bachelor's degree program will qualify a person to apply to become a youth coordinator. Other experiences that might qualify a person for this position are volunteer or paid positions in the non-profit sector, past work as a youth counselor at a camp, or past work at a parks and recreation department working with youth.
Some of the primary responsibilities of a youth coordinator include organizing and creating enjoyable activities for children to partake in. Having knowledge of different types of games, crafts, and other activities for children is a must, plus the coordinator needs to have very good organizational skills. A portfolio that reflects this knowledge could be very helpful for youth coordinator applicants.
Anyone who wants to become a youth coordinator can look for employment in a variety of settings. Community organizations, such as the YWCA or YMCA, often employ youth coordinators. Parks and recreation, or similar departments are another option for job seekers. Churches and religious organizations, camp programs, large hotel chains, and even cruise ships offer other possibilities.