If teaching has always been your aspiration, but you never found yourself in the classroom, there’s a perfect volunteer opportunity for you in Denver. The Bridge Project, a nonprofit that aids local youth—from kindergarten all the way through college—is seeking passionate volunteers to tutor students during the school year.
The Bridge Project initiative was started by the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver in 1991. The nonprofit has helped prepare thousands of students over the past 26 years (about 600 students annually in the metro area) for the challenge of schoolwork, choosing a profession, finding a job, and/or applying for and entering college. The organization relies heavily on volunteer tutors, who work with an assigned student throughout the school year. The tutor and tutee spend time together reading, working on homework, and finding fun ways to hone skills, like practicing math through number games or creativity through artistic projects.
The Bridge Project serves kids, teenagers, and young adults who live in Denver’s public housing communities (it has four locations: Columbine, Lincoln Park/La Alma, Quigg-Newton, and Westwood). The onboarding process for volunteers is simple: Those interested can attend an introductory session at one of the project’s four locations, which provides background on the nonprofit’s mission, as well as information you’ll need to know for volunteering for its After-School Program. You’ll also learn about other programs that the Bridge Project offers, like their scholarship and graduation preparation programs, which help high school students chart out a post-secondary education path.
You don’t have to have a teaching certificate, kids of your own, or any background working with children to help push the Bridge Project’s mission forward. You just have to have the time, the desire, and the heart to inspire young minds.
Editor’s Note: The author volunteered for the Bridge Project last year, but is no longer involved with the group. For more information on how to volunteer yourself, visit denverbridgeproject.org/volunteer/.