Mental Health Counselor

Location: Brooklyn, NY (Hybrid Work Model)
Position Code: JQULC
Salary Range: $45,000 – $50,000/year

Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT) exists to break the cycle of poverty and inequity through education, job training, and employment. Our vision to strengthen the workforce by serving as a bridge to economic opportunity for individuals in underserved communities is critical for economic recovery. Through our skills-based training, education, and direct job placement, we build upward economic mobility for out-of-school and unemployed youth and adults and provide the skills necessary to gain a competitive edge in the job market. Through our principles of accountability, confidence, and professionalism, we emphasize Values of Integrity-Respecting our commitments, personally and professionally, Excellence-Pushing one another to be our very best and Empowerment-Positive change begins with us. Our commitment to fostering and maintaining a work environment where diversity, equity, and inclusion are woven into our organizational DNA.

Diversity & Racial Equity Mission Statement: We recognize that structural racism, discrimination, systems of power, and other forms of oppression, give privilege and access to resources, lead to inequities, and have contributed to persistent disparities.  OBT is on an intentional journey to champion and operationalize the values of racial equity, diversity, and inclusion into our organization and the communities we serve. We strive to sustain a culture where all individuals can thrive and feel a sense of belonging, especially those whose voices and experiences have been historically marginalized. We commit our work to breaking oppressive barriers and serving as a bridge to sustainable economic opportunities that will build and strengthen an equitable workforce.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility & Belonging (DEIA&B) Statement: We value individual differences and the benefits diversity and inclusion bring to our organization. It enables us to effectively grow by developing respected representation in the communities OBT serves while giving back through our personal experiences and efforts thereby adding immediate value. We understand that diversity is not simply about people who represent the full spectrum or ethnicities, national origins, ages, sexual orientation, gender identity, beliefs, religions and faith, cultures, socio-economic backgrounds and levels of physical ability; it also involves our ability to being open-minded and creating balance within OBT as an organization. Within our diversified workforce, we see our differences as assets, not liabilities and intentionally prioritize methods to enhance our DEIA&B journey. OBT realizes that diversity is an important issue for our organization, but we also realize that it is not enough to hire people with the differences mentioned above. Everyone needs to feel like they are truly welcome, safe and free to be themselves in the workplace. We are establishing a sense of belonging and inclusion, so we can ensure that all employees, regardless of their background and experiences, are connected with equal opportunities and create a healthier, more successful future together.

Please note: In accordance with NYC Mayoral Executive Order and mandate, OBT requires that all newly hired employees provide proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination upon hire and proof of full vaccination within 3 – 6 weeks after having received the 1st dose. Please contact with questions.

Position Summary:
The Mental Health Counselor (“Counselor”) provides ongoing individual and group counseling services to young adults ages 16 – 24 enrolled in OBT’s Train and Earn program and High School Equivalency course load programs. These programs are designed to prepare the participants to pass the HSE, High school equivalency diploma paving the way to successful careers. Additionally, the counselor will engage in community outreach to promote the programs, help the participants reach economic stability through advocacy, tenacious case management, and the facilitation of training workshops.

Essential Job Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Exemplify the OBT model of high accountability and high support in all interactions with participants, all staff, and partners.
  • Develop and conduct group counseling sessions addressing essential skills, including time management, managing stress, building self-esteem, effective listening, goal setting, teamwork, coping strategies, etc.
  • Provide supportive counseling and crisis intervention to participants.
  • Maintain participant case files and enter all data including but not limited to case notes and attendance into
    required databases (e.g., Salesforce and PTS); assist with any relevant reporting required by funder contracts.
  • Provide ongoing feedback to the team on participant progress and barriers to successful completion of the
  • Conduct intake assessments with applicants to ensure both eligibility and suitability for the programs;
    follow-up with accepted participants regarding outstanding required documentation for enrollment into the
    programs; refer ineligible and/or incompatible applicants to other programs and services.
  • Maintain consistent contact with current and past participants for the time period established by our
    contracts via calls, texts, emails, and social networking sites using established OBT protocols.
  • Conduct, at a minimum, bi-weekly individual supportive counseling sessions with each assigned participant
    to ensure they are progressing toward personal and career related goals.
  • Participate and seek professional development opportunities.
  • Assist with community outreach and program promotional activities.
  • Carry out delegated duties by Program Director.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Passion for OBT’s mission.
  • Possess a passion for and experience working with Opportunity Youth.
  • Working knowledge of workforce development.
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and conflict de-escalation skills.
  • Able to develop goals and reduce barriers to education, program persistence and employment through
    effective case management and counseling strategies.
  • Able to manage competing priorities in a human-focused performance-based environment.
  • An adept problem solver who brings energy and enthusiasm to the work.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office; database management–i.e., Salesforce and/or PTS preferred.

Education and Experience/Training:

  • Master’s in social work or Mental Health Counseling (candidates working toward graduate degree in social work or counseling may be considered).
  • 2 years’ human services or social services experience.

Other Qualifications: These are the skills & attributes that all OBT employees need in order to meet the expectations of each other, our participants, and our partners.

Communicate with Clarity – Be clear, concise, and actionable. Be relentlessly constructive. Seek and provide meaningful feedback.

Work with Purpose – Exhibit a “We Can” mindset. Results outweigh effort. Everyone understands how their role contributes. Set aside personal objectives for team results.

Drive to Decision – Cut the swirl with defined deadlines and decision points. Be clear on individual accountability and decision authority. Guided by a commitment to and accountability for mission outcomes.

Own the Outcome – Defined milestones, commitments and intended results. Assess your work in context, if you’re unsure, ask. Demonstrate unwavering support for decisions.