Job Opportunities


Founded in 1995, Pongo Poetry Project’s mission is to engage youth in writing poetry to inspire healing and growth. In order to further our mission, Pongo is committed to becoming an anti-racist organization. Internally and externally, we support diversity, equity, inclusion, and the expansion of expressive arts programming to youth who lack access to it.

Pongo is a growing organization and recruiting and retaining a diverse staff is a high priority. Please check back periodically as positions become available. You may also contact us at:

Open Positions

Echo Glen Children's Center; Project Lead

Echo Glen Children’s Center (Echo Glen) is a residential juvenile rehabilitation facility run by the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families. It provides treatment services for younger male offenders and is the only institution for female offenders.  Echo Glen provides educational services for a wide range of youth with varying needs. It provides Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Aggression Replacement Training (ART), cultural programming, sex offense specific treatment, and inpatient chemical dependency treatment.

Pongo began its partnership with Echo Glen in 2022. We work in tandem with the educators at Echo Glen School, part of the Issaquah School District, to provide weekly poetry writing workshops for the youth.

The Poetry Project Lead reports to the Co-Executive Director, Programs and has overall responsibility for Pongo Poetry Mentors at Echo Glen, the project’s implementation, service delivery, communication, outcomes, and interconnectedness to the therapeutic and educational milieu of Echo Glen.

  • Plan and lead two 1-hour long workshops for youth in-person at Echo Glen located at 33010 SE 99th St, Snoqualmie, WA 98065. However, the Project Lead must be prepared to pivot to online work should COVID-19 variant concerns redirect programming
  • Supervise 3 volunteers
  • Lead intentional check-ins and debriefs with volunteers and staff before and after workshops
  • Facilitate training and skill-building opportunities for Poetry Mentors
  • Communicate with multiple Echo Glen Points of Contact to ensure successful service delivery
  • Detailed and consistent record keeping using Dropbox, Excel, and Microsoft Word
  • Report any risks, safety concerns, or problematic volunteer behavior
  • Select poems at the end of the project term for potential publication
  • Troubleshoot technology problems
  • Coordinate with Co-Executive Director, Programs on visits from Pongo staff, donors, foundation leaders, poets, etc.
  • Implement skill-building and debriefing opportunities for Poetry Mentors
  • Carry out the project timeline
  • Assist with interviews of additional volunteers as needed
  • Communicate and coordinate vacation dates or sick time
  • Communicate with Echo Glen staff (staff point of contact, teachers, case managers, therapists, director, administrators, floor staff, counselors, etc.)
  • Communicate regularly with the Co-Executive Director, Programs with needs, concerns, issues, or other matters as they arise
  • Problem-solve issues that emerge among volunteers, Echo Glen School staff, or students
  • Support volunteers with difficult feelings that emerge because of the work
  • Assist in the planning and implementing the Project Finale
  • Assist in the creation of an end-of-year zine

The Poetry Project Lead at Echo Glen must be thoroughly committed to Pongo’s mission. Candidates will be considered based on the range of their lived and learned experiences, professional background, and direct and transferable skills. Pongo seeks candidates with a compelling combination of demonstrated experience and skills.

Required Qualifications

  • Applicants must be age 21 or older to apply
  • Applicants must be able to provide their own transportation to and from Echo Glen
  • At least 3 years of experience leading/teaching classes and/or groups
  • Consistency in leading workshops/classes/groups
  • Excellence in leadership of students, able to create and maintain a collaborative and edifying learning environment or therapeutic milieu where each participant feels valued
  • Creative capacity for generating and implementing curriculum to diverse populations
  • Experience thoroughly tracking outcomes such as attendance and artifacts of student progress
  • Flexibility with technology in fluid situations where software, hardware, supplies, and learning location may change or need to be adjusted
  • Problem solving skills
  • Commitment to anti-racist orientation in learning environments
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a passionate communicator with quality interpersonal skills.
  • Passion for poetry and an appreciation for the role of expressive arts in healing

Preferred Qualifications include

  • Experience volunteering in or leading a Pongo-inspired poetry project
  • Knowledge of mental health care treatment and/or detention facilities and schools

Our ideal candidate will be:

  • Action-oriented, collaborative, adaptable, and committed
  • Passionate about youth and people, positive, mission-driven, self-directed, engaging

This is a part time, hourly position at 6.5 hours/week, at a rate of $30/hour for the remainder of the project year (approximately January-June).

The Project Lead must be able to facilitate poetry workshops in-person at Echo Glen in Snoqualmie on Thursdays from 8:45 am-12 pm; hours worked outside this time are flexible.

There are no benefits at this time (e.g., no medical benefits, no mileage reimbursement), other than sick and safe leave. Pongo takes Federal Holidays off, along with the final week of December. 

We welcome applicants to apply until end-of-day November 30th.

Please submit your resume, cover letter, and three references (including contact information) to Ashley Skartvedt at In addition, Pongo’s poetry mentorship sites require background checks of all outside visitors. If selected, prospective Project Leaders must be willing to complete a background check before working with youth.

Pongo Poetry Project is an equal opportunity employer. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are highly encouraged to apply.

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