Program Associate


Role: Program Associate

About Pilot Light

Pilot Light is a Chicago-based nonprofit founded in 2010 dedicated to supporting and centering students as they learn and advocate for informed choices by bridging the lessons they learn in their classrooms to the foods on their lunch trays, at home, and in their communities. 

We are looking for an individual who will join Pilot Light during this exciting time in our growth.

Pilot Light’s teacher-led model is game-changing: through our approach, Pre-K–12th teachers are provided with the support and resources needed to integrate food education into the core curriculum to engage students in classroom learning while also teaching them about food and its importance in their lives.  

In 10 years, Pilot Light has grown from one Chicago elementary school to reach over 20,000 students. During the pandemic, the organization scaled its offerings nationwide through key partnerships in a virtual environment.  

Pilot Light leads in food education through programming and professional development rooted in our Food Education Standards developed in 2016 through a coalition of leaders across the health, education, agriculture, food, and community development industries. We serve districts, schools, teachers, and learners through our Food Education Center, Food Education Fellowship, Fellowship Alumni Network, and ongoing strategy and resource development. 

Duties of the Position

The Program Associate is a new full-time position at Pilot Light. Your duties will include the following:

Program Support (50%) 

  • Support Director of School & District Partnerships and Partnerships Manager in developing and implementing programs to fulfill the mission of Pilot Light 
  • Maintain strong administrative systems for program data tracking including but not limited to Food Education Fellowship recruitment and selection process, program reimbursement, partnership engagement, Fellowship Alumni Network initiatives, and Food Education Center content 
  • Provide operational support for monthly professional development events and multi-day intensive professional development institute with Director of School & District Partnerships and Partnerships Manager 
  • Develop and manage materials for program implementation and marketing including one-pagers, blog posts, and social media copy as needed

Evaluation Support (50%)

  • Track analytics to discern use and effectiveness of the online platform and curricula among teachers, families, and community members.
  • Co-develop program evaluation models and track data for Pilot Light school partnership programs
  • Track and report key metrics to support the Food Education Fellowship program and Fellowship Alumni Network 
  • Co-develop and validate survey instruments and evaluation processes as needed


  • Respond in a timely manner to all requests from the PL staff; collaborate on and occasionally lead projects in other departments to support organizational goals as needed.
  • Consistently and passionately demonstrate support of the Pilot Light’s Vision, Mission and Core Values by striving for excellence and contributing to the team.


  • Program Associate will report to Director of School and District Partnerships

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job.

Skills and Knowledge:

  • Outstanding project management skills, multitask and prioritize effectively while maintaining quality, accuracy, and meeting deadlines.
  • Excellent verbal, writing, and interpersonal skills, with the ability to communicate with partners and co-workers in a friendly and professional manner.
  • Ability to turn data into actionable information and direction
  • Ability to prioritize tasks and manage concurrent assignments under tight deadlines
  • Is both a team player and a self-starter, including exceptional organization and time management skills
  • A high level of enthusiasm, energy, initiative, and drive
  • Ability to analyze data and effectively present findings to various audiences, including school leaders, teachers, external organizations, policymakers, and funders
  • Experience in a startup environment and/or an understanding that Pilot Light is a small organization and sometimes requires a high degree of flexibility in terms of responsibilities and tasks
  • Commitment to personal growth and development on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.
  • High proficiency in Google Suite and Zoom. Experience with WordPress and Google Analytics preferred
  • Respect and appreciation for the multidisciplinary expertise and talents of others on the Pilot Light team
  • A background that reflects those of students reached by Pilot Light to amplify their voices
  • A commitment to Pilot Light’s mission and values

Qualifications And Experience:

  • Experience working at a nonprofit, academic institution or research institute preferred.

Travel may be required on occasion, as well as attending weekend and evening functions as-needed. 

Pilot Light embraces a philosophy that recognizes, values, and actively seeks diversity among its team. We seek to attract, develop, retain and promote a talented diverse workforce in a culture where all employees will contribute to their fullest potential. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, citizenship, pregnancy or maternity, national origin, status as an individual with disability, age, ancestry, protected veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

Location: Must be an Illinois resident and authorized to work in the U.S.

Position Type: Full-time. $40-50k depending on experience.

Start Date: Position currently available.

How to apply:

Interested applicants should complete the survey found at the link below. Please note that you will be required to submit your resume and cover letter through the form:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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