Volunteer Mentoring and Tutoring at SMART

SMART is seeking committed and engaged volunteers to help our hard working Scholars excel in school and beyond! There are many ways to support SMART and our students.

Why Volunteer?

1) Change a Life. Our volunteers introduce students to college and career options, help to develop academic and personal confidence, and become incredible role models for our students.

2) Join the Movement. We teach our students the importance of self-advocacy, empowerment, and social justice. We are committed to the notion that our volunteers learn as much from our students as they learn from our volunteers.

3) Be a Part of Our Community. We organize monthly events for our 100+ volunteers (happy hours, group mentoring activities, cocktail parties, etc), offer opportunities to join the Volunteer Advisory Board, and provide twice-a-year trainings and ongoing support.

Volunteer Opportunities

Depending on your areas of interest or expertise, we have opportunities for volunteers to work with middle school or high school students. Please follow the appropriate link to indicate your preference, or if you don't have one, just let us know and we'll match you according to our needs.

Middle School Choice Mentor Program (5th Grade)

Middle School Achievement Program (5th-8th Grades)

College Access and Success Program (9th-12th Grades)

Short-term Volunteer Opportunities

Middle School Achievement Program (MAP)

Middle School Tutors are matched one-on-one with individual middle school Scholars to help foster deep and meaningful relationships.   

SMART tutors must be at least 21 years old and must agree to tutoring one day a week during SMART’s 5:30-7:00pm after-school program for the course of an academic year. Tutors will address SMART students' academic needs, whether assisting with homework, reinforcing classroom learning, or improving time management skills. Potential tutors must complete a screening process, including an application, a phone and in-person interview with a staff member, as well a background check. Tutor recruitment is ongoing until all Scholars are paired with a best-fit tutor for the academic year.  In order to ensure an optimal match for each of our students, the tutor recruitment process is selective.  Ideal candidates are able to make a consistent weekly commitment for a year or longer and have experience working with middle school students.  Candidates who were the first in their family to go to college or who bring Spanish or Chinese language backgrounds are particularly valuable resources for our Scholars.  

Mentors play a critical role in the SMART program. Our mentors serve as adult role models who are neither parents nor teachers and provide our students with vital friendship, support, and guidance as they experience new academic challenges and unfamiliar social environments.  Mentors also help their students to work towards and achieve a personal goal.

The most important aspect of mentoring is commitment. We ask our mentors to commit to at least one year of mentorship, during which they spend time with their student at least twice per month; activities can include exploring San Francisco, playing sports, going to the beach/park, cooking dinner or whatever you and your student decide to do. As many of our students have experienced disappointment and abandonment in the past, it is crucial that the mentor be consistent in dedicating this time to his or her mentee.

The most essential qualifications we seek in our mentors are enthusiasm, an interest in working with disadvantaged youth, and the ability to support and guide students in achieving their personal goals.

In order to be considered for a position as a SMART mentor, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years old

  • Submit a completed volunteer application form

  • Have an interview with a member of the SMART staff

  • Submit to a criminal background check

  • Complete an online training course

  • Agree to funding the activities you do with your mentee

Mentors who were the first in their family to go to college are particularly valuable to our students in helping to navigate the challenges of being first generation students.  As communication with families is an important component of mentorship, mentors who bring Spanish and Chinese language background are also great resources for our students.

College Access and Success Program (CASP)

High-school tutors are an essential part of SMART’s College Access and Success Program. CASP tutors are generally confident with rigorous material in high-school level coursework, are assigned to offer academic support in their strongest area of knowledge: Math, Science or Humanities   They commit to tutoring one night a week during SMART’s after-school program from 5:45-7:00.

High-school students who are struggling in a subject are paired with a tutor based on the content area of need.  High school tutors may meet with several students during a typical night of tutoring.

Tutors help students overcome the rigors of high school by addressing SMART students' academic needs, whether assisting with homework, reinforcing classroom learning, or improving their time management skills.  

Qualifications:

  • Be at least 21 years old

  • Submit a completed volunteer application form

  • Have an interview with a member of the SMART staff

  • Submit to a criminal background check

Tutor recruitment is ongoing based upon the academic needs of our CASP Scholars.   In order to ensure an optimal support for each of our students, the tutor recruitment process is selective.  Ideal candidates are able to make a consistent weekly commitment for a year or longer and have experience working with high school students.  Candidates who were the first in their family to go to college or who bring Spanish or Chinese language backgrounds are particularly valuable resources for our Scholars.

 

You may apply online here or contact our Volunteer and Corporate Engagement Coordinator Meagan Taylor at Meagan@theSMARTprogram.org or 415-968-6387 for any questions. Thank you for your time and interest. We look forward to hearing from you!