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High School Support Initiative

Summer Saturdays at Stanford 2017
Photo: Sophia Kim

The High School Support Initiative 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.

Student Participation Options

  • School-year volunteer - students make at least 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, participate in learning engagements and an end of quarter wrap up meeting.
  • 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. For summer 2019, read the volunteer description and sign up now if interested. Deadline for summer 2019 apps is Monday, 5/6/19 at 11:59pm.
  • Education Partnerships Fellow (school-year) - this is a year-long paid fellowship for students to support the program as leaders and staff. Applicants must have participated at least one quarter with the High School Support Initiative. Hiring occurs in the spring quarter. If interested, please contact Sophia Kim.
  • Summer Program Fellow- full-time six-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. 

Application Process

For School-Year and Summer Volunteers

  • Applications become available around week 7 of each quarter for the next quarter. 
  • New volunteers are recruited only in fall and winter quarter. For spring quarter, only returning HSSI volunteers can serve at school placements.
  • For more information, contact or Sophia Kim

For Education Partnerships Fellows

  • Outreach and recruitment starts spring quarter.
  • Prior experience with HSSI is required.

For Summer Program Fellow

  • Outreach and recruitment starts winter quarter with decisions being made before end of winter quarter. 
  • The Fellow Description goes into detail about the roles responsibilties, qualifications, and the application process.

Find Out More

  • Stanford Students - expectations for students and what you can expect as an HSSI volunteer
  • School Partners - our school partners and a description of the placements

Opportunities for Spring Quarter (April - June 2019)

Travel time is listed below each school - add on that time to the time that is provided for the placement. For more detailed description of the type of academic support you would provide at each placement, go to the Stanford Students subpage.







East Palo Alto Academy: After school tutoring program

(~30 min travel time)

Homework help and tutoring

3:40 – 5pm



Homework help and tutoring

3:40 – 5pm



Gunn HS: AVID Program

  • AVID training required before start
  • (~10 min travel time)

AVID tutorial

11:35am – 12:55pm





Menlo-Atherton HS: 49ers Academy HS Program

(~25 min travel time)

Homework help and tutoring: 3:30 - 4:30pm

Homework help and tutoring: 3:30 - 4:30pm

Homework help and tutoring: 3:30 - 4:30pm

Homework help and tutoring: 3:30 - 4:30pm


Menlo-Atherton HS: Computer Academy

(~25 min travel time)


SAT preparation class

8:00 - 9:00am


Sequoia High School: multiple options

(~35 min travel time)


Math tutorial

3:50 - 5:10pm

Math tutorial

3:40 - 5:50pm

College club

3:45 - 5:15pm

Math class TA

12:50 - 2:45pm

Find out more about the program through some Stanford media outlets:

Contact Sophia Kim for more information.