IHDF’s volunteer department gets a lot of questions about our program as well as our volunteer opportunities. Here are some frequent ones!
Our Dreamer Scholars are not connected to the DACA policy. We simply call the students who are in our program Dreamer Scholars. We do not track the documentation status of our students or families, although it is possible that some of our Dreamer Scholars may also be DACA Dreamers.
When should I apply to become a program volunteer/tutor or mentor? A: We have intake periods for program volunteers and tutors for each semester. Apply within that period or you can always apply early; just don't try to apply after the deadline for your intended semester. Mentor applications are accepted from September to May. Apply now!
A Mentor is a responsible, safe, compassionate adult who makes a one-year commitment and is paired with one Dreamer Scholar. Must be 18 years or older. The schedule is flexible and activities are planned by the mentor and mentee. Check out more info here
A program Volunteer/Tutor supports after school programming at one of our 13 program sites. Must be 14 years or older. We ask volunteers to commit to at least one afternoon per week for the semester. The volunteer's role is to support site staff and the cohort of Dreamer Scholars in all academic and enrichment activities. Find more info here
A Special Events Volunteer helps at one or more of our many events that happen throughout the year. Submit an application and we will let you know about upcoming event volunteer needs!
For all of the above positions, please fill out an application.
Mentors commit to one year, meeting face-to-face with their mentee at least twice per month. These meetings happen on the mentor and mentee's schedules, outside designated program time, so can be on evenings and weekends. Program Volunteers/Tutors commit to at least one afternoon per week for the semester. Most of our programs run Monday through Thursday 3 p.m.-5:30 p.m., with some daytime opportunities with our high school students. Event Volunteers support our events, which happen at various times during the day and week, throughout the year.
Program Volunteers/Tutors help at the program's after school location. This is usually at the school the kids attend or the community center in the housing development. The location is consistent throughout the year. Mentoring does not have a consistent location as the activities are planned and coordinated by the mentor/mentee pair. Therefore, the location is wherever you both want to go!
The after-school program activities vary by age. Elementary-aged sites do a lot of different activities (snack, recess, reading, math games, topics on being a good friend/listener/sibling, sports, crafts, etc.). The high school sites focus primarily on academics; homework help, subject specific tutoring, college prep, etc.). The middle school sites are a mix of the two, spending time on homework and academics but also integrating some fun enrichment activities as well.
Yes! Experience is not required to become a Program / Tutor Volunteer or Mentor. Although STEM/STEAM and/or literacy experience is preferred, if we feel you are a good match with the organization, we would love to place you!
We are very intentional about matching Mentors and Mentees. The process begins with filling out a volunteer application. Then there is an in-depth interview with the Mentor Coordinator or Director of Volunteers. We run a criminal background and driving record. Next, the mentor candidate attends a training to learn about IHDF and specifics about being a Mentor. When ready, the mentor candidate is connected with site staff to set up the match process. The mentor candidate attends the after school program and is gently paired with potential mentees. The group or pair often does some activities together to gauge interest and cohesiveness of the pairing. At the end of program, the mentor candidate debriefs with the site staff about a potential match. Once the Mentor and site staff find a good Mentee match, they set up a time to meet with the student, the student's parent/guardian, and the site staff to complete the Mentor/ Dreamer Parent/Guardian Agreement. The date this is signed is the first official day of the one-year commitment.