Program Associate, Young Leaders


Program Associate, Young Leaders

Young Leaders Department

Reporting to: Program Manager

Full-Time, Exempt

Salary Range: $60,000-$65,000

Location: Austin, Texas (Due to current pandemic status, this role is eligible to begin remotely)

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights seeks a Program Associate in the Young Leaders Department to help further our programmatic work by providing leadership development opportunities for college students on the margins to take action on pressing social issues impacting their communities.


The RFK Young Leaders (RFKYL) program builds the power of young people in our communities by organizing and training college students and young people of color in a multi-issue, intersectional social justice framework. Young Leaders focuses on leadership development, issue advocacy, grassroots organizing, and civic engagement. Currently, RFK Young Leaders has a presence on 15 college and university campuses across eleven states.

Young Leaders is a Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights program that equips young people, including Black, indigenous, people of color, and LGBTQ+ students at the university level, with the necessary skills to become effective community organizers and civic leaders.

Young people at the margins are disproportionately absent from leadership roles, community dialogues, and critical decision-making positions. To build a more just and peaceful world, Young Leaders is committed to ensuring that the next generation of leaders is a diverse and a true representation of the unique cultures, identities, and voices within America. Despite a handful of diversity milestones, in corporate America and throughout the United States government, white, straight, cis-gender leaders still dominate the C-suite and governmental leadership


Following a social justice framework that emphasizes authentic youth collaboration, Young Leaders focuses on the following key areas:

• Voter registration and turnout of young people

• Organizing on college campuses

• Youth leadership development and trainings

• Grassroots and digital organizing

• Issue advocacy

Our goal is to dismantle systemic barriers in civic engagement and create opportunities for young people of all ethnicities, identities, and orientations to rise through local systems of power. Young Leaders will ensure that the next generation of leaders is better positioned to further justice by reimagining and reconstituting our systems and structures to reflect and serve all people equally.


  • Organize and lead workshops, trainings and class presentations for college students on voting, civic engagement and organizing;

  • Assist Campus Ambassadors and college campus chapters in designing and implementing issue advocacy campaigns, civic engagement and field work;

  • Canvas on college campuses, community events, and other spaces to recruit new leaders for campus chapters and/or alongside students to assist them in their organizing efforts;

  • Recruit and empower students to participate in cross-chapter actions involving multiple stakeholders (e.g. issue-based advocacy campaigns);

  • Provide technical assistance to college campus chapter leaders and Campus Ambassadors;

  • Build relationships with campus administration, faculty, student clubs and student leaders to advance the civic engagement of students;

  • Help coordinate logistics for RFKYL outreach events, including trainings, visibility events, speaker forums and lobby days;

  • Support Program Manager with the planning and execution a multi-day summit with anywhere from 100-200 participants involving students and stakeholders from all RFKYL chapters;

A successful candidate must have the following skills and experiences:

  • At least 1 year experience in campus organizing, canvassing, working on issue-based campaigns, or other civic engagement initiatives;

  • Demonstrated experience working with college students and/or operating and maintaining a college-based student organization preferred (volunteer work is included);

  • Experience working with young adults with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives;

  • A demonstrated passion for RFKHR’s mission and demonstrated commitment to community-centered advocacy;

  • An authentic, grounded person with a strong sense of why they organize, and a deep commitment to building power for young people at the margins;

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills;

  • Strong attention to detail and able to scope out errors, including a willingness to own and fix mistakes;

  • Exceptional time management, including the ability to manage multiple tasks and projects at once;

  • Self-starter who shows strong initiative and is committed to growth and reaching goals;

  • Innovative thinking, willingness to voice your opinions, and a strong work ethic are essential;

  • Strong judgment in effectively and strategically navigating varying relationships and collaborative environments;

  • A resourceful, creative problem-solver and solutions-finder who can collaborate with young leaders on campus, in the community, and adapt on-the-go for best results;

  • A relational person who has the ability to empower and develop young leaders;

  • Strong sense of teamwork that builds positive relationships with colleagues and stakeholders, and a willingness to help others;

  • Believes in inclusivity when working with colleagues with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

Preferred but not required qualifications:

  • Experience in measuring program impact evaluation;

  • Experience supporting fundraising efforts, such as drafting grant proposals/identifying donor prospects;

  • Direct work within the human rights education or higher education space;

Benefits and other Perks:

  • We value your health: RFK Human Rights covers 100% of individual-only costs of our platinum medical, dental, vision benefits and subsidize the cost for dependent coverage;

  • We understand the importance of financial planning and saving we provide:
    • An automatic contribution of 7% of your salary after your first year of employment;

    • A College Saveup/Loan PayDown program with an automatic $200/monthly contribution for any current loans or future loans;

    • An automatic monthly cell phone & internet speed stipend of $125/monthly to offset any phone & internet expenses;

  • We value your growth: RFK Human Rights provides an annual $2,000 professional development stipend to all full-time staff to use towards any courses, conferences, or trainings that would further one's professional learning and development. As well professional development days/hours to complete these courses.

  • Flexibility and independence to help manage your work and home life: Staff have the ability to work from home or telecommute.
    • Employees receive a $1,000 benefits card each calendar year to use towards food and home & life purchases to help support work from home needs.

    • We hold weekly Summer Fridays between Memorial Day to Labor Day where our offices close half day each Friday so you can enjoy some extra long weekends.

  • We love to celebrate human rights advocates and our hard work! We do so by hosting award ceremonies, galas, summer outings, holiday parties, potlucks, domestic and international staff retreats, and spur-of-the-moment social outings.

How to Apply:

  • Submit your resume and cover letter to with “Your Name + Young Leaders Program Associate” in the subject heading.

  • In your cover letter please include how you heard about this role and why you’re interested in this position.

No phone calls, please. RFK Human Rights will contact qualified candidates directly.

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is an equal opportunity employer and believes we are stronger and more effective by working internally and externally with people of all abilities, diverse backgrounds, and a range of perspectives, particularly those who have historically been marginalized or underrepresented. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. We do not discriminate in our hiring practices and in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seek a diverse applicant pool.