“Over three years together, I had the opportunity to watch my mentee mature into a confident, passionate, and well-rounded young adult. The joy of seeing this was second only to the knowledge that I had played a small part in her development. This is what has made my time with Minds Matter so rewarding.”Dylan Andres, Mentor
Volunteering at Minds Matter NYC is a rewarding and impactful way to give back to young people in your community. When volunteering at MMNYC, you will belong to a community of service-minded peers and have the chance to build your leadership skills. More than 600 volunteers in New York City help Minds Matter achieve its mission each year. Sign up, and join the community.
APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN FOR THE 2022 -2023 ACADEMIC YEAR.
HOW TO APPLY
Submit your application HERE
Participate in a 30-minute virtual interview
You will receive a decision within two weeks of your interview
Application: Candidates submit their applications.
Interview: Beginning in March 2022, applicants will be invited to interview on a rolling basis.
Decision: Applicants will receive a decision within two weeks of interviewing.
Start Date: Selected candidates will begin starting October 2022.
Coffee Chats are informal 30-minute conversations with current volunteers. During these conversations, you can ask questions and learn more about their experience. Sign-up to speak directly with a current volunteer!
Mentors guide, challenge, and celebrate their students 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 journey to college and beyond.
HOW IT WORKS
Minds Matter utilizes a 2:1 mentor-mentee model. A mentor works with their student alongside another adult mentor to form a triad. Every week, triads 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 students throughout their three years in the program. Together, triads form the backbone of a student’s experience in Minds Matter.
The mentor role is rooted in deep relationship building. 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 happen during Saturday sessions. Showing up and being present at the sessions is the baseline for your effectiveness as a mentor. Mentors are required to attend at least 80% of Saturday sessions during the school year.
- Acting as a role model and caring adult for your mentee requires active listening, empathy, commitment, and integrity. Mentors must follow through on the commitments they make to their mentees. Unfulfilled promises negatively impact relationships, especially those with young people. Mentors act as role models to their own students and all the students on their team.
- While there are no required meetings outside of Saturday sessions, mentors should be responsive to short texts/emails from their students 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 must have a 4-year college degree.
- Mentors must pass a criminal background check and undergo child protection training.
- Mentors work in triads to ensure students complete their assignments on time.
- Each co-mentor pair is asked to provide lunch for students on their team twice a year. The cost for each mentor is approximately $50 per semester.
Mentors commit to volunteering with Minds Matter for 2-3 hours per week on Saturdays from approximately 11:00 am – 12:30 pm. Mentors should be prepared to commit to three years as volunteers as they follow their students through the program.
Writing & Critical Thinking Advisers
Typical Writing & Critical Thinking Advisers have a professional or academic focus in writing.
- Sophomore Program: Each volunteer is grouped with three sophomore students in a structured program to help take the students’ writing skills from the basic to the intermediate and advanced levels.
- Junior & Senior Programs: These volunteers administer weekly essay assignments and participate in the review of summer program and college applications for students in the Junior and Senior Programs.
- Time Commitment: 2-3 hours per week, including Saturday sessions from approximately 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm.
Frequently Asked Questions FAQs
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What if I am interested in multiple roles?
Please select the position you are most interested in on your application. You will also be able to select secondary and tertiary preferences on the application.
What training do you provide for volunteers?
Volunteers should expect to receive approximately 5 hours of training. New volunteers participate in orientation and role-specific training.
What support will I receive as a volunteer?
As a Minds Matter NYC mentor, you are led by a Team Leader. Writing Advisers are led by an experienced Program Director. Team Leaders and Program Directors are long-term volunteers who have been in your role for multiple years and are trained by Minds Matter NYC staff to support you. Team Leaders and Program Directors are on-site, guiding each session, and available to answer any questions you may have. Minds Matter NYC staff members are also always accessible to volunteers to provide additional support.
Can I volunteer remotely?
No, Minds Matter NYC recently transitioned back to in-person sessions and expects to continue to operate as an in-person program as it has in the past. Volunteers are expected to attend sessions in person.
When and where do sessions take place?
Sessions take place on high school campuses in Manhattan. Program locations are organized by program year
- The Heritage School (East Harlem)
- Central Park East High School (East Harlem)
- Pace High School (Chinatown)
- The High School of Arts and Tech (Upper West Side)
- Manhattan Business Academy (Chelsea)
Mentors start in the sophomore program and cycle through all three program locations. Writing Advisers are assigned one location and can stay there year to year or cycle through.
Can I choose my program location?
Program sites are organized by program year. Your location will be determined by your role and corresponding program year.
If you are interested in being a Mentor, please note that you will most likely be placed in our sophomore program. As you progress through the program with your student each year, you will go to a junior program site location the following year and a senior program site location the year after.
What happens each session? Do I need to come up with lesson plans?
Minds Matter NYC structures each session with designated activities and milestones. You will receive a preview of the week’s curriculum before you get to session and your Team Leader will review this material at the top of session. Volunteers are not responsible for lesson/curriculum planning. See below for more specific information based on the role:
How are the students selected?
Minds Matter NYC partners with more than 50 high schools across the city. Within these schools, we target students who are from low-income families (our average family income is $29K), and high-achieving—meaning they take the most rigorous courses available at their school, want to go to college, and exhibit maturity and ambition. Students apply for the program by completing an application, securing a nomination from a teacher or guidance counselor, and completing an interview with a current volunteer. We accept approximately 34% of applicants each year.
What support do volunteers receive?
Throughout the year, there is a scaffolded approach to ongoing support: volunteers are overseen by Team Leaders and Program Directors who work closely with staff; additionally, the staff is available for support, concerns, and questions.
What are other ways volunteers can contribute?
Volunteers can deepen their engagement by assisting with fundraising and recruiting other volunteers.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org