Summer Academy 1 - Residential Program Assistant (PA)

Amherst College - June 17th - August 3rd

Virtual onboarding to take place mid-late May. Specific dates TBD.

The Organization

At Thrive Scholars, our goal is to see talented economically disadvantaged BIPOC students develop inter-generational wealth and financial security and become the diverse corporate, civic, and academic leaders our country so desperately needs. 

Our comprehensive, data-driven, high-touch program model focuses on the key inflection points that can be the difference between graduating from college and graduating from a top college with the grades, degree, career skills, and networks needed to thrive in any career. Throughout our six-year program, Scholars benefit from admissions guidance and intensive academic preparation before college, and a comprehensive set of academic, personal, social-emotional, financial, and career supports throughout college – all meant to contribute to their economic mobility, starting from their very first job post-graduation. 

(Please read Thrive’s Economic Mobility Statement below.)

The Program

As rising high-school juniors, seniors and rising college first-years, students attend our Summer Academy Program (six weeks in the first summer, five weeks in the second). At its core, Summer Academy (SA) is an immersive academic experience where students learn the quantitative, writing, and critical thinking skills they need to excel in college and in their preferred majors, with additional time devoted to personal and professional development topics. Summer Academy is a residential program held on the campuses of Amherst College and Northwestern University. This year, we will serve approximately 500 total students across both sites; including 25 OnRamp Scholars.

The Position
Thrive Scholars seeks a team of Residential Program Assistants (PAs) for the 2024 Summer Academy program to be hosted at Amherst College (rising High School Juniors and Seniors). With support from the Summer Academy Site Director and Assistant Site Directors, the PAs will be responsible for leading recreational programming, providing supervision of and support to Scholars, maintaining physically and psychologically safe conditions, and supporting program logistics. The PAs will live among Scholars in a residence hall. The PA will serve as the Scholar’s main point of contact and community builder for an assigned cohort of students. PAs will support Thrive Scholars programming and workshops, provide classroom support when needed, plan community events, and serve as Residential Life staff. PAs will have the opportunity to develop and leverage skills in program design and leadership, youth development, and project management. 

Primary Responsibilities


  • Shape Culture - Help shape a welcoming, inclusive, and affirming culture among the Summer Academy community (including with other Thrive staff and college employees)

  • Event planning and implementation -  Plan and lead excellent recreational and community-building events for students on evenings and weekends

  • Support and facilitate activities focused on preparing Scholars for the college experience 

  • Assist Thrive Program Teams in running programming; including summit days, off campus trips (corporate tours and college tours), and any other programs where additional support is needed throughout the summer 

  • Additional duties as assigned  

Student Supervision and Support

  • Professional Boundaries - Maintain professional boundaries with Scholars and other Summer Staff 

  • Safety and Supervision - Be responsible for the safety and supervision of Scholars throughout Summer Academy; including continuously monitoring student safety and well-being, and elevating concerns immediately to the Assistant Site Directors (ASDs)

  • Ensure that students abide by the Summer Academy Code of Conduct, and communicate any infractions to the ASDs

  • Support the wellness team as assigned


  • Communicate and Collaboration - consistently and promptly communicate with ASDs and summer staff, share updates, and collaborate through meetings, email, and other methods of communication (including promptly reading and acting on any program-related information sent to you)

  • Provide logistic support to the Site Director and ASDs, including, but not limited to, managing supplies, communicating any program updates/schedule changes to Scholars, and attendance follow up


  • Norms and Policies - Upholding Summer Academy norms and policies in and around common spaces such as dorms, dining hall, and all campus facilities 

  • Rounds - Conduct morning and evening rounds throughout the dorm to make sure Scholars are safe and accounted for at all times

  • Assist with the mail collection and distribution process

  • Maintain laundry process flow for assigned dorm 

  • Manage program supplies and inventory 


PAs will have 6 days off during the program. To ensure appropriate coverage, a daily shift schedule and time off will be assigned by the Site Director and shared by the ASDs upon arrival at the Summer Academy site. Due to the nature of the program, we ask that PAs refrain from taking on any academic or professional responsibilities outside of Summer Academy PA duties. 

Experience and Qualifications:

  • Experience working in a residential setting (for example, college resident advisor or summer camp experience)

  • Professional attitude, ability to maintain effective professional boundaries, discretion and ability to manage sensitive or confidential student information

  • Passion for and experience in working with a diverse, underrepresented community of high school and rising college Scholars

  • Superior interpersonal skills and ability to build effective relationships with high school and college students; while maintaining professional boundaries, and without being their “friends”

  • High level of dependability and a strong commitment to ensuring the health and safety of participants at all times

  • High level of adaptability  

  • High level of enthusiasm and ability to work in a high-energy environment

  • CPR and First Aid certification, preferred

  • College Class of 2024 or earlier, preferred


  • PAs will be paid $5,750 for the summer (distributed in equal payments during summer)

  • Room and Board  will be provided, and paid for, by Thrive Scholars

  • Reimbursement up to $350 will be provided for travel for eligible candidates

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

Thrive has instituted a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all employees, including remote staff. Individuals selected for job opportunities must be fully vaccinated and up to date, per CDC guidelines, and will be required to provide proof of vaccination status in advance of your hire date. 

If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs, Thrive will consider requests for reasonable accommodations consistent with our policy.  Accommodation requests cannot be guaranteed, Thrive will consider requests where we are able to provide such accommodations without undue hardship to the organization pursuant to applicable law.  Any such accommodation must be approved in advance of signing an offer letter.


Thrive Scholars provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran status. Knowing their importance to the success of our work, Thrive Scholars is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we aspire to build a diverse staff team and community. We strongly encourage people of all backgrounds to apply.

For more information, please visit

Thrive Scholars’ Economic Mobility Statement:

We know that everywhere in our country, there are incredibly high-achieving BIPOC students from economically disadvantaged communities who have big aspirations for their future. By virtue of everything they have achieved—academically, personally, and extracurricularly—these students demonstrate tremendous promise to continue to achieve at great levels in college and in their careers. However, as a result of structural barriers they encounter during the pivotal transitions from high school to college to career, we know that many are hindered from reaching their career ambitions and their goals of economic mobility and financial security. We understand these barriers to be complex and rooted in deep societal inequities and in systemic racism, and we believe they must be addressed at all levels—individual, institutional, and systemic.    


At Thrive Scholars, we have found that we are well-equipped to make a meaningful impact on the individual student level. As an organization, we have identified some of the main barriers that get in the way of Scholars getting that first job out of college that will position them to realize economic mobility. We have developed, over the last twenty years, key interventions, delivered through our College Access, Summer Academy, College Success, Mentorship, and Career Development programs - all aimed at helping high-achieving students from economically disadvantaged communities overcome these obstacles to experience economic mobility. This is our North Star. We do not believe that is all of the work that needs to be done at a societal or even individual level in order to promote a just society where every individual can succeed holistically, but we believe this part of it is where we as an organization should focus. 


Amherst, MA

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