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East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy
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Looking for a Great Place to Volunteer?
There are many ways to make a difference in a student's life. To work with an adult who cares about their life and their future — and who expects them to succeed — can be the "shot in the arm" to help a student overcome obstacles on the way to college success.

How to Get Involved
Even if you have a few hours to spare, EPAPA greatly appreciates your help. Here's how to join our educational community:

  1. Find an opportunity that interests you — read (below) or download the list of volunteer opportunities or contact our volunteer coordinator to set up an appointment to find the right choice for you.

  2. Tell us a bit about yourself and your interests by completing the Volunteer Interest Form online (or download a pdf version).

  3. Let us know if you have any questions — email volunteer@epapa.org or mail your interest form to us.

Volunteer Opportunities

We have a variety of volunteer opportunities here at EPAPA, as at our K-8, East Palo Alto Charter School. We have needs at all grade levels and in all content areas. Consistency is key to success — we need individuals who can regularly be a positive presence in our students' lives. Don't worry if you don't see something that strikes you right awway. Below is a only a partial list of opportunities; if there is something you'd like to contribute beyond what's here, just contact us: volunteer@epapa.org!

  • Tutoring/Mentoring (K-12): Work with a student one-on-one to support academic and personal progress.  Some students just need a confidant or positive role model; others just a need a little “boost” academically.  Arrangements are flexible and can include support across the subject areas or a specific content focus (e.g. help with physics after school or literacy support in the morning).  Our ideal time commitment is at least once a week.
  • EPAPA College Mentors (12th grade): Work one-on-one with a student to help guide and support them through the college selection, application, and financing process.  As a volunteer College Mentor, you will not be responsible for directing the process – the EPAPA staff will provide training and ongoing support throughout.  The College Mentors program requires a significant year-long commitment, with approximately 12 evening sessions that start in the fall (September) and carry through to winter (February) – the sessions are concentrated during key segments of the college application process (CSU & UC applications, FAFSA completion, etc).  Mentors are welcomed and encouraged to spend time with their mentees outside of the structured evening sessions.  
  • EPACS Harvard Club (5th and 8th grade): A select group of our 5th and 8th grade students will be applying to area private schools.  These highly motivated scholars require a little bit of guidance in navigating the application process – arranging visits to shadow at the schools, writing application essays, requesting financial aid, etc.  Less time-intensive than the College Mentors program, Harvard Club volunteers meet with their students for 4-5 evening meetings between September and December.
  • Project-Based Learning Support/Evaluation – Science Fair & Exhibitions (6-12): Our students engage in a variety of interdisciplinary research and science projects throughout the year; it is invaluable for them to present their learning to real-world professionals (outside the “school sphere”). You see an example of some of the work involved with Exhibitions here.  Traditionally these projects have been concentrated in the spring.  However, we are working to spread these learning opportunities throughout the school year, and we need support with project development (e.g. interviews), revision, and evaluation (judging presentations).
  • Collective Roots Garden Volunteer Work Days: Help maintain (and grow) our beautiful on-campus organic garden.  Collective Roots (www.collectiveroots.org), a non-profit that promotes health, education and the environment through garden-based learning, is housed on our campus.  They hold monthly garden work days on Saturdays – a great opportunity for the family – and welcome regular volunteers during the week.
  • Career Conversations (starting 6th-12th): Our aim is to expand our students’ horizons so that they are aware of the wide array of career paths that await them (and the requisite education involved in different pursuits).  “Career conversations” is a broad term – it could involve a presentation about what you do to an advisory class or an informal “Q & A” over lunch with a small group of students.  Perhaps a visit to your work place to see life and career skills in action could be arranged.
  • By Arrangement / Interest: Just because it’s not listed above doesn’t mean a need doesn’t exist.  If you’re willing to make the commitment, we can make it work! Just contact us - volunteer@epapa.org.

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