Organizational Description: 

Impact America engages students and recent college graduates to address community needs, empowering a generation through collaborative efforts to promote change in the communities we serve.

Initiative Description: 

The SpeakFirst initiative enriches the academic experience of talented and motivated students from Birmingham-area high schools through participation in a competitive debate team. The initiative gathers exemplary high school students from Birmingham-area schools that do not provide a formal debate team experience into one team that participates in tournaments in Alabama and across the Southeast.

This highly collaborative initiative addresses a wide array of needs including one-on-one tutoring and mentoring, college admissions and financial aid guidance, standardized test preparation, youth development activities, and summer internships for the debaters. Since the inception of SpeakFirst in 2004, our high-school students have competed in more than 100 tournaments.  SpeakFirst’s first ten graduating classes (46 students) have earned more than $5.5 million in college scholarships. SpeakFirst also collaborates with area middle schools to host a intra-city debate league in the Birmingham area.  


Position Description:

SpeakFirst High School Coaches serve on a team under the direction of the SpeakFirst Program Manager.  SpeakFirst coaches serve as coaches, teacher/discussion leaders, and mentors who guide and improve our debaters’ research, argumentation, and speaking skills.

Position Requirements:

Under the direction  of the SpeakFirst Program Manager, SpeakFirst High School coaches may be assigned to assist with or lead any of the following:

  • Manage and coach practices three evenings per week
  • Provide detailed research instruction thorough editing of student work and one-on-one research, and brief and case writing instruction
  • Coordinate registration and participation in 6 weekend tournaments throughout the academic year as well as travel to, judge, and coach at those tournaments
  • Coordinate college admissions planning and summer internships for students, including attending college tours
  • Organize extracurricular events to expose the students to important cultural and historical learning opportunities 
  • Organize recruitment for the next class of debaters
  • Support instruction weekly at one of the program’s middle schools (Mondays, 3-5pm)
  • Assist at the middle school tournament

Full or part time positions currently available in Birmingham, AL.

Skills Required:

Successful candidates will exhibit a commitment to improving the lives of economically disadvantaged families, a record of community service and/or civic engagement, leadership skills, the ability to work well with a diverse group of individuals (e.g., college students, children, community partners), flexibility in a fast-paced environment, and a positive attitude. Candidates with prior experience in debate and/or education generally will be prioritized

A strong candidate will be able to work collaboratively on a team of coaches led by the Program Manager and demonstrate flexibility. Candidates should possess a strong commitment to improving our students’ debate skills and an ability to build relationships with students.  Coaches should be able to manage a substantial amount of independent work hours conducting research on debate topics and demonstrate enthusiasm for teaching high schoolers how to debate well.

Additional Information:

Impact Alabama is an AmeriCorps Program®. Benefits include the following: 

  • Monthly living stipend (varies each year)
  • Education award (received upon completion of term of service)
  • Health insurance
  • Meals when providing service outside of your home county
  • Mileage reimbursement when driving your personal car for service
  • All travel costs during overnight trips (hotel, rental car, meals)
  • Ongoing professional development and training

Impact Alabama welcomes applications from individuals with disabilities. We have sought to identify the essential functions and physical requirements of all service positions and will make reasonable accommodations through scheduling, task reassignment, and other methods to accommodate applicants and AmeriCorps members. Please contact us should you need accommodations in order to apply.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Documentation of status as a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or lawful permanent resident alien (AmeriCorps eligibility requirement)
  • Completion of a college degree (exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis with prior approval)
  • Submit to a criminal background check, including an FBI check, NSOPW check, a statewide check in the applicant’s state of residence at the time of application, a statewide check in applicant’s state of service (if different than state of residence)
  • At least 18 years of age


For questions, contact our Recruiting Team.

Apply Now!

Equal Employment Opportunity/ Nondiscrimination Policy

Reasonable Accommodation Policy