Meet Kevin Hickey, Chief Program Officer

 

We are thrilled to welcome Kevin Hickey as New Door’s Chief Program Officer. Kevin’s career is built on helping youth and families achieve self-sufficiency and build healthy communities. Before joining New Door Ventures, Kevin served as Director of High School and Bridge Programs at Jewish Vocational Service, where he led efforts to secure job placements and postsecondary education for young people throughout San Francisco. He also holds faculty appointments at the University of San Francisco and San Francisco State University.

A Mission-Driven Career Path: 
“New Door’s mission resonates deeply with me. Through personal life experiences and my career, I understand the essential role work plays on youth development and family sustainability amidst larger economic and social forces. Most young people need to work, and bridging the gaps from opportunity to engagement to economic mobility is the work at hand.”

“My career is built on helping marginalized youth and families achieve self-sufficiency. I’m joining the team after twenty years at JVS, where I led youth employment and education programs in partnership with San Francisco Unified School District, employer partners such as Boys and Girls Club and SFMade, and many others. I believe that today’s problems require nonprofit leaders to drive for impact in both direct service provision and public policy advocacy roles. To that end, I am proud of the advocacy work I have supported such as the reauthorization of the San Francisco Children and Youth Fund, which brings $100m annually to meet the needs of young people and their families, along with my role on the Board of Directors of the National Youth Employment Coalition. I am also fortunate to hold faculty appointments at the University of San Francisco and San Francisco State University where I teach various courses on leadership, nonprofit management, and public policy.”

Current Landscape For New Door Youth:
“Opportunity youth are facing overlapping pandemics of public health, poverty, and persistent racism. We also know that young people of color (and their families and communities) have been the most negatively impacted by COVID in terms of employment, health, and other measures. We must get at the core of these serious challenges in order to support young people on their journey to success.”

“New Door’s role is critical in preparing young people for work and life. Evidence shows that early work experience and supports lead to greater rates of employment and higher quality jobs in early adulthood, especially for young people from the populations New Door serves. It is the skill-building in internships combined with the supports of New Door staff that transform opportunity to success. Core elements such as deep employer partnerships, developmentally appropriate activities, and opportunities to practice and learn are what make this transformation possible.”

The Future:
“Year one is a critical year for New Door and me. We’re embarking on a strategic planning process, refreshing our programs and practices, and building excitement for deeper impact with young people. As I would look back on year one, I would have hoped to have solidified the internal and external relationships to lead the work with generative success, I would have hoped to have succeeded at leading change that improves our work, and I would have hoped to know and understand the New Door community, especially our young people, in a way that fuels my excitement and skills for the work.”