- Student volunteers may be from any metro-Atlanta school in rising grades 9-12.
- Volunteers should have a clear idea of Odyssey’s mission and passion to actively maintain Odyssey’s high standards for education and service to Atlanta-youth and Odyssey Scholars.
- Student volunteers must be able to carry themselves professionally and represent Odyssey in the best light.
- Student volunteers will be responsible for supporting Odyssey Scholars and teachers.
- Student volunteers are required to provide a consecutive 10-day commitment at minimum. Shifts are 4 hours, with options to volunteer as many as 8-10 hours per day. Student volunteers who fill out an application and are unable to volunteer for a minimum of 10-days may not be accepted.
- Students have reliable transportation to and from The Westminster Schools campus.
- Ability to take basic instructions, and follow and stay on schedule.
- Ability to stand/supervise outside during recess for proper student/teacher ratio and safety.
- Ability to lift 20-30 pounds.
- Sign in with the main office each morning and check for daily announcements or updates.
- Check in with classroom teacher before classes begin to ensure instructors have all materials necessary for activities and projects.
- Maintain contact with the Odyssey Scholars under your supervision including providing supervision to the restroom, nurse, office, lunch, recess, etc.
- Student volunteers are expected to stay with their assigned group for the entirety of their shift and not leave their obligations for different activities or to hang out with other student volunteers.
- Student volunteers may frequently attend field trips with their class.
- Lunch and snacks are provided to volunteers. Water bottles are highly recommended.
Many student volunteers come back summer after summer to connect with inspiring Atlanta-based Odyssey scholars as they improve their reading, writing, and math skills. Along the way, volunteers always discover a deeply profound and inspiring story in each Odyssey Scholar as they work to support each student, and mentor for social-emotional learning. Become an Odyssey volunteer to share a truly life-changing summer.
Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions
Odyssey students—who are they?
How to be an effective volunteer
Odyssey especially appreciates volunteers who can interact with each child by:
- Conversing with scholars using eye contact and your full attention
- Using each moment as a “teachable moment”
- Providing swift and immediate support to the instructor to ensure scholars are always provided for
- Enthusiastically greeting scholars in the morning or sending them off in the afternoon
- Encouraging each and every scholar to do their best, pay attention, and positively explore their strengths
- Sit with scholars at lunch, snack time, and appropriate project-time to encourage positive interactions with their peers and work
- Respecting the space we work in by helping to set up and clean up appropriately
- Resisting the urge to constantly be on phones or other electronic devices while in the presence of scholars
What if I need to take a day off from my Odyssey obligations?
Odyssey prefers that volunteers keep their absences null—or at least to a minimum. Your students build a connection with you, and your absence does not go unnoticed. Your students are also held to a strict absence policy and Odyssey expects volunteers to be a beacon of Odyssey rules and principals. If you must miss a day, please notify by email Anne Weitekamp as soon as possible with your name and a quick explanation. We will notify the proper parties accordingly.
How will I know about upcoming events, training, or program changes?
How do volunteer schedules work?
Each volunteer will have the opportunity to communicate their preferred schedule in their volunteer applications. Based upon collective volunteer responses, Odyssey will design a schedule for each volunteer. These schedules will be divided into morning or evening shifts with an obligation to a minimum of 2-weeks (10-day) participation. Volunteers can and are encouraged to volunteer for longer increments.
To whom do I report, provide feedback, or make suggestions?
First thing in the morning, you will report to the Program Director’s office to sign-in. If you have feedback, suggestions, or concern, please direct them to Jeff Cohen or Anne Weitekamp in Odyssey’s Pressly office. Volunteers need to promptly report to their assigned instructor to get daily schedules.
To whom do I report a dispute?
Will Odyssey write me a recommendation or community service letter?
Yes! Odyssey is happy to help volunteers with their community service requirements. Volunteers must track their own hours, and send a request to Odyssey using the GivingPoint website. This website is an excellent tool to help track your service hours across countless organizations and will even generate a wonderfully professional “Volunteer Resume” personalized for you at any time.
If you have further questions on how volunteer service hours with Odyssey works, please email Anne Weitekamp.