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High School Support Initiative
Cardinal Commitment
Fellowship / internship, 
Leadership program, 
Student service organization

High School Support Initiative

Multi-quarter part-time
Education & Youth Development

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 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 tutor-mentor- 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 sessions 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. Recruitment for volunteers begins in spring quarter.
  • 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 Kelly Beck-Sordi.
  • Summer Program Fellow- full-time five-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. Hiring occurs in the winter quarter. 
Thomas Allen Wehner

"Every experience with the High School Support Initiative pushed me forward as a person."

Originally from Highland Park, IL, Thomas Allen Wehner, '20, MS '21, studies electrical engineering at Stanford. In addition to serving with the High School Support Initiative (HSSI) for all four years of his undergraduate career, he has been involved in the campus theater scene, most recently as the executive producer of Ram's Head.

Thomas Allen Wehner, '20, MS '21

Read this story


Application Process

For School-Year and Summer Tutor-Mentors

  • The deadline for new applications has passed.  We will be recruiting again in spring 2020 for our summer program. Click here to find out more about the HSSI tutor-mentor role.
  • New tutor-mentors are recruited only in fall and winter quarter. For spring quarter, only returning HSSI tutor-mentors can serve at school placements.
  • For more information, contact or Kelly Beck-Sordi.

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.


Spring, Summer, Winter

Open To


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