WHO ARE OUR VOLUNTEERS?
Our volunteers are energetic, committed, and successful individuals, who dedicate their time to helping Minds Matter’s students achieve their academic pursuits. More than 1,300 volunteers nationwide dedicate their time to help Minds Matter achieve its mission each year, making the volunteer : paid staff ratio approximately 650: 1. Using conservative figures, the value of volunteered time is over $4,000,000 per year!
Minds Matter volunteers come from diverse career backgrounds including advertising, banking, consulting, education, law, marketing, non-profit and others. Volunteering with Minds Matter is not only rewarding, but allows professionals to meet new friends and business contacts in our growing network across the country.
Each year, we place bright and motivated students together with college graduates, who are committed to developing strong relationships with students and guiding them toward their academic pursuits. The Minds Matter volunteer experience offers dedicated individuals both the opportunity to meet a group of like-minded adults as well as the opportunity to hold leadership posts and carry the organization to new levels each year.
Current volunteer positions available are:
- Each student is paired with two mentors with whom they meet weekly throughout the school year to work on essays, summer prep program selection, and college/university selection. In larger chapters, each Mentor/Mentee triad is placed with other triads to form a Team, which has a designated Team Leader.
- Mentors are role models and mentor not only their Student but also all of the Students on their team; they assist the Team Leader in building team cohesion, implementing the curriculum, and keeping the team on track.
- Test Prep Instructors are trained to guide students through a structured weekly curriculum that helps elevate students’ PSAT, SAT and ACT scores.
- Test Prep SAT sessions take place weekly from November through May while Test Prep Math Matters sessions take place weekly from February through May.
- Typical Writing & Critical Thinking Consultants have a professional or academic (graduate or above) focus in writing.
- Each volunteer is grouped with students in a structured program to help take the students’ writing skills from the basic to the intermediate and advanced levels.
- In addition to meeting with sophomores on a weekly basis, these volunteers also review weekly essay assignments and participate in the review of summer program and college applications for students in the Junior and Senior Programs.
Test Prep Instructors
Leads a class of approximately 6 students in Math and/or Verbal SAT/ACT Instruction. The courses are structured with Kaplan strategies from Kaplan texts. An instructor is responsible for ensuring that mentees have a satisfactory experience in the Minds Matter Test Prep Program as it is designed.
Writing & Critical Thinking Consultants
The Writing & Critical Thinking consultants shape and implement a curriculum designed to improve students’ writing and critical thinking skills and produce highly competitive essays for summer program and eventually college applications.
- Writing Advisors: Read and edit drafts of students’ essays/assignments each week, and meet with those students in person on a weekly basis regarding writing assignments. They work and communicate regularly with specific students’ mentors to ensure that areas of weakness are understood, and to help better enforce deadlines for students’ essay drafts.
- W&CT Instructors: Lead small-group lessons at morning sessions, covering topics including grammar, critical reading and writing fundamentals. Both advisors and instructors are tasked with engaging and developing students’ critical thinking skills via editing sessions, writing workshops, and discussions about in-session readings.
Join the Executive Team!
The Minds Matter Twin Cities Executive team works together to build a strong organization infrastructure which includes: Developing relationships with Twin Cities high school counselors and students, recruiting positive and skilled volunteers, fundraising, and curriculum development. The following our available opportunities to participate at the Executive level:
Co-Director of Sophomore Program: Designs, organizes, and facilitates the Sophomore Program mentoring sessions on Saturdays. Collaborates with the Directors of W&CT and Math Matters to design mornings at session.
Co-Director of Junior Program: Designs, organizes, and facilitates the Junior Program mentoring sessions on Saturdays. Collaborates with the Co-Directors of Test Prep and W&CT to design mornings at session.
Director of Math Matters: Designs, organizes and implements the Math Matters program for the Sophomore program.
Co-Director of Fundraising: Help with Minds Matter fundraising strategy and activities, including individual fundraising, corporate fundraising, and events.
Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions
Who are Minds Matter’s volunteers?
All of Minds Matter’s 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 for a typical volunteer is approximately 3 hours at regular weekly sessions, as well as an additional 2-4 hours during the week, depending on the volunteer’s role and engagement with the student(s).
Does Minds Matter offer leadership volunteer opportunities?
Because Minds Matter is largely a volunteer driven organization, there are several leadership opportunities available. After volunteering with the organization for at least a year, volunteers have the option of applying to leadership positions as a Team Leader or as a Director on the Chapter’s Executive Committee or the organization’s National Executive Committee, both of which handle most of the organization’s behind-the-scenes programming on a local and national level respectively. Both Minds Matter’s local and national Board of Directors include more tenured volunteers who have a demonstrated interest in the organization’s long-term growth.
What is the paid staff to volunteer ratio?
Minds Matter is truly a volunteer driven organization. There are only two paid staff members nationally and the volunteer: paid staff ratio is approximately 475: 1. Using conservative figures, the value of volunteered time is over $4,000,000!
What types of volunteer activities take place outside of regular session?
Minds Matter volunteers enjoy spending time outside of session getting to know one another in a social setting. Each Chapter organizes volunteer-only activities, such as happy hours, day trips, and pot luck dinners, 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. Short-term volunteer opportunities include college and career fair participants, college admissions panelists, and “interviewers” to help with mock interview workshops.
What kind of commitment is expected of volunteers with regards to fundraising?
Because Minds Matter is a largely volunteer driven organization, volunteer participation in fundraising is crucial. Volunteer fundraising can take place in the form of requesting donations from friends, family, and co-workers; many of our volunteers also get together to host small, creative fundraising events and get-togethers. Volunteers can also help by seeking out matching gifts and volunteer grants from their companies.