(Senior Program Specialist)

40 hours per week, Full-Time

About the Position

Under the direction of the Policy Management Analyst and the Youth Reclaiming Voice and Power Program will coordinate various activities that fall in line with policy strategies that promote and advance community level health and wellness in the areas of alcohol, tobacco, and other substances for youth. Youth Engagement Specialist will be working in the greater Pajaro Valley region (Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties) to engage youth in leadership development, and to prepare them to be the next generation of community leaders. Partnering with other local governmental and non-governmental agencies, this position will provide youth the training and resources needed to create equity focused policy change at school, city, and county level. 


About the Agency

Pajaro Valley Prevention & Student Assistance, Inc (PVPSA) has been the leader of youth prevention and intervention services in the Pajaro Valley (South Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County). We believe that every young person in our community should have the opportunity to thrive. Our mission is to improve the quality of life of children, youth and families in the Pajaro Valley by providing health education, prevention services, behavioral health services, and by advocating for public policies that protect the health of our community.


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Will be focused on researching and developing policies that are youth centered, particularly in the areas of substance use, health and wellness

  • Will interface between local policymakers, youth and the community at large 

  • Inspiring and recruiting youth to act on issues that impact them, particularly regarding substances. 

  • Training youth to be effective social change leaders  

  • Build a strong, sustainable, youth led leadership and advocacy program 

  • Supports the Policy Management Analyst with all necessary tasks needed to meet project deliverables  

  • Attend professional development trainings  

  • Conduct public presentations as needed  

  • Convene and/or plan meetings, conferences, and other community-based events 

  • Plan, prepare and facilitate virtual and/or in-person youth workshops on topics such as Leadership Skills and community organizing 

  • Develop meaningful and impactful relationships with youth

  • Data collection and reporting  

  • Using a variety of digital tools to conduct this work virtually as needed and in alignment with COVID-19 guidelines.


Employment Standards

  • Prior experience working with youth from diverse backgrounds 

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills 

  • A history of community collaboration to advance positive changes in communities 

  • Community organizing and engagement experience 

  • Communicate in English and/or Spanish in writing or verbal   

  • Engagement and rapport building with hard-to-reach communities. 

  • Ability to work independently and as part the team 

  • Good problem solving and conflict resolution skills 

  • A highly motivated self-starter with the ability to coordinate multiple projects and tasks 

  • Strong desire to empower the next generation of leaders


Ability to:

  • Manage time effectively given the multiplicity of duties

  • Work flexible hours and days as needed for special events or meetings

  • Prepare and present written and oral reports of various types

  • Work independently and as a team

  • Establish and maintain effective work relationships with all stakeholders

  • Provide support and direction to volunteers

  • Bilingual/Bicultural a plus! (English/Spanish)


Training and Experience 

Requires a bachelor’s degree in business administration, public administration, social services, political science, education or related field from an accredited institution and one year of relevant experience that aligns with elements of the scope of this position.


Salary and Benefits:

Salary Scale: $42,318-$52,376 depending on qualification and experience

PVPSA offers competitive benefits including Paid Time Off, Medical, Dental, Vision, Life and Employer Sponsored Retirement Plan among other benefits.

How to Apply:

If interested, please submit your resume and a cover letter via email or mail to:

PVPSA Human Resources

c/o Beatriz Collazo, Sr. Analyst email:

mail: 335 East Lake Avenue, Watsonville, CA 95076