Thrival Academies Program Leader

Rustic Pathways
  • Location
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Aug 09

Position description

Rustic Pathways is a student travel organization which offers the world's finest experiential education, community service, foreign language, and adventure programs. We provide superior quality travel and service in some of the most welcoming countries around the world. Rustic Pathways demands professionalism and integrity across all of our operations, insists on quality in all aspects of our programs, and places strong emphasis on the safety and well-being of our students and staff. We empower students through innovative and responsible travel experiences to positively impact lives and communities around the world.

The Position

Thrival Academies is an emerging network of study abroad public high schools providing students from underserved communities access to education overseas. The program is grounded in personalized learning and immersive education through project-based learning, homestays, and community exchanges. Thrival Academies believes that international education is central to what it means to be an educated person in the 21st century and strives to make it accessible to all students in America, regardless of race or class.

History of Thrival Academy: Oakland and Thrival Academy: Indianapolis

Currently, there is a Thrival Academy in Oakland and one in Indianapolis, which is new this year. During the 2016-2017 school year, Thrival Academy: Oakland traveled to Thailand for three months. Rustic Pathways is the implementation partner for the Thrival Academy programs. This is similar to a client and vendor relationship. Rustic Pathways plans and implements experiential education activities in the USA before students travel to Thailand as well as during the entirety of the experience in Southeast Asia. This includes all of the students’ food and accommodations, travel logistics, risk management and emergency response, as well as community-based excursions focused on specific issues which form the basis of the Thrival academic curriculum. This year, we expect there to be twenty students from the Indianapolis school site and 15-20 student from Oakland. Rustic Pathways expects to have a team of program leaders responsible for each site and one program coordinator working across both sites. The exact composition of our team will depend on student recruitment and program schedules.

About the Ideal Candidate

We are looking to hire two individuals excited about this unique and demanding opportunity. The ideal candidate connects well with Thrival students and is able to support them throughout their experience inside and outside the classroom. They are a lifelong learner who is ready to help students learn deeply from community-based exchanges. They believe deeply in this model of education. They are professional and service-minded when dealing with clients, Thrival teachers. They are organized and can track a budget and manage logistics with little oversight. Because Thrival is expanding, we are looking for someone who can take on increasing responsibility as the program grows.


November and December 2017

  • Be trained on Thrival’s approach to education in order to understand the purpose behind the experiences you will be setting up and delivering.
  • Name the competencies you will need to develop in order to support students and manage this program. Create a plan to develop them alongside Rustic Pathways’ Thrival Program Manager.
  • Take part in a staff training alongside the other Rustic program leaders as well as Thrival staff.
  • Become trained on Rustic Pathways approach to safety and risk management. Learn how we vet our vendors and community partners.
  • Lead Groups programs with Rustic Pathways in Thailand or other locations in Southeast Asia to become acquainted with the company, it’s mission, staff, systems, and processes.
  • Assist in setting up experiential learning activities such as homestays and exchanges with community members.
  • Be trained to manage logistics and budget in accordance with Rustic Pathways Thai team and internal systems.

January through April 2018

  • Act as a mentor to students each and every day.
  • Help students understand the issues they are learning about through connections to your experiences and the experiences of community members.
  • Keep students safe and respond to emergencies
  • Oversee the students’ extra-curricular activities or free time
  • Support all community exchanges and homestays
  • Safety vetting
  • Planning schedule
  • Booking logistics
  • Creating budgets
  • Rooming arrangements
  • Supporting students during their exchanges and homestays


Professional Experience

  • Experience leading culturally responsible, experiential student travel, or other educational programming, specifically in Thailand. Experience with Rustic Pathways preferred.
  • Experience managing logistics and budgets.
  • Experience working with communities on issues of environment and human rights. A background in development preferred.
  • Experience working across cultures. Experience with issues of diversity, identity, and bias.
  • Experience fostering the academic, social, and emotional well-being of students.
  • Demonstrated experience developing strong interpersonal relationships, problem solving, decision making, and resolving differences of perspective.
  • Experience and/or strong passion for working with teens and families from diverse cultural backgrounds
  • Familiarity with urban and suburban school cultures 


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Academic work in the fields of education, politics, development preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Basic computer literacy.
  • Cultural Fluency. An ability to work across cultures and other lines of difference as a part of diverse teams.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • A strong understanding of and demonstrated interest in environmental and human rights issues affecting Thailand.
  • Thai language skills or excitement about and commitment to learn the language.
  • Ability to think and act in a manner that respects ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversity


  • CPR/First Aid required
  • Wilderness First Responder certification (candidates without this certification should apply if they are willing to become WFR certified)

Application instructions

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