Volunteers are at the core of how we serve students. You don’t need to be an expert writer. You do need a deep belief in the students we serve and an eagerness to learn together. The majority of our students are youth of color, and we especially seek volunteers who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color.
While students are distance-learning due to COVID-19, we have pivoted all of our programs online to deliver our unique model of writing support and tutoring remotely. While the tools are new, the goal is the same: to build skills, confidence, and pride, and to amplify their voices for the world to hear. And on the plus side, you can now tutor without braving BART at rush hour.
To get started, what kind of volunteering are you interested in?
WeWhy Need You
Above all, be flexible. Honor individuality and independence. Remember names. Consistently validate students and their work. Figure out ways to bring out their best. Focus on progress, not perfection. Share some things about yourself. Bask in the joy, laughter, curiosity, and energy all around you!
I couldn’t pick just one favorite moment from volunteering! Working on the book cover for the Young Authors’ Book Project was a different kind of rewarding. I have a Graphic Design background, and it was exciting for me to be able to combine my love of design with my now full-time job of making art out of paper. There’s something so amazing about seeing your work in print.
Volunteering is a journey and an adventure! Some quests will be immensely gratifying, others will be frustrating, still others will feel like a total failure, but they’re not! Just being there for our students is enough, it shows them that we care. If you can come all the time, great! If not, take some time for self-care (but come back later!)