Work at SOKY

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While most Special Olympics services are provided by a dedicated group of volunteer coaches, fundraisers and event workers, Special Olympics Kentucky does employ a small staff to help organize competitions fundraising events and handle day-to-day operations of our statewide program. This offers opportunities for work in a challenging and rewarding environment that helps to change the lives of the athletes we serve and their families.

Position Title:  Program Manager, Youth Initiatives

Description: The Program Manager of Youth Initiatives is a full-time exempt position responsible for managing aspects of the Unified Champions Schools (UCS) program including outreach, implementation and applicable supporting partnerships. This position will also oversee the expansion and coordination of Young Athletes® programs.  The position will work directly with students and school personnel to lead inclusive strategies in school environments, promote health and fitness initiatives and general awareness of Special Olympics Kentucky (SOKY).  Some evening and weekend work is required.  Information on UCS and Young Athletes is found at           

Reports to:  Director of Unified Champion Schools


  • Bachelor’s degree in education, sport management or related field
  • Preferred experience working in school-based environments or programs in capacities such as teacher, counselor, coach or volunteer etc.
  • Strong multi-tasking, organizational and time management skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Technology skills: Basic Microsoft Office and understanding of social media
  • A “people person” who is enthusiastic and has a desire to foster social inclusion in school environments
  • Ability to work and travel independently 


  • Oversee the planning, implementation, evaluation and growth of all aspects of Unified Champion Schools at the Middle and Elementary levels, including Young Athletes
  • Provide onsite training and ongoing support to administrators, teachers, student leaders and community-based Young Athletes coordinators
  • Explore collaborations and formation of partnerships with organizations such as KY SHAPE (Society of Health & Physical Educators)
  • Provide ongoing evaluation of school leadership teams and unified activities
  • Serve as the contact person to SOI-SONA for applicable school levels and secondary contact person for entire SOKY Unified Champion School program
  • Work with UCS Director to administer grant funds to support unified activities, including participation metrics, school sub-grants, and data management
  • Represent SOKY at regional and national meetings/conferences as appropriate
  • Network with other Special Olympics state programs in search of best practices
  • Support SOKY program staff as needed at local events
  • Required attendance at SOKY state-level special events that include weekend and some overnight travel.

To apply:  please send cover letter and resume to Karen Michalak-Parsley at  No phone calls. 

Special Olympics Kentucky EEO Statement

Special Olympics Kentucky is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to a work environment that supports, inspires, and respects all individuals and in which personnel processes are merit-based and applied without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, disability, national or ethnic origin, military service status, citizenship, or other protected characteristic.