Compass is a free program open to any immigrant, refugee, or international neighbor in our community. We maintain our program for free so that it can be accessible to anyone who is interested in joining us. As our reputation grows, so do our numbers of participants. We currently welcome approximately 100 participants to Compass each year, ranging from babies to senior citizens, all with varying levels of English fluency. Due to our great need of personalized education, we rely heavily on volunteers to create small leveled groups, so please join us!
In an average year, we welcome approximately 50 volunteers. Sometimes helpers pick a night as their time to volunteer, while others come both evenings. Some college students fulfill class requirements with us, and find that they love it so much that they keep coming for the rest of their college careers! University students often bring some knowledge of a foreign language with them to Compass, which can surely be put to great use. However, you do not need to speak any language other than English to be a successful Compass helper. Most of our children are conversational in English, but simply need support for the demands of academic English to be successful in school.
Having local adult volunteers volunteering with us adds a great stability for our students. Being new to our country, the friendship and consistency you provide them will have a lasting effect. Many people wonder if they have what it takes to be a volunteer and shy away from helping. Please don’t! While it’s true that we have many trained teachers volunteering, we also welcome many helpers that simply care about their newcomer neighbors and want to help. The most important qualification to being a Compass volunteer is flexibility and a teachable heart. Our Compass director is constantly circulating the rooms, providing pointers and support for you. There is a place for everyone, so join in the fun!
The main requirements for Compass volunteers are that you pass the background check, you are a high school graduate, you care about the needs of newcomers in our community, and you are willing to learn alongside your students. Take some time to get to know the various areas of Compass, to see where your passion lies. We do our best to match you with a group that you are excited about and set you up for success. Most of our volunteers come back year after year!