Self Determination Life Coach: Oakland


The Self-Determination Life Coach role is grounded in YWFC’s approach to personal and structural transformation and is guided by the organization’s guiding principles of Sisterhood, Self-Sufficiency, Spirituality, and Social Justice The Self-Determination Life Coach works to ensure that participants of YWFC’s programs have the support, resources, access, and advocacy needed to support them in their healing journey. The Self Determination Coordinator works closely with Youth Advocates and Community Organizers and program participants, playing a critical role in supporting young women in finding their voice, building self-determination and in engaging young women in the work.  

The role of the Self Determination Coordinator is to ensure that folks at YWFC are provided support from a peer-based, restorative justice framework, culturally grounded, and gender-specific framework and that the organization has the proper resources, support, and partners in place to support this work.  They are responsible for conducting initial intakes and assessments, working with young women to identify their needs and strengths, assisting them in developing personal and professional goals, and providing support in accessing community resources such as housing, child care, educational programs, etc. Additionally, this position is responsible for ensuring that all coaching approaches and methods are in line with the organization’s mission, vision, values, fulfill grant requirements, YWFC annual goals and Site goals.

General Duties:

  • Building rapport with WGTGNC on-site at YWFC and off-site at program locations including juvenile hall, jail, group homes, and county jail, to ensure folks receive the appropriate support through phone calls, snail mail, advocacy letter, and referrals appropriate services  
  • Conduct interviews, assessments, case plans, develop re-entry plans and provide resources for WGTGNC youth onsite at the Center and off-site at program locations including juvenile hall, jail, and group homes
  • Work as a part of the YWFC’s leadership and advocacy teams supporting young folks connecting to YWFC after detention through Level 1 and 2 leadership programs, ensuring activities are cohesive and coordinated amongst program staff and the Executive Director
  • Provide orientation and training to new staff, interns and volunteers who will support leadership programming of YWFC’s guiding principles, methodology, and policy and procedures  
  • Plan, facilitate, and oversee level one programs, including Freedom Circle, Freedom Circle graduations, youth-driven community projects, special events, and other outings  
  • Work with WGTGNC to increase their ability to advocate for themselves and navigate the systems and service providers they are involved with.
  • Coordinate early career exploration and leadership development, including sharing job opportunities, scholarship information, college tours, financial aid workshops, career mentoring, and healing centered opportunities
  • Collaborate with Oakland Lead Organizer on building organizing capacity and skills for WGTGNC youth ready to step into those roles.
  • Collaborate with the Participatory Defense Coordinator to monitor referrals and provide support to WGTGNC youth on an ongoing basis.
  • Provide monthly case-management progress reports to Program Manager and Site Director to ensure participants are building their capacity and working towards self-sufficiency
  • Maintain and strengthen relationships and work with the staff of organizations working with participants, including, but not limited to Probation Departments, Public Defender’s, community-based agencies, School districts,  Social Workers, etc.  
  • Participate in Mic-Check meetings with other team members to ensure holistic support and  additional support strategies needed to better support participant
  • Participate in YWFC’s movement, policy, and local campaign work on an ongoing basis including; participating in strategy and strategy related meetings as necessary, participating in work to advance local campaigns, represent the organization  publicly as requested and approved, and participate in coalitions and other community based work as approved/ requested by supervisor
  • Support participants in navigating systems (juvenile justice, foster care, mental health, etc.) by providing advocacy, resources, and ongoing support in self-advocacy strategies and education.

Administrative Duties: 

  • Participate in organizational events, staff meetings, training, and staff development opportunities on an ongoing basis
  • Embody and model the values of the organization:  Sisterhood, Self-determination, social justice, and spirituality.
  • On an ongoing basis, work to ensure the organization’s mission, vision, and guiding principles are a guide to your work at the Center and that all program activities, curriculums, etc.  are developed based on these principles.
  • Represent the organization in the community, with funders, stakeholders, partners, and to the young women that we work within a respectful manner that embodies the organization’s values and is in direct alignment with your job description and role on the leadership team.

Knowledge and Skills: 

  • The person must be comfortable, mature and professional in interacting with diverse community partners, custody staff, students and colleagues with diverse heritage and backgrounds.
  • Ability to interact effectively with program participants, staff colleagues, board members, volunteers, public figures, and community leaders;
  • Strong organizational skills, ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet deadlines
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Microsoft Office, Google Suite, CRM, email, and general computer/ internet use.
  • Willingness and ability to grow professionally, be accountable, and to expand skills and adapt to evolving organization environments and constantly changing circumstances
  • Ability to maintain strong and appropriate boundaries with personal identifying information when interacting with program participants or community or program partners
  • Ability to handle multiple deadlines and tasks simultaneously
  • Advanced problem-solving skills; tactfully address and resolve questions/concerns

How To Apply:

Please send your resume and a thoughtful, one-page cover letter to, using the subject line “SD Life Coach Oakland_(LastName)”

Application Deadline: Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

We strongly encourage candidates who hold marginalized identities and nontraditional professional backgrounds to apply. Young Women’s Freedom Center does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information.

Due to the volume of applications we receive, we’re not able to respond personally to every candidate. We do review every submission carefully and we will contact those who we’d like to interview.

Position Title: Self Determination Life Coach 

Program: Leadership and Advocacy

Work location: Oakland with some travel to surrounding counties

Reports to: Oakland Site Director (work closely with Program Manager)

Classification: Full-time (1 FTE), 40 hours/week, Permanent, Non-Exempt

Compensation: $24.03-$26.44/hour (commensurate with experience)

About Young Women’s Freedom Center: 


Founded in 1993, Young Women’s Freedom Center (YWFC) is a leadership and advocacy organization led by systems-involved young and adult women and transgender gender non-conforming (TGNC) people of color who have grown up in poverty, worked in the underground street economy, and have been criminalized by social services such as foster care, welfare, and the mental health systems.

By offering safety, sister- & siblinghood, economic opportunities, accessible education and healing, we build self-determination, confidence and self-worth. 

Our sisters and siblings support one another in living self-determined, healthy and fulfilling lives, while building our individual and collective leadership to change conditions, culture and policy toward decarceration and decriminalization.

We believe that those most impacted by cycles of poverty, violence, exploitation and incarceration are the experts in their own lives and best positioned to identify and lead the change needed to support true and transformative justice.


To create a groundswell of formerly incarcerated and systems-impacted girls, women and TGNC people to lead a movement to successfully decarcerated girls, women and TGNC people in California to lead Freedom 2030 – a ten-year political organizing, culture change & legislative campaign.

What we Know

  • Those most impacted by incarceration and cycles of intimate, community and state violence have the most information and are best positioned to lead legislative and community-change toward safety, healing and transformative justice. 
  • When girls, women and TGNC people most impacted by these cycles lead, we bring everyone with us. Our families. Our communities. Our societies. 
  • Poverty is a key driver of incarceration and recidivism: Girls, young women and TGNC youth living in poverty experience high rates of sexual exploitation which leads to further risk for incarceration.
  • Providing economic opportunities for formerly incarcerated and systems-impacted people is crucial to breaking cycles of poverty, exploitation and incarceration. 
  • The skills used to survive the street, incarceration, foster care and public institutions are transferable to movements for change, social enterprise and community businesses.