Volunteer Positions at Mujeres Unidas Avanzando
Academic Year 2022-2023
Agency Overview/Mission: At Mujeres Unidas Avanzando (MUA), our mission is to help adults break the barriers that stand in the way of their social and economic growth. Through our programs, MUA serves low-income residents from Dorchester and Boston’s surrounding neighborhoods, the clear majority of whom are Latina, although anyone is welcome to take advantage of our programs and services. We offer English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes; High School Equivalency preparation in Spanish (HiSET); computer classes; health workshops and focus groups; HHA, Phlebotomy, and CMA trainings; Citizenship Preparation; counseling; basic needs referrals and assistance; Family Literacy; one-on-one tutoring provided by volunteers; pull-out sessions for struggling students; and on-site child care for mothers with preschool aged children participating in MUA’s program. Our day classes run from 9:30-12:00 and 12:30-3:00, and our evening program runs from 6:00-9:00. Our classes will be a blend of in-person and online for the academic year 2022-2023 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All services are free.
We ask that volunteers commit to at least one day per week for the fall semester (September – December). Volunteers that are able to commit for the entirety of the year are welcomed.
Specific dates and times will be established with the Volunteer Coordinator.
If for any reason you cannot make your volunteer shift, please email or call us as soon as possible.
Successful completion of Volunteer Orientation/Training session
Ability to work independently as well as part of a team environment
Organized, dedicated, and responsible
Desire and ability to work with people from diverse, cultural, linguistic, racial, and economic backgrounds
Self-driven and results-oriented, with a focus on high quality service
Open-minded and respectful
Willing to commit to completing a weekly timesheet
Willing and able to undergo a background check (CORI)
The following skills are preferred but not required.
Bilingual (especially English/Spanish)
Prior experience working with children (for childcare assistant position)
Familiarity with Zoom and Google applications
First Aid/CPR Certified
Accessible via the MBTA and close to UMASS/Boston
An authentic environment to practice language skills
Gain valuable teaching experience
Casual work environment and flexible hours
Participate in special events according to MUA’s calendar, with free food and entertainment!
ESOL Conversation Circles Facilitator
Plan and facilitate a conversation circle for students to practice their English speaking skills; circles should last about one hour. Track attendance; ensure participation of all students; emphasize respect, patience, and encouragement. The Volunteer Coordinator will recruit students from our ESOL classes to join the circles and will try to group students by speaking proficiency level as much as possible. MUA has a number of resources volunteers can use for assistance in planning and executing their conversation circles.
**Volunteers for this position must be able to commit to the same day and time for the entire semester. Preference will be given to those that can commit to the full year. Friday mornings are preferable, but not required.
Tutors will be matched with individual HiSET students as the need arises. Ideally, the same tutor will meet with the same student as availability allows and need requires. The Volunteer Coordinator will be in contact with HiSET teachers to identify those students that could benefit from private tutoring. Needs will vary from student to student; could involve any of the subjects covered on the HiSET exam (we have an especially strong need for math tutors), and could also include: homework help; literacy skills; review of in-class materials missed due to excessive absence; review of materials covered in class before the student joined (if she/he starts later in the school year); etc.
**Volunteers for this position must speak Spanish. Our HiSET courses are taught entirely in Spanish.
Spanish Literacy Tutors
Tutors will lead one lesson per week to a group of 5-7 dedicated women learning to read and write in Spanish (their native language). Their goal is to master reading, writing, and basic mathematics skills, and to then enroll in our Spanish HiSET (GED) program. Three main content areas covered in these tutoring sessions are reading and phonics; writing; K-8th grade-level mathematics. Tutors can focus on one content area or work with all three. MUA has a number of resources volunteers can use for planning and executing their lessons.
**Volunteers for this position must be able to commit to the same day and time for the entire semester. Preference will be given to those that can commit to the full year. Mornings are highly preferred (9:30-12:00).
Citizenship Preparation Class Facilitator
Citizenship Preparation is an incredibly popular elective class at MUA. We offer this class in 12-week cycles on Friday mornings. The volunteer would need to be able to commit to all 12 weeks. We have a complete curriculum and series of lesson plans, and our Lead ESOL Instructor will serve as a support. Responsibilities will include: Teaching all twelve lessons; modifying existing materials and creating new materials as needed; monitoring student work; tracking attendance; conducting mock citizenship interviews; referring students to organizations in the Boston area for legal advice or application assistance; and miscellaneous needs as they arise. This class is taught in English, but a bilingual volunteer is desirable. Volunteers must have a solid understanding of basic U.S. history and civics, and preference will be given to those with an understanding of the U.S. Naturalization process.
ESOL Classroom Assistant
Classroom assistants will work directly with a member of our teaching staff to serve in a specific classroom. MUA offers ESOL classes in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings. We ask that the volunteer be able to commit to the same classroom at the same time every week, at least once per week. Communication will take place directly between the volunteer and the teacher. Needs will vary from class to class, but could include: Presenting new material to the class; creating materials to be used in the class; monitoring student group work in class; helping to correct assignments; pull-out pronunciation practice; co-chaperoning field trips/excursions out in the community; brainstorming with teacher for new lesson ideas; one-on-one support for students that are either falling behind or are farther ahead than the rest of the group; and more!
Marketing & Outreach
Marketing and outreach are essential to the success of our organization. Most of our students learn about our programs through word-of-mouth or through seeing our flyers out in the community. We want to continue both of these approaches while also strengthening our social media presence. Volunteers could assist us by regularly posting to and monitoring MUA’s Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter pages; updating flyers and brochures; distributing flyers throughout Dorchester and surrounding neighborhoods; building partnerships with other community organizations; translating outreach materials; representing MUA at training fairs and community events; and more! This opportunity could very easily be done remotely and the scheduling needs are flexible. Proficiency in Spanish is beneficial, but not required.
Assist our child care staff with caring for children ages 1-5 while mothers are in class. Child care services are offered only during morning (9:30-12:00) and afternoon (12:30-3:00) classes. Possible tasks will include: Organize story circles, arts and crafts projects, sing-alongs, etc.; clean the child care space after children leave, after snack time; organize toys and other materials; help to decorate and update the play space as needed; other projects as they arise.
Milestones are measured by the personal growth MUA's students achieve at the end of the semester, by gains in English language, academic subjects for high school equivalency classes, and job training skills gained. MUA also documents what social services students receive at MUA.