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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.

Please note that due to COVID-19 safety protocols, all tutoring and mentoring opportunities will take place via Zoom in early Fall. We hope to move to in-person later in the year. 

Student participation options

School-year tutor-mentor

Students make a multi-quarter 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.

Application process

New tutor-mentors are recruited only in fall and winter quarters. For spring quarter, only returning HSSI tutor-mentors can serve at school placements. 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. 

Partner/School Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
49ers Academy/Menlo-Atherton (MA) 3:30-4:30pm 3:30-4:30pm 3:30-4:30pm 3:30-4:30pm
East Palo Alto Academy (EPAA) TBD TBD TBD 1:30-2:05pm
LifeMoves Online Tutoring* 4-5:30pm   5-6:30pm  

*This placement will likely remain online throughout the year.

Priority placement applications are due October 5, 2021, after that date, 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

The deadline for summer has passed. We will begin recruiting again in spring quarter 2022.


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 in the spring quarter.

Summer Program Fellow

This is a full-time, five-week 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. Hiring occurs in the winter quarter. 

Application process

Outreach and recruitment starts winter quarter, and decisions will be made before the end of winter quarter. 

For more information, please contact Priscila Garcia.