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Individual Volunteer

At IISTL, we believe in equity and opportunity for all. For those looking to make a difference, we offer a variety of ways to contribute to a more inclusive society.

How do I become a volunteer? Simply sign up for one the volunteer opportunities linked below. You may be required to complete a background check or additional training, depending on the volunteer role.

Are there requirements to become a volunteer? In order to volunteer at the International Institute, we ask that you:

  • Be at least 18 years of age, some exceptions apply
  • Pass a criminal background check (for client-related volunteer roles)

If you have any questions, please contact Franklin Cooper at

Thank you for wanting to make a difference in the lives of others.

Group Volunteers

Is  your organization interested in participating in a group project associated with the International Institute?

Community-based as well as on-site options for volunteerism abound. Here are a few examples of recent activities:

  • Field Trip Sponsor: Provide admission tickets, transportation, and chaperones for an organization-sponsored visit to a local attraction.
  • Community Engagement Potluck Co-Host: prepare food and provide volunteers for our monthly on-site client lunches.
  • In-Kind Drive Sponsor: Organize a drive for specialty items needed by new refugee arrivals, for example, toiletries, winter coats, kitchen pots and pans, and blankets.
  • Administrative & Clean-Up Support: Semi-annual days for interior and exterior clean up at the International Institute’s headquarter campus.

To contact an Institute representative to learn more about current needs, click here.

After School Program for Immigrant High-Schoolers

Recruiting ongoing volunteer tutors for the After School Program 

Tutor Role: 

  • Volunteers will help students with school assignments and/or other subjects, such as English and Math, in person AND/OR online via Microsoft Teams and Zoom 
  • Volunteers may lead students in recreational activities 

Volunteer Qualifications: 

  • Available to commit to 1 – 2 days of volunteering, Monday – Thursday, 3:45 – 5:30 PM, evenings & weekends (via online) possible
  • Attend 1-hour tutor training
  • Willing to complete necessary onboarding paperwork & criminal background check
  • Age 18+ 
  • Cultural sensitivity and flexibility 
  • Desire to work with high school students 
  • Work well with others and independently 
  • Ability to speak, read, and write English well 
  • Dependability and punctuality 
  • Previous tutoring or teaching experience preferred, no required

Volunteer Tutor Interest Survey:

Refugee Youth Mentoring Program

Recruiting mentors for ongoing youth mentoring sessions

Mentor Role:

  • Support the successful integration of a refugee youth by helping him/her to meet his/her educational, vocational, and social goals through an ongoing, one-to-one relationship.
  • Implement guided conversation curriculum via phone or video chat
  • Build the relationship by participating in organized mentor/mentee events
  • Help work toward accomplishing goals set by the mentee

Mentor Qualifications:

  • Available to commit to:

o    10-week session (Sessions run January-March, April-June, July-September, & October-December.)

o    Attend 1-hour mentor training session

o    Regular one-on-one contact with mentee (in person or via phone/video chat)

o    At least one group mentor/mentee virtual event per month organized by the Institute

  • Willing to complete necessary onboarding paperwork & criminal background check
    • Clean criminal history, no history of child abuse, and no use of alcohol or controlled substance in an inappropriate manner
  • Age 19+
  • Cultural sensitivity and flexibility
  • Desire to work with youth ages 15-24
  • Work well with others and independently
  • Ability to speak, read, and write English well
  • Dependability and punctuality

Mentor Application: **Note: Volunteers and youth are paired based off common interests and career goals. After completing the mentor application, we will contact you when a mentor opportunity arises.

Education Department Volunteer Possibilities: English TAs, English Literacy Tutor, Citizenship Tutors.

All volunteer opportunities in the Ed. Department require a 3 month minimum volunteer commitment, one or more times per week. Classes run year-round.  

Basic Qualifications:  

  • Cultural sensitivity and flexibility
  • Ability to work well with others and to work independently
  • Attend tutor trainings
  • Willing to complete necessary onboarding paperwork & criminal background check
  • Ability to speak English well
  • Dependability and punctuality

Please be patient with the time that it takes to process the application. To volunteer in the education department, start by filling out this interest survey  and  Volunteer App – International Institute of St. Louis (  Background checks are also required. Please fill out the Volunteer Background Check – International Institute of St. Louis ( 


ENGLISH (Time commitments) 

English Literacy Tutor – Assist the lead teacher with classroom activities for adult learners. Clients have low English proficiency. Limited availability 

  • afternoon:  Monday – Wednesday, 1:00-3:00 p.m. (limited availability) 


English TA – Assist the lead teacher with classroom activities for adult learners. Limited availability 

  • evening:  Monday-Tuesday, 6:00-8:30 p.m. 


Computer TA – Assist the lead teacher with classroom activities for adult learners. Limited availability. 

  • Tuesday, Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. 


CITIZENSHIP (Time commitments) 

Citizenship Literacy Tutor – Teach key information to pass the naturalization interview as modeled by a lead instructor. 

  • Monday-Wednesday, 1:00pm-3:00pm 
  • Monday-Tuesday, 6:00pm-8:00pm.  


Citizenship Mock interviewers – Simulate the citizenship interview experience through guided questions that cover the English language skills required to successfully pass the naturalization interview. 

  • Variety of times throughout the year. A one-time commitment is possible.  

Telephone Conversation Partners – Teach key information to pass the naturalization interview over the phone. (depends on student availability)