Volunteer with Impact
Impact seeks talented undergraduate and graduate student volunteers to serve with our initiatives. You can choose the initiative that most aligns with your passion and skills and gain valuable experience while making a difference in the lives of those living in poverty. We can also help connect you to course credit or extra credit opportunities at many universities.
Once you express interest in volunteering, our Volunteer Coordinator will contact you to provide additional details and obtain your availabilities and eligibility documentation (if required). Questions? Email our Volunteer Coordinator.
FocusFirst (AL, SC, PA, TN, FL)
As a FocusFirst volunteer, you’ll provide free vision screenings for preschool-age children. You may attend a short training session with one of our Corps Members if you are volunteering as part of a course requirement; otherwise, all training will be provided at your first vision screening. You will utilize handheld, high-tech equipment to screen small groups of children at local Head Starts, Pre-K Programs, and daycare centers. In most cases, you will assist a trained Impact Corps Member rather than conducting the screening on your own.
FocusFirst volunteers are needed August through November and January through May. You will need at least one free weekday morning (until 12:00pm or later).
SaveFirst (AL, TN)
As a SaveFirst volunteer, you’ll prepare tax returns for low-income, working families using a tax software program at community-based tax sites located directly in communities of need. You will attend two four-hour training sessions and pass an IRS test in order to be certified as a Volunteer Tax Preparer. No previous tax or accounting experience is necessary.
Training sessions are held on your local campus in early January. At most sites, volunteering runs from the third week of January through the end of February. Daytime, evening, and Saturday volunteer hours are available.
As a SpeakFirst volunteer, you’ll work directly with high school and middle school students to enhance their academic performance and prepare them for debate tournaments. We have opportunities for you to provide subject-specific tutoring, as well as debate preparation. Background checks are required, and a short orientation conducted by our SpeakFirst coaches may also be required.
Volunteers with High School Team: The SpeakFirst high school team practices Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 4:00pm to 7:00pm in downtown Birmingham. Tutors for our high school students will be requested to demonstrate proficiency in their subject area and must be available during one practice per week during the academic semester. Volunteers interested in helping with debate preparation need to be available during at least two practices per week during a particular debate topic cycle (usually lasting approximately one month) as well as the Saturday tournament at which the students will debate that topic. Topics change throughout each academic semester, so there are many opportunities to participate.
Volunteers with Middle School Team: SpeakFirst middle school teams are offered at six Birmingham middle schools, with practices being held two afternoons per week (usually 3:30pm to 5:00pm). Topic cycles run for 4-5 weeks, with a citywide tournament held three times during the fall and once in May. Volunteers must have one weekday (Monday through Thursday) available during a particular topic cycle and would be expected to attend the tournament for that topic (held on Monday or Tuesday evening in the fall or all day on a Saturday in May).
As a CollegeFirst volunteer, you’ll mentor motivated high school students during a June Summer Institute designed to better prepare them for the rigors of Advanced Placement courses. Advanced Placement teachers will provide lectures for the students during the Institute, and mentors will provide small group instruction during laboratory activities, math games and exercises, as well as discussion groups and other activities (depending on subject area). Mentors must demonstrate proficiency in their selected subject area, as evidenced by earning a “B” in a college-level course, or by submitting a professor recommendation if that qualification is not met.
As a mentor, you must be available for morning sessions during the entire month of June: for training during the first week (Monday through Thursday, 8:00am to 12:00pm each day), and for the AP Summer Institute during the second, third, and fourth weeks (Monday through Thursday, 7:45am to 12:15pm). Occasional absences are permitted with advance notice.