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High School Support Initiative

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High School Support Initiative

The High School Support Initiative (HSSI) connects Stanford students with high school students from historically marginalized local communities as tutors, mentors and academic supports.

Research shows that the presence of caring adults in young people’s lives leads to positive outcomes such as resilience, self-esteem, and self-efficacy. The program aims to empower local youth to excel academically, to take advantage of programs offered in their schools and to become advocates for themselves and their families. At the same time, it offers Stanford students the chance to engage in a meaningful educational service experience.

Through this program, Stanford students will

  • receive comprehensive training to work with youth;
  • be partnered with youth in one-to-one or small group settings in the community;
  • build tutoring and mentoring skills and learn about local education issues; and
  • bring their strengths, interests, and skills to build strong, fruitful relationships.

Eligible students may be paid for their time through Community Service Work Study.

HSSI program goals

  • To provide learning and reflection opportunities for Stanford students to better understand education equity in local communities.
  • To connect Stanford resources to local school partners that respond to needs expressed by them, such as educational support or college access.
  • To connect Stanford students to high school students from historically marginalized communities to build relationships toward positive reciprocal outcomes.

Training and Preparation

  • Quarterly training, 1.5 hours
  • Quarterly group reflection, 1 hour
  • Weekly learning/reflection session, 1 hour


  • Weekly tutoring, 1 hour or more if desired (the chart below includes travel time)

Student participation options

School-year tutor-mentor

This year there are two ways of participating either through weekly opportunities or through monthly mentorship. Please read the descriptions below and within the application.

While you are only required to tutor once a week, it would be especially helpful if you could sign-up to tutor twice a week to address growing needs. Students make a multi-quarter, ideally a year-long, commitment to serve as tutors, academic mentors, or SAT preparation teachers. Each quarter, a schedule with options is developed in partnership with the school contacts. Students receive orientation and training before starting service. During service, students fill out online reflections, attend a mid-quarter check in, and participate in learning sessions and an end-of-quarter wrap up meeting.

HSSI Academic Year Tutor-Mentor Placement and Role Description

Partner/School Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
49ers Academy, Menlo-Atherton High School 2:30-5:15pm* 2:30-5:15pm* 2:15-5:15pm* 1:45-4:15pm*
Computer Academy, Menlo-Atherton High School     11:10am-1:10pm 11:10am-1:10pm
East Palo Alto Academy (EPAA) 3:15-5:30pm 3:15-5:30pm 2-4pm 12:30-2:30pm, 3:15-5:30pm

*The community partner is willing to consider an adjusted schedule if needed. 

Computer Academy Mentorship Program at Menlo Atherton

The Computer Academy at MA provides academic support, college advising, and mentorship to students from historically marginalized backgrounds at Menlo Atherton. As a mentor in this program, you'll provide valuable insight into life at college and help students work toward their academic and personal goals. Stanford students serve as mentors to a sophomore or a junior throughout the school year. Mentors will receive training and curriculum specific to serving as a year-long mentor. You must be available the following dates and times: 

  • March 31st, 9:00 - 11:00am
  • April 28th, 8:30am - 12:30pm

Application process

In the application you will be asked to chose all the times you're available, and we will do our best to match your availability with community partner needs. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and new tutors assigned based on community partner needs.

To protect the bond that develops between students and their tutor-mentors, we strongly encourage a year-long commitment to HSSI, especially if you're a matched tutor-mentor. Apply here to participate in HSSI as a tutor-mentor.


Summer volunteer

Students serve with the Summer Saturdays at Stanford program for youth from the schools that partner with the High School Support Initiative. Stanford students serve as group mentors and support workshops and field trips that happen in the day-long sessions. Recruitment for volunteers begins in spring quarter.

Application process

This role is in preparation for Summer 2023. We will begin recruiting again in spring quarter 2023.

Education Partnerships Fellow (school-year)

This is a year-long paid fellowship for students to support the HSSI program as leaders and staff.

Application process

Applicants must have participated at least one quarter with the High School Support Initiative. Hiring occurs during spring and summer.

Summer Program Fellow

This is a full-time summer fellowship to support Summer Saturdays at Stanford, a summer program for youth from the school partners that HSSI works with during the school year and EPASA summer. For Summer 2023, hiring will take place April/May 2023. 

Application process

Applications and more information can be found here.

Outreach and recruitment starts Winter/Spring quarters, and decisions will be made by May 2, 2023. 

The Fellowship stipend is $3500 plus Room and Board.

For more information, please contact Priscila Garcia.