Academy Lead

In person
40 hours/week
Competitive within the non-profit social enterprise space in Latin America

The Role

LALA seeks an Academy Lead to build and implement our residential Academy program in Medellin, Colombia. As LALA grows, we aim to offer our students more in-person, residential program offerings, built around the transformative social-capital power that emerges from community living and learning. We want to follow up our 2020 pilot Academy with a two-semester, year-round, intensive residential program in Medellin and are looking for an Academy Lead to build and implement an inspiring vision for the future of our program. On top of these semester programs, we seek to implement 1-2 week long in-person educational bootcamps that will also take place in residence in Medellin.


The mission of this role is to design and oversee the implementation of a fundamentally holistic learning experience for our students that leverages the use of expert guests to guide the self-directed learning of our students- both in a semester-long Academy model and 1-2 week learning bootcamps model. Success in this role will mean building a long-term, sustainable and regenerative framework for residential, in-person programming that serves the developmental and aspirational journey of our LatAm youth.

About Us

Latin America has struggled to achieve sustainable social and economic development for decades. The many issues that afflict the region come from—and in turn reinforce—a pressing shortage of ethical, competent, innovative leaders in the public, private, and social sectors. LALA exists to transform this reality. To do so, we seek to find and develop tens of thousands of entrepreneurial, principled, impact-focused leaders from all backgrounds, and to build a continental community of these leaders. These leaders will collaborate across borders, industries, socioeconomic levels, and across the public, private and social sectors, to solve Latin America’s most pressing problems.


In almost five years, LALA has reached 1200+ young leaders from 17 countries, 70% of whom come from underrepresented backgrounds. Our alumni have already launched 100+ social impact projects impacting 50,000 people. 


Our work has been recognized by world-class organizations like Echoing Green and Imaginable Futures, and been featured on local and global media. You can get a glimpse into our students and our impact through their stories. To learn more about LALA, see our Introductory Slide Deck. If you want more detail, we invite you to watch our 2021 Annual Call!

Position Summary & Objectives

The Academy Lead will report to the Executive Director, work closely with the Community Manager, and manage a Residential Assistant in order to successfully build the systems, structures, and partnerships to continually run residential programs in Medellin, Colombia.



  • Manage all aspects of in-person programming, from the team to the budget, communications, etc.
  • Oversee operating costs and capital budgets.
  • Oversee communication channels around in-person programming and events.
  • Lead and develop the strategic planning process for long-term, residential in-person programming at LALA.
  • Manage the staff member lifecycle for all staff involved in residential in-person programming (hiring, supervising, evaluating, and dismissing administrators, faculty, and staff members, etc.).

Curriculum and Instruction

  • Foster professionalism, collegiality, and ethical conduct within all involved faculty and staff.
  • Support the professional development of the faculty and staff.
  • Stimulate and participate in dialogue about teaching and learning.
  • Supervise the development and selection of curricula and oversee all aspects of in-person program planning and preparation.

Student Support

  • Lead the organization of student activities, excursions, and social impact events.
  • Create and administer the Academy’s discipline policies and standards of conduct.
  • Develop and manage the support systems for residential in-person programming; such as counseling, fundraising, and language acquisition support, etc.
  • Coordinate the safety policies and procedures, including building security, emergency procedures, and transportation regulations.

Business, Finance, and Operations

  • Understand and supervise the business unit functions of in-person programming, including budgeting, monitoring and reporting income, expenses, and cash flow.
  • Oversee all employment and human relations matters for the Academy, such as contracts, compensation, benefits, job assignments, job orientation, performance evaluation, retentions and dismissals, employee & student handbooks, etc.
  • Work closely with the LALA facilities contractor to coordinate the maintenance and cleaning of the buildings, grounds and all on-sight assets, as well as plan and execute all major capital purchases, repairs, and building projects.
  • Build a comprehensive vision for future residential in-person programming growth.

Admissions, Marketing, and Financial Aid

  • Supervise and assist the admissions functions of both the Academy and the 1-2 week education bootcamps, including recruitment support, marketing, external outreach, information dissemination, applicant interviewing and selection, and communication with families.
  • Supervise the admissions decision-making process, including administration of student fundraising campaigns.
  • Support LALA’s development efforts in identifying, cultivating, thanking, and communicating with past and prospective donors, particularly related to the Academy, but also in-person education bootcamps.
  • Work closely with MEL to measure student development and update the alumni database.




  • 4-5 years experience:
    1. Directing or leading an educational program.
    2. As a classroom teacher or facilitator of educational programs.
  • 3-4 years of experience:
    1. Managing and developing teams.
    2. In the realm of holistic education.
  • Demonstrated acumen for mentoring and guiding the professional development of educators and youth.
  • Experience developing and nurturing a healthy and loving community/school environment for students.

Required Skills

  • Fluency in Spanish or Portuguese; Proficiency in business English
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, students, community, and parents.


  • Advanced degree in Education, Psychology or Social Work.
  • Experience directing or leading a residential educational program.
  • Experience measuring impact of educational programs.
  • Experience leading and guiding educators in school or alternative educational environments.

You should apply if…

  • You are passionate about creating a loving and psychological safe educational environments where youth can thrive and be truthful to themselves and others.
  • You are willing to move to (or already live in) Medellin, Colombia.
  • You are passionate about and want to be at the forefront of holistic youth development in order to create an educational community hub that can serve as an inspiration for more radical types of education in Latin America.
  • You believe we are experiencing an educational crisis and want to create new ways of seeing and doing education that is guided by love and puts students in the center of learning.
  • You are obsessed with reading, researching and learning about education and youth development.
  • You are constantly working on yourself in order to manifest a new way of being in the world.
  • You thrive working with fun, crazy and purpose oriented group of people 
  • You see the world as your classroom.


This is an in-person position in Medellin, Colombia.

Application Process

Begin by filling out our application form. If you have questions or want to nominate someone for the role, please email [email protected]. Candidates who submit a cover letter will be given priority consideration.


Diversity and inclusion are fundamental values at LALA. Given the history of elitism, racism, sexism, homophobia, discrimination (and much more) in Latin America, we aim to do things differently through LALA and at LALA. We value diversity of identities, lived experiences, abilities, perspectives, and worldviews. We believe that diversity will make us stronger and smarter. We know that our diversity will inspire more young Latin Americans to aim higher. Therefore, we encourage interested candidates from identities and communities that have been historically underrepresented in positions of leadership to apply to this and all other roles at LALA!