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Friends of WHEELS
Executive Director


About Friends of WHEELS

Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS) opened its doors in September 2006, as a new public school in District 6, home to one of the highest-need populations in New York City. Friends of WHEELS (FoW), an independent 501(c)3, was founded in 2012 to ensure that every student at WHEELS has the support they need to access higher education and succeed in college and beyond. We are currently delivering our college and career counseling and support to nearly 1000 current high school students and WHEELS alumni.

 Statistically, our students face long odds of ever completing a postsecondary degree.

We connect with students early in high school to provide the information, counseling, and exposure necessary to help each student define a postsecondary path that best fits with their skills and career interests. In 12th grade, we provide individualized counseling and assistance to ensure each student can access an appropriate college opportunity. Then, we deliver continuing academic and financial guidance, and social/emotional support after high school so students enroll, persist, and graduate from their chosen post-secondary program, earning a degree that allows them to embark on a self-sustaining career.

Our results:

Our support enables WHEELS students and alumni to broaden their career opportunities, increase their earning potential, and serve as role models for their peers and those who follow in their footsteps. Our programming directly impacts the lives of nearly 1,000 students in the high-need Washington Heights neighborhood—and has a ripple effect that extends much further in impacting their families and the broader community. Through our innovative program, Friends of WHEELS is building a model for school-level college access and success that can be replicated in public schools across NYC and beyond.


ABOUT THE ROLE - Executive Director

As the Executive Director, you will oversee both the College Access and College Success programs to ensure that all WHEELS students and alumni have the tools, resources, and support they need to get into and graduate from college. You will lead development and partnerships, ensuring that our organization maintains financial stability while working with the staff and Board to continue to strategically grow and evolve our programs. 

The Executive Director will:

  1. Develop and implement a vision and strategy for the organization, including goal setting, program development, and data collection.
  2. Spearhead fundraising and development, building a sustainable funding pipeline and maintaining relationships with key foundations, corporations, and other stakeholders.
  3. Lead program evaluation; identify and capture metrics to assess the strengths of the program, identify areas for improvement, and prioritize and implement programmatic improvements.
  4. Bring and build subject matter expertise in college access and success, and nonprofit leadership.



Fundraising and Communication

Organizational and Financial Leadership

Board Leadership







FoW’s ED hiring process is rigorous and likely different from others you have encountered before. It shields candidate information, such as schools and past employers from the early stages, to remove as much bias as possible. This ensures that the candidate’s abilities are the primary determinant in our decision making and makes opportunities like this one more accessible.

In practice, this means:

Our hiring process includes these steps:

We are committed to transparency. We know job searching can be stressful and aim to minimize uncertainty when possible. You’re encouraged to get in touch at any time.



To express interest, please complete the very simple form. You may opt in at any time, but please do so by Friday, May 25th at the latest. We’ll ask you (and all candidates) to complete a short questionnaire (in lieu of a cover letter) soon thereafter. 

If you have any questions about the role, please feel free to personally email search lead Abe Taleb at abe.taleb@rework.jobs. If you have any interest in this role, we encourage you to indicate as such,  so you can learn more (which is why we want to make it simple). If you decide to withdraw later in the process, we’ll understand.

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