Residential Advisor (Detroit)

Smash Detroit , MI 48201

Posted 4 days ago

Organization: SMASH

Program: SMASH Academy

Title: Residential Advisor OR Wellness Residential Advisor

Location: Wayne State University (Detroit); to apply to other locations see which sites are hiring which positions here and apply at

Reports to: Residential Director and
Head Residential AdvisorPosition Type:
Full-time, temporary (program and training dates here)

About Us and Our Philosophy:

SMASH Academy, a program that US News and World Report called Perhaps the most ambitious program to encourage African American and Latino students in STEM fields is heading into its 15th summer and national scaling and exposure. SMASH is committed to eliminating the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and fostering their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation.

Founded in 2001, SMASH is an Oakland-based nonprofit organization that operates SMASH Academy, a year-round STEM-focused academic program that serves underrepresented high school students. In tandem, SMASH conducts research examining inequity in access and opportunity across K-12, higher education, and workplace contexts in order to improve the outcomes for underrepresented students in STEM fields.

This is not for the faint of heart. But if you think you have what it takes to dare to change the face of STEM, join us.

The Opportunity:

There are two types of Residential Advisors:

1) The Residential Advisors (RAs) support the Residential Director (RD) and Head Residential Advisors (HRAs) to oversee the residential and youth enrichment components of the SMASH Academy. In essence, the role will be on of a camp counselor in a fun yet academically rigorous setting. RAs support the well-being of 30-100 high school students living on campus. Reporting to the RD and HRA, RAs foster a clean, safe, positive, and inclusive environment that encourages SMASH Scholars to develop their full potential. RAs also act as educational leaders and role models (for both students and staff) to set the culture, standards, activities and interactions that will assure both an enriching and socially just experience conducive to scholar success in the STEM fields. RAs are also responsible for other areas of programming, including workshops, wellness activities, and engagement with the surrounding STEM community. Finally, an RA collaborates with the RD, up to two (2) HRAs, and a team of up to thirteen (13) additional RAs.

2) Wellness Residential Advisor (Mental Health Focus) fulfills similar job duties as an RA, including the planning and implementation of an RA Workshop, but with a specific focus centered around coping mechanisms and wellness strategies. Workshop content is based on the Wellness RAs expertise and educational interests. Topics include:

  • Stress Management
  • Emotional Management
  • Self Care
  • Comfort with Vulnerability
  • Embracing Failure
  • Mindfulness practice

This is a 6-week residential assignment, and requires 6 nights on campus once the program launches with a 6-day work week and average 10 hour work day on the weekdays and 15 hour work day on the weekends. Although the majority of the position will function as described below, some aspects are subject to change due to evolving program needs.

Essential Duties:

  • Actively engage in RA retreat, training, weekly meetings and debrief
  • Supervise 30-100 high school students in residence (number is site dependent); serve as a role model for responsible behavior and personal integrity; exercise good judgment
  • Manage scholars, including facilitating: wake up calls, SMASH count, participating in meals, event and class escorts, holding suite meetings, monitoring downtime, laundry, and enforcing lights out
  • Actively engage in the following meetings: Community, Residential Team, Scholar Support, and 1:1s with the RD and Head RAs
  • Collaboratively implement SMASH Residential Curriculum, consisting of experience-based lesson plans and workshops
  • Develop and promote appropriate leisure, recreational, and educational activities
  • Attend weekly Fun Friday activities, weekend field trips and speaker series and networking nights
  • Attend and support the following events: scholar orientation (if possible), scholar move-in, move-out, Town Hall Meeting, family picnic, dance and talent show, recognition and exhibition event, and staff debriefs
  • Communicate norms and program rules of conduct to ensure student safety, open and honest communication, and responsible student behavior
  • Encourage personal, social, and academic development of scholars.
  • Help create an environment that cultivates a sense of self-efficacy and personal well being by actively and effectively listening, and informally advising students
  • Build and maintain positive relationship with all SMASH Staff, including Site Director and Instructors; positively represent SMASH at all meetings and in the community with staff, teachers, parents/guardians, etc
  • Collaborate with assigned instructor to act as a representative of their course outside of the classroom; attend a minimum of one class per week and stay abreast of all assignments and projects
  • Execute and issue deliverables on time, as assigned by RD and HRAs
  • Sleep on site and support on-call RA in emergencies
  • Participate in a rotating on-call RA night shift by responding to emergency phone calls and conducting rounds
  • Position requires walking, sitting, and standing day to day. Climbing stairs, running, and participation may be required during community activities. Lifting and carrying up to 20 lbs of supplies may be required

Additional Essential Duties for a Wellness Residential Advisor:

  • Deliver one residential staff training, in collaboration with the Residential Director and the Residential Program Manager, during the RA Retreat & Orientation about Restorative Justice/Practices.
  • Collaboratively implement experiential lesson plans and workshops addressing Wellness



  • Demonstrated commitment and/or alignment and understanding of the mission of SMASH
  • Demonstrated effectiveness working with students from low-income and underrepresented backgrounds
  • Will complete junior year of college by Spring of 2019 (preferred), or has completed at least freshman year of college and has proven, relevant experience
  • Previous experience teaching and/or facilitating programs for high school age youth
  • Flexibility and professionalism a must
  • Ability to form positive and professional relationships with ethnically and culturally diverse youth and staff
  • Ability to work efficiently, both independently and collaboratively, and give and receive feedback
  • High competency in written and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated experience in leadership, teamwork, decision-making, and working with diverse groups of individuals
  • Ethical, consistent, and available to students as a role model and resource
  • Willingness to be hands-on, conflict resolution oriented, and an active problem solver as challenges arise
  • Strong academic and critical thinking skills; ability to tutor high school AP math and/or science prefered (not required)
  • Interest or skills in sports, yoga, art/expression and/or wellness activities a plus
  • Spanish fluency preferred (not required)
  • CPR/First Aid certification preferred (not required)

Additional Qualification for Wellness Residential Advisor:

  • Skills in delivering wellness activities, such as workshops on yoga/meditation, mindfulness, art/expression, and/or sports



$4,000, which includes a training and post-program debrief. Additionally, housing and food is also provided at an estimated $2,000-3,400 value. While we cannot offer a benefits package for this position, we can reimburse you for any approved work-related expense. You are responsible for your own parking and transit related expenses.

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