Minds Matter is a Community
of Like-Minded Volunteers

Volunteer applications are now open.

We are now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 academic year, which begins in September 2018. See open roles below.

Fill out the online application today!  Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

Any questions? Email us at volunteers@mindsmatterchicago.org or fill out a form below.

Volunteer Roles

All volunteers at Minds Matter Chicago start off in one of four roles: as mentors, as test prep instructors, as part of the associate board, or as committee members. Volunteers are encouraged to apply to multiple roles as they see fit.

Mentors          Test Prep Instructors          Associate Board          Committee Members

Mentors

Each student is matched with two mentors, who work closely to help their student become well-rounded and navigate the college experience from application to graduation. Mentors work with their students to discover, plan for, and ready themselves for college, which includes building a strong, trusting, empathetic relationship with their mentees. Our mentors serve as positive role models and catalysts for the students, encouraging them to fulfill their full potential.

What we look for:

  • The ability to commit to three years with Minds Matter Chicago, show up prepared for session every Saturday from September through May, and accessible during the week for your mentee and the broader Minds Matter Chicago community.
  • The ability to set stretch goals and standards that mentees can achieve.
  • Conscientious and communicative practices, like responsiveness to others and advance notice of absences.
  • The ability to build rapport and trust with people of all different backgrounds, experiences and ages; especially people from first generation or low-income backgrounds.
  • Prior experience mentoring or coaching at-risk, first generation, or low-income youth.
  • A demonstrated passion for understanding people and what motivates them.

Test Prep Instructors

The instructional component of our programs is designed to equip students with the knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary for achieving academic success at school and in their standardized tests. Our instructors serve as guides and role models for our students, encouraging them to deepen their knowledge base and to enjoy the process of learning. Instructors develop their own approach to preparing their small class of students for college entrance exams, designing their own curriculum in either Math or Reading/Writing.  And our experienced instructors are there to help if this is your first time leading a classroom!

What we look for:

  • The ability to commit to at least one year with MM Chicago (three preferred), show up prepared for session every other Saturday from September through May, and accessible during the week for your mentees and the broader MM Chicago community.
  • Presentation and facilitation skills appropriate to a small group and/or classroom setting.
  • Depth of knowledge and passion for teaching a high school curriculum.
  • Ability to take a complex concept and simplify it, so that anyone can learn it.
  • Unfettered curiosity for how things work—especially when it comes to academics and tests.
  • Passion for setting goals and gaining concrete results.
  • Ability to work in a team and navigate ambiguity.
  • Prior experience designing a curriculum and instructional materials is a plus.

Associate Board

Our associate board is in charge of fundraising for Minds Matter Chicago. There are three “channels” of fundraising we focus on: corporate, events, and individual fundraising.

  • The corporate fundraising team focuses on presenting to and working with corporate donors that match Minds Matter Chicago’s philosophy of helping those in need
  • The events team is in charge of planning the fall and spring fundraisers:
    • Fall: typically a more casual event that lets volunteers get to know better one another
    • Spring: our annual “Spring for the Students” Gala!

What we look for:

  • The ability to commit to at least one year with Minds Matter Chicago (three preferred) and be accessible during the week to coordinate with the associate board and related stakeholders
  • Prior experience fundraising is a plus, but is not required.
  • A demonstrated passion for understanding people and what motivates them.
  • Ability to work in a team and navigate ambiguity.

Committee Members

Committee Members support the goals and various projects of the diverse Minds Matter Board Sub-Committees (Alumni Committee, Board Governance Committee, Data and Analytics Committee, Development Committee, Facilities Committee, Finance Committee, MarCom Committee, Program and Curriculum Committee, Mentee Recruitment and Enrollment Committee, Volunteer Management Committee).

Each committee focuses on a particular need of our organization and manages the strategy and execution of projects relating to their area. For example, the Data and Analytics Committee helps manage our chapter’s databases, and assists with gathering, organizing, and reporting/analyzing all data from Minds Matter Chicago. The data committee also makes decisions on what data to track and how to do so. Each committee is made up of a Board of Directors contact, a Management Team member or members, and other volunteers. Committees meet in person or via conference call anywhere between once a month to a few times a year.

Volunteer Commitment (Test Prep Instructors & Mentors)

The opportunity to make an impact on a student’s life comes with important responsibilities. When working with youth, one of the key components to building trust is just showing up. Commitment is key with our program—your presence, proactive communication, and conscientiousness are what makes Minds Matter Chicago work.

  • We require a minimum commitment of 4 hours per week, including time needed for weekly lesson preparation and regular communication with your mentee(s).
    • Sessions take place from 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM every Saturday during the school year (September through May, with breaks that coincide with standard Chicago Public School holidays).
      • Test Prep Instruction is 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM and requires additional time for team meetings or calls during the week to prep for lessons.
      • Mentoring is 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM and requires additional time during the week for lesson preparation and communicating with your mentee and their instructors.
  • We require a minimum attendance of 80% of Saturday sessions (approx. 20 of 25 weeks from September through May) and advanced notice of any absences.

For mentoring, building strong relationships with a student is vital for their success and growth, so we urge you to apply only if you can commit to volunteer at least three years with us.

Management Team

Our management team is in charge of running the day-to-day operations as they relate to student programming, curriculum planning, data and metrics, volunteer community experience, student recruitment, marketing and communications, and other areas of the program. Typically, we look for experienced mentors, test prep instructors, or Associate Board members to join the management team. If you are interested in getting more involved or would like to learn more about the open roles, please reach out to us at volunteers@mindsmatterchicago.org.

Benefits of Being a Mentor

First and foremost, our mentors tell us this experience has enriched their life, well beyond their expectations.

You will be joining a community of like-minded young professionals, dedicated to making a difference in the world.

Plus, being a mentor is fun!

While there’s lots of time working, there are many get-togethers throughout the year, including happy hours, fundraisers and intramurals.

It's a terrific way to meet new people and build lasting friendships.

Mentoring also provides an opportunity to take part in an exciting, young, and successful enterprise. Minds Matter Chicago is a dynamic, growing organization. Anyone interested in leadership has the opportunity to join the management team and make your contribution to our strategic vision and execution.

This experience not only gives you access to a strong local network of young professionals in a variety of industries, the national alumni network can open doors to contacts in sister cities across the country.

Contact Us

Sign up below to learn about volunteer open houses, coffees, webinars, and other events.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a message.

Volunteer Spotlight