Support neighborhood youth to succeed in college, career and life. Volunteer in our Kindergarten-12th Grade (K-12) programs to build relationships with elementary, middle and high school students in the community. Seattle U volunteers and service-learners are supported by experienced Seattle U student leads, AmeriCorps members and Center for Community Engagement staff.
All of our partner schools are within walking distance or a short bus ride away from campus. Opportunities are available throughout the school day (anytime between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM) and/or during after school programs (2:30 - 5:00 PM).
Bailey Gatzert Elementary School (Gatzert) is located six blocks south of campus and it has just over 300 Kindergarten through 5th grade students. Gatzert has a tremendously rich history. Over the decades it has been the neighborhood school for thousands of immigrant families making it one of the most culturally diverse schools in the district. Over 20 languages are represented in the building and over 40% of students are English Language Learners. Gatzert students also face tremendous challenges: nearly 92 percent of Gatzert students qualify for free and reduced priced lunch and on average between 50-70 Gatzert families are impacted by housing insecurity.
Bailey Gatzert is a community space where Seattle U students both work with and learn from young scholars to provide academic support and mentorship. Seattle U students learn life skills including humility, patience, listening, understanding while drawing out the brilliance of scholars. Gatzert student's eagerness to learn and connect with caring adults can be a transformative experience for SU volunteers. Young people want to be in the presence of SU volunteers who build authentic relationships with youth and their families, are present and responsive.
"A highlight of this year was when we talked about culture and the things that make each scholar unique. I felt like they had so much to learn from each other, and I also saw the true joy that came from being able to talk about their families and pasts in a classroom setting. The scholars really rose to the occasion and surprised me with their extreme insight and maturity when talking about subjects that most adults struggle to comprehend. I realize that I have so much to learn from them and hope that they feel pride in the fact that they can teach me as much as I can teach them." - Bailey Gatzert Seattle U Student Lead
At Gatzert, the Seattle University Youth Initiative places SU students in several different positions:
At Washington Middle School, our goal is to work alongside scholars and their families by providing educational support in daytime and after school opportunities. Seattle University students have the opportunity to work with fellow SU students to provide academic mentoring, support teachers, and build relationships with the amazing young scholars at the school. We are looking for Seattle U students who love working in groups, who are excited about learning with and from youth, and who want to build authentic relationships.
At Garfield High School, we work with teens providing academic support, fostering their growth as self-directed independent learners and building authentic relationships. College students are an asset in high schools as you have recently gone through your own high school experience. You can provide valuable insight into life after high school including college and job options.
We are looking for Seattle U students who are comfortable engaging in conversations with high schoolers, providing academic tutoring and mentorship. You'll have the opportunity to collaborate Garfield students one on one and in small group settings. Topics include but are not limited to college access, study skills and supporting student with their real life experiences, concerns and dreams. Working at Garfield provides you the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with local youth and serving as a source of affirmation, encouragement and support.
"A highlight of my year was working one on one with a student on her college application process. We would work in the library together when I'd be scheduled to work after school and we worked on admissions statements, scholarship applications, and internship opportunities over the summer. By April this student said, "I got in!" this was very rewarding as I saw all of her handwork pay off! I definitely wanted to be the mentor I wish I had my senior year, it was very heartwarming to say the least." - Garfield Academic Mentor, SU Class of 2019
The Seattle Youth Traffic Court Garfield High School students operate a City of Seattle supported court and sentence their peers who have received traffic tickets in Seattle.