Part-time Youth Engagement Mentor, Seattle Aquarium (Seattle, WA)

full position/apply


Youth engagement mentor—PT

Posted: Open to internal and external applicants

Reports to: Youth engagement coordinator

Status: Part-time, hourly, benefitted position

Hours of work: Regularly scheduled Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and one other weekday, 20–30 hours per week. Specific hours vary and will include between one and five evening shifts per month as related to trainings and projects.

Date needed: ASAP

Posting expires: April 19, 2019

About the organization: The Seattle Aquarium is a respected authority on Puget Sound, the Salish Sea and the world’s one ocean. Our passionate staff increases awareness and drives the change needed to preserve and protect our marine environment through a variety of channels including: a compelling exhibit experience and engaging daytime and evening events; conservation education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds; community outreach to underserved populations; research that advances understanding of animals in our care and their counterparts in the wild; advocacy and policy work; an award-winning volunteer program; strong and consistent marketing efforts; and more.

We’re noted for our collaborative, communicative and team-oriented working environment. Our values, developed in conjunction with our staff, include commitments to adopting and promoting sustainable practices; creating awe-inspiring experiences; constantly learning and improving; fostering an inclusive community; maintaining scientific credibility through evidence-based practices; and honoring our unique place by using our location and history as a lens for larger understanding.

Proudly accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, we’re the eighth-largest aquarium in the U.S. by attendance and we welcome over 850,000 people through our front doors each year. Guided by our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, we’ve developed a master plan to substantially increase in size and impact by opening a new exhibit building, the Ocean Pavilion. Our current annual budget is $18 million.

Position description: The Seattle Aquarium is looking for a part-time youth engagement mentor to join the volunteer engagement team. This position works to implement the Youth Ocean Advocates volunteer program for high-school-age youth in a manner that is both beneficial to the youth participating in the program and to the Aquarium’s mission. The youth engagement mentor is primarily responsible for the implementation of program activities, which includes supervising and supporting youth volunteers in their interpretation shifts, leading field conservation activities, delivering trainings and continuing education opportunities, and
leading field trips. The position will work to improve the program, particularly our focus on being welcoming to all youth and respectful and appreciative of our community’s diversity. Further, this position will support planning, equitable recruitment and administrative functions of the program.

Essential functions:

  • Be an encouraging, supportive and motivating role model for youth as they serve in mutually beneficial volunteer roles supporting the Aquarium’s mission. Recognize youth volunteers’ interests, strengths and growth opportunities and support their exploration and development as they pursue varied interests as they relate to the Aquarium’s mission, including, but not limited to, marine science, biology, sustainability, conservation, environmental justice, science communication, community service, community engagement and more.
  • Supervise youth volunteers as they complete their volunteer assignments. Mentor and coach youth to improve the quality of their work, interpretation and customer service.
  • Lead the equitable recruitment, selection and onboarding processes for youth volunteers.
  • Lead the evaluation of youth volunteers, including accurate record keeping, communication regarding volunteer commitments, and providing feedback and coaching on volunteer performance.
  • Ensure the continuing education of youth volunteers by developing and implementing both short (30-minute) and long (full-day) trainings on a variety of topics, including Aquarium species, ocean science, interpretation and conservation. Integrate Aquarium’s mission outcomes into lesson planning.
  • Plan, implement and supervise field experiences for Youth Ocean Advocates, including beach cleanups, restoration work, citizen science, field trips, etc.
  • Chaperone youth volunteers participating in off-site field trips.
  • Work closely with the youth engagement coordinator to improve existing programming, including removing barriers to program participation for individuals from underrepresented communities and building a positive, welcoming and inclusive culture respectful of our diverse community.
  • Communicate frequently with youth volunteers and other stakeholders via email, phone and social media, and in person.

Additional responsibilities:

· Complete special projects and other duties as assigned.

· Interact positively with Aquarium visitors and provide excellent customer service to all stakeholders.

Required skills and abilities:

· A demonstrated commitment to and experience building a positive, welcoming culture respectful of the diversity in our community.

· Excellent oral and written communication skills, including experience delivering formal presentations.

· Strong organizational skills.

· Ability to shift priorities in a rapidly changing work environment.

  • Washington state driver’s license (or eligibility to obtain one upon arrival). Comfort driving Aquarium vehicles, including a 15-passenger van.
  • Adult, child and baby first aid and CPR/AED training and certification required within 30 days of employment.

Experience, education and certifications: We will consider various combinations of relevant experience and education in order to meet minimum requirements.


· Two years of college coursework in education, life sciences or similar area of study or two years of experience working in informal education, OR a combination of experience and education to meet the minimum requirements of the position.

· Interest and experience working with or mentoring youth utilizing positive youth development principles and practices focusing on the strengths and opportunities associated with high-school-aged youth.

· Interest and experience in marine science, conservation and environmental justice.


· Experience participating in field conservation work, including leading service learning/volunteer projects.

· Previous experience working or volunteering at an aquarium, zoo, marine science or similar organization.

Working conditions:

  • Be able to stand for long periods of time and lift 30 pounds.
  • Requires duties to be carried out in offices, exhibits, classrooms, outdoor field excursions and off-site training and travel.
  • Job requires occasionally working outdoors in all weather conditions and terrain.
  • Flexible schedule and ability to work evenings, holidays and weekends.

Pay and benefits:

$16/hour. Part-time staff are eligible for the Seattle Aquarium’s part-time benefits package to include medical, vision, employer-funded health reimbursement account,
flexible spending account, an Aquarium Family Plus membership, and access to a subsidized ORCA pass as well as paid sick time.

How to apply:

The Seattle Aquarium is a progressive, equal opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce. All candidates are encouraged to apply by uploading a résumé and one-page letter detailing interest and relevant experience in our online application.

Please let us know if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for this job.

Note: Must pass a background check, upon job offer, to be eligible for this position.