PPOS | Food Security Champion

2019-2020 Program Year

Team UP AmeriCorps Member Position Description:

Food Security Champion

The Program: Team UP is a Collective Impact initiative serving Dolores and Montezuma Counties in southwest Colorado. Since 2015, Team UP has operated under its backbone organization, United Way of Southwest Colorado (UWSWC). Team UP’s mission is to provide a comprehensive system of support to every child in our counties, from cradle to career. Team UP collaborates across sectors and promotes clear communication towards common progress in order to make a big difference.

Pagosa Peak Open School (PPOS) is a K-6 project-based public charter school authorized by the Archuleta School District.  (www.pagosapeakopenschool.org) There are 105 students enrolled in its year-round, multi-age learning community that has a learning focus on project-based learning, field studies, and garden/farm/food security initiatives. With over 60% of students eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch and limited early childhood development programs in the community, PPOS provides a small school learning experience with comprehensive literacy development in a positive culture.

AmeriCorps is part of the Corporation for National & Community Service, and has been called “the domestic Peace Corps.” AmeriCorps provides opportunities that engage thousands of Americans in intensive service to meet critical community needs.

Service Position Summary:

The PPOS Food Security Champion will engage students in projects around food security issues through service and small group community projects.  This position will coordinate and deliver the Universal Free Healthy Snack Program, weekend food backpack program, cooking courses, afterschool project and program coordination, and special events.  During lunch they will engage in conversations with students to increase related to health and wellness.  They will coordinate a free and reduced lunch support program.  They will team with the Lead Advisors to bring innovative curriculum ideas and interdisciplinary efforts into play for all the students. They will coordinate our garden specials time programing.

Essential Functions (Primary Responsibilities):

  • Coordinate and deliver Food Security programs, Garden and Farm initiatives, and student projects.
  • Collaborate with teachers to integrate Food Security ideas into literacy and math learning objectives.
  • Connect and coordinate with community organizations for Food Security projects and initiatives.
  • Coordinate and deliver an after school program that continues food security projects and coordinate after school volunteers and staff to deliver enrichments and supplemental learning experiences.
  • Contribute as a full member to the PPOS educator collaborative.
  • Provide direct service to Elementary age students.
  • Track progress and collect data for Performance Measures and other evaluation tools.
  • Communicate with the regional Team UP AmeriCorps team, and represent Team UP and Serve Colorado in the community and on social media.
  • Attend trainings and participate in Days of Service.

Marginal Functions (Secondary Responsibilities):

  • Support United Way of SW Colorado,  Pagosa Peak Open School, and Team UP AmeriCorps team as appropriate and necessary.

Physical, Emotional, and Intellectual Demands:

  • The attributes to serve creatively and productively with young students.
  • Demonstrates strong time management & organizational skills, and the ability to prioritize effectively to complete projects with little supervision within agreed timelines.
  • The ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with teachers, students, parents, the community and staff.
  • Possesses excellent communication skills: oral (including presentations), written, interpersonal (active listening.)
  • The ability to be at service site consistently, to be on time, to follow instructions, to respond to management direction and to solicit feedback to improve performance.
  • The ability to demonstrate flexible and creative management of disciplinary issues.
  • Able to perform the physical demands of a garden and farm program including  mountain hiking, biking, and camping.


  • Ethic of national and community service, strong desire to create positive change.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing; computer literate.
  • Skills or experience preferred: community and volunteer organizing; working with children in a school or community/camp setting.
  • High School Graduate required (GED accepted,) college graduate preferred in a relevant topic area related to the position description.
  • Ability to pass a criminal history check.
  • Reliable transportation, proof of auto insurance if you will be transporting others in your vehicle.
  • U.S. Citizenship or lawful permanent resident status required.
  • Pagosa Springs is a diverse community, applicants are encouraged to contribute to this diversity.

Term of Service – Time Commitment: This is a full-time national and community service position requiring, at a minimum, a total of 1,700 hours during the year (approximately 40 hours/week.) The position begins September 3, 2019 and ends August 31, 2020. Flexible hours are required, including occasional evening and weekend commitments. Service on the following dates is required (note that Days of Service dates are subject to change):

    • September 3-4: Team UP AmeriCorps Member Orientation (2 days, 1 night,) Dolores
    • September 5: Site Specific Training at Pagosa Peak Open School
    • September 11: Day of Service and Remembrance
    • October _& _: Statewide AmeriCorps Retreat, location in Colorado to be determined
    • January 21: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
    • March 31: Cesar Chavez Day of Service
    • 4 additional Team UP AmeriCorps Trainings, dates and locations to be determined
    • Additional dates on PPOS School Calendar. Note that PPOS is a year-round school.

Training and Support Provided: Team UP AmeriCorps members receive significant training and experience in community engagement, project implementation, leadership, diverse populations, and more. Up to 20% of total hours served may be spent in applicable, approved trainings. Member will be supervised and supported by Angela Reali-Crossland (areali@ppos.co) and Emily Murphy (emurphy@ppos.co) as well as by Al Huckins, the Team UP Program Director (alh@unitedway-swco.org). The 11 Team UP AmeriCorps members serving throughout the region will act as resources and support for each other.

Location and Service Conditions: This position is based at Pagosa Peak Open School.  The school has a facility in the heart of Pagosa Springs, and frequent field time implementing programs on the school farm (one mile away) and in the community will be part of this position.

Benefits: Team UP AmeriCorps members receive:

  • A living allowance of $17,000/year. Taxes are deducted and the living allowance is distributed monthly, by direct deposit to the member’s bank account.
  • Health insurance for full-time members; child care assistance for full-time members, if eligible.
  • An education award of $6,095 upon successful completion of term of service. It is possible to defer student loans while serving as an AmeriCorps member.
  • Mileage reimbursement will be paid at the IRS rate for travel to required trainings and days of service. Carpooling is strongly encouraged.
  • Non-tangible benefits including extensive training, valuable experience, networking, and the opportunity to serve the local community in a crucial area of need.

Diversity and Equal Opportunity: United Way values the diversity of our community.  In principle and in practice the diverse nature of our board, staff, and volunteers is recognized as one of our best assets.  We respect each individual’s unique gifts and prohibit unfair or discriminatory practices against anyone because of age, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation, and any other protected category.

To Apply: To apply to be an AmeriCorps member, you need to create an account with the AmeriCorps Recruitment System. The application period opens July 15, 2018, and the deadline is August 15, 2019.

  • Go to the website: my.americorps.gov, click on “Apply to Serve” at the bottom of the page.
  • Complete the requested profile information. (You will need a Social Security number and valid address, telephone number, and email.)
  • Once you receive your account information via email, log on to the myAmeriCorps portal and use the navigation pane on the left to complete your application and references.
  • When your application is complete, click “Search Listings.” Type “United Way of Southwest Colorado” into the Program Name field, click “Search.” Click the listing and submit your application to United Way of Southwest Colorado.