"Meeting with my mentees on Saturdays is the highlight of my week! They have taught me just as much as I've taught them. And it's especially meaningful to help them open up the doors that others opened up for me early in my career.
- Marvin, Class of 2022 Mentor
The Minds Matter volunteer experience offers committed and caring individuals the opportunity to belong to a community of service-minded peers as well as the chance to build their leadership skills and carry the organization to new levels each year. More than 100 volunteers from diverse career backgrounds in Cleveland help Minds Matter achieve its mission each year.
2021-2022 Academic Year: Applications are now open!
How to Apply
1. Submit your application here.
2. Participate in 30-minute phone conversation and interview.
3. Receive decision within two weeks of interview.
Current Volunteer Positions Available:
Unless noted, our volunteer opportunities are currently in-person. We are requiring volunteers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Mentors guide, challenge, and celebrate their student through their three years in the program. As a mentor, you’ll act as a caring adult in your mentee’s life, providing emotional and consistent support while sharing insight from your own journey to college and beyond.
How it Works
Minds Matter utilizes a 2:2 mentor-mentee model: mentors work with their student alongside one other adult mentor to form a pod. Every week, pods work through the Minds Matter curriculum, which guides students through exercises to develop the hard and soft skills they need to succeed in college. Mentors commit to following their student throughout their three years in the program. Together, mentor pods form the backbone of a student’s experience in Minds Matter.
The mentor role is all about strong relationships. In order to effectively guide, challenge and celebrate their mentee, mentors exhibit and develop a few key characteristics:
- Your relationship is built over time, in and out of session, but the majority of your interactions happens at Saturday session. Therefore, showing up and being present at session is the baseline for your effectiveness as a mentor. Mentors are required to attend at least 80% of Saturday sessions during the course of the school year.
- Acting as a role model and caring adult for your mentee requires active listening, empathy, commitment and integrity. Furthermore, it’s critical that mentors follow through on their commitments made to their mentee. Unfulfilled promises negatively impact relationships, but especially those with young people. Mentors act as role models and mentor not only their own student, but also all of the students on their team.
- While there are no required meetings outside of Saturday session, we ask mentors to be responsive to short texts/emails from their student during the week, and actively check-in from time to time.
- All volunteers act as representatives of Minds Matter in and out of session, and are asked to uphold the organization’s values and core beliefs.
- Mentors are required to be college graduates of 4-year colleges or universities.
- Mentors are required to pass a criminal background check and undergo child protection training.
Commitment: Approximately 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM, Saturdays during the academic year, with the exception of holiday weekend and ACT test days. 80% attendance necessary.
Utilizing Kaplan resources, tutors work with students one-on-one or in small groups to help elevate students' ACT scores. No prior ACT expertise is required, but rather a commitment to helping the student progress. Please complete our application if interested.
Commitment: in the window of 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM, at least 5 Saturdays per semester
Instructors provide academic and ACT preparation instruction in classroom format in various subjects, including ACT preparation and college-level critical thinking and analysis skills. If you are interested in becoming an instructor with Minds Matter, please contact [email protected]
Commitment: Approximately 1 hour in the morning, Saturdays during the academic year
Writing Councilors work with students via email to review and provide feedback on student applications to summer programs, college admissions, and scholarships. Writing Councilors have the availability to review student essays via email, with an anticipated turn-around time of approximately one week. Please complete our application if interested.
Commitment: 2-4 hours a week but varies depending on time of year, working remotely
Minds Matter Cleveland relies on a committed corps of leaders in our community who help run our student-facing programming. Serving as a leadership team member offers a wonderful opportunity to serve a critical role in the implementation of our program services and develop your leadership skills. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for position descriptions.
Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions
Who are Minds Matter’s volunteers?
Our volunteers are college graduates at varying stages of their careers looking to make a difference in their community by directly impacting a high school student’s chance at a college education.
What is the time commitment for a typical volunteer?
The time commitment varies depending on the role. Our typical volunteer in these positions volunteers:
- Mentor: 2 hours per week, 24 weeks per year
- Tutor: 1-3 hour per week, 5 weeks per year
- Writing Council: varies
- Executive Team: 5 - 20 hours per week, year-round
What types of volunteer activities take place outside of regular session?
Minds Matter of Cleveland organizes volunteer-only activities, such as happy hours, day trips, and attending events in the city together throughout the year.
Does Minds Matter offer short-term volunteer opportunities?
While the majority of Minds Matter volunteer opportunities are long-term commitments of at least one school year (about nine months), some short-term volunteer opportunities do exist. Reach out to [email protected] if this might be a better fit for you!
What kind of commitment is expected of volunteers with regards to fundraising?
Mentors are asked to play in a role in fundraising for the organization throughout their time in Minds Matter. Volunteers can also help by seeking out matching gifts and volunteer grants from their companies. (There are no penalties for not participating.)