C2C Volunteer Orientation
Created on November 5, 2019
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Introduction to Organization and Programs
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5 · Our Students6 · General Policies 7 · Our team8 · Contact Us!
1 · Welcome!2 · Mission & Vision3 · Our Story & Core Values4 · Program Overview
With gratitude, Diana AdamsonExecutive Director
At ScholarMatch, we believe that access to higher education changes lives. It transforms students, families, and communities, increasing opportunity and strengthening hope for a better future. But, in our country, only 11% of low-income and first-generation college students graduate in 6 years. We know that's not enough. At ScholarMatch, 82% of our students graduate within 5 years. Our volunteers are a vital part of this journey – connecting students with resources and opportunities to increase their social capital and further their reach. Thank you for being part of this movement to transform the lives of our students!
Mission & Vision
Our mission is to make collegepossible for underserved youthby matching students withdonors, resources, colleges andprofessional networks.
We envision a world where allstudents have access to highereducation and the opportunity tosucceed in a fulfilling career.
Our Story and Core Values
In 2016, we expanded our college services to serve students in Los Angeles and launched our first virtual advising program.Today, ScholarMatch is a nimble 25-person organization that engages 500 volunteers per year to serve over 1500 students nationwide at every point of the college journey.
Founded in 2010 by author Dave Eggers, ScholarMatch began as a San Francisco-based crowdfunding platform for scholarships and quickly evolved into a college access and persistence organization delivering hands-on support for the students who need it most.In 2015, we launched the ScholarMatcher, a groundbreaking college-list building tool optimized for the needs of low-income students, and began to offer college advising services virtually to high school students outside of the Bay Area.
Mycelium is small, but immensely powerful: responsible for connecting each tree in the forest to share nutrients and medicine, carry warnings and information, detoxify soil, and more. Like Mycelium, we work to ensure that all members of our ecosystem can thrive—embodying hope, adaptation, connection, and inquiry into what is best for the whole.
We live with generosity of spirit. This expresses itself in a multitude of ways: we know that others may carry great unseen burdens and treat them with compassion, we feel and express deep gratitude for what we have, we give the benefit of the doubt, we empathize, pitch in, celebrate, and care.
Generosity of Spirit
We act with integrity, embodying honesty, ethical conduct, and moral courage— even when no one is around to see us do it. We stand up for what is right, speak truthfully, and strive to create a culture of trustworthiness and safety for everyone we meet.
Our purposeful pursuit of excellence drives us towards learning, listening, innovation, and working towards our highest potential individually and collectively.
We are committed to maintaining a vibrant, productive culture that fosters growth, support and excellence. Our core values guide culture and we strive to live into them each day.
ScholarMatch believes that culture is paramount.
Our Core Values
ScholarMatch provides a 7-year continuum of services for students who are the first in their family to attend college.Our services include:
- Online tools
- College access services
- Targeted scholarships, and
- 1:1 student support
- Hands-on help applying to college
- Financial assistance to remove barriers to graduation
- A support system through college
- A unique, community-centered approach
ScholarMatch is headquartered in San Francisco with College Centers in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. Our College Centers serve high school students in-person and our team of virtual College Coaches support students from across the country.Our network of volunteers spans the globe, mentoring our students on the college application process and career-skillbuilding.
Virtual College AdvisingIn partnership with CollegePoint, ScholarMatch provides individualized college admission counseling virtually to low-income, high-achieving students nationwide. Students in this program will be matched with a trained volunteer College Coach for their senior year in high school and receive 1:1 support on everything from building their college list, to polishing their essays, to completing financial aid paperwork, to planning their travel to school.
In-person College AdvisingOur Destination College program in San Francisco and our Kayne Destination College program in Los Angeles works hands-on with high school students who are the first in their family to attend college. Students are matched 1:1 with a College Coach and work together for a year throughout the college application process. Students can visit our College Centers, which are open to the public and offer a variety of free services, including: college access workshops, individual financial aid counseling, test preparation, college visits, & more.
ScholarMatcher& Online Tools
Our suite of online tools, including ScholarMatcher, our list-building tool built in-house, support students in every step of the college application process. From building a balanced list to tracking progress in the application process, our tools are free and open for all to use wherever they may be.
All students deserve a support system in college. We stand behind our students with transition support during freshman year all the way to career mentorship opportunities for upperclassmen. Students have a staff member college advisor offering support on all things college, as well as targeted financial support designed to remove all barriers to graduation.
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Where Our Students Matriculate
Volunteer Hours in 2018
Our volunteers are some of the most essential people in our students’ journey to college and we truly couldn’t do this without them. This year, 258 individual volunteers and 13 corporate and community groups gave more than 5,000 hours of their time to make college possible for our students. From all of us at ScholarMatch—thank you so much.
- Work job(s) to support themselves and/or their families.
- Have a desire to give back to their communities
- Balance the tremendous hope and guilt of "leaving" their past life or family behind.
- Lack social capital (access to professional networks, community of support and resources, understanding of terminology in academic and professional settings, etc.)
- Pursue higher education to help their families
- Typically identify as a member of a racial or ethnic minority.
- Struggle academically-- often attaining lower grades.
- Lack financial resources to pay tuition, intern and volunteer for free, and at times, cover basic needs.
- View their status as a first-generation college student as a deficit.
According to multiple studies, first-generation college students:
A first-generation college student is defined as someone whose parents or legal guardians have not completed a bachelor's degree in the U.S. Due to the challenges and barriers they face starting from the application process, all the way through graduation, first-generation college students need support from the community to succeed.
First-generation College Students
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 50% of students attend community college, and 7% attend private schools. Recruiters who recruit talent from elite colleges, do not get to interact with first-generation college students.
Access to Elite schools
NCES found that 27% of first-generation college students come from families who earn a household income of $20,000 or less. Some students have to work to support their education and their families. For these students, it's challenging to participate in unpaid internships that build their resumes and prepare for full-time employment.
Social capital is the value of a relationship that provides support and assistance in a given social situation (Stanton-Salazar, 2001). First-generation college students do not have a network of people they can turn to for information and opportunities that give them an advantage in building their career.
First-generation college students have to overcome many unconscious biases during the hiring process. The Institute of Higher Education Policy (IHEP) found that they are more likely to struggle with self-esteem issues. Nearly half of the first-generation student population identify as a person-of-color, and 20% of the students face a language barrier during the recruiting process as non-native English speakers.
Career Development Challenges First-Generation College Students Face
Students of Color
Median Family Income
is driven by student needs, robust data collection, and cutting edge research. As a result, our students succeed at extraordinary rates. With a unique, community-centered approach, our programs change the trajectory of our students lives by matching them with volunteers, resources, and a community that cares.
I have goals of not just working toprovide for my children in the future,but my grandchildren as well.I want generations after me to haveopportunities for education. Thankyou so much for all that you do tomake college possible for me. I carryyour generosity with me, always.
Volunteer Rights and ResponsibilitiesVolunteers are viewed as a valuable resource to ScholarMatch, its staff, and its students. Volunteers shall be extended the right to be given meaningful assignments, the right to be treated as equal co-workers, the right to full involvement and participation, and the right to recognition for work done. In return, volunteers shall agree to actively perform their duties to the best of their abilities and to remain loyal to the mission and procedures of ScholarMatch.
Service at the Discretion of the AgencyScholarMatch accepts the service of all volunteers with the understanding that such service is at the sole discretion of the organization. Volunteers agree that ScholarMatch may at any time, for whatever reason, decide to terminate the volunteer’s relationship with the organization. The volunteer may at any time, for whatever reason, decide to sever the volunteer’s relationship with ScholarMatch. Notice of such a decision should be communicated as soon as possible to the Volunteer Coordinator.
Definition of ‘Volunteer’A ‘volunteer’ is anyone who without compensation or expectation of compensation beyond reimbursement performs a task at the direction of and on behalf of the agency. A ‘volunteer’ must be officially accepted and enrolled by ScholarMatch prior to performance of the task. Unless specifically stated, volunteers shallnot be considered as ‘employees’ of the ScholarMatch.
Acceptance and AppointmentService as a volunteer with ScholarMatch shall begin with an official notice of acceptance or appointment to a volunteer position. Notice may only be given by an authorized representative of the agency, who will normally be the Volunteer Coordinator. No volunteer shall begin performance of any position until they have been officially accepted for that position and have completed all necessary screening and paperwork.At the time of final acceptance, each volunteer shall complete all necessary enrollment paperwork and shall receive a copy of their job description and agreement of service with the agency.TrainingVolunteers will receive specific training to provide them with the information and skills necessary to perform their volunteer assignment.
Length of Service All volunteer positions shall have a set term of duration, with an option for renewal at the discretion of both parties. All volunteer assignments shall end at the conclusion of their set term, without expectation or requirement of re-assignment of that position to the incumbent. Volunteers are neither expected nor required to accept further service in a position at the end of their set term, although they are welcome to do so in most cases, but may instead seek a different volunteer assignment within the agency, or may retire from volunteer service.
As appropriate for the protection of our students, all volunteers will be asked to submit to a background criminal check. Volunteers who do not agree to the background check may be refused assignment.
ConfidentialityVolunteers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all proprietary or privileged information to which they are exposed while serving as a volunteer, whether this information involves a single staff, volunteer, students, or other person or involves overall ScholarMatch business.Failure to maintain confidentiality may result in termination of the volunteer’s relationship with the agency or other corrective action.Volunteer personnel records shall be accorded the same confidentiality as staff personnel records.
General Policies (Continued)
Meet Our Advisors!
email@example.comTel: 415 652-2766849 Valencia StreetSan Francisco, CA 94110