Be the difference.
Volunteering with Mission Squash provides a structured way to help students from underserved communities improve their life outcomes by sharing with them your support, skills and experience.
Most volunteer roles involve working directly with students, and watching the hard work translate into results as students lift up their grades, become healthier, and develop outstanding character is incredibly valuable and rewarding.
What's the commitment?
When you start working with us, you become an integral part of the MS team. To ensure that our programming is consistent and high quality, volunteers commit to fulfilling a minimum number of hours per semester.
- Academic Volunteers: 20 hours completed per semester, minimum 1 semester commitment. Regular weekday schedule preferred.
Example: many volunteers attend once per week for a single 2 hour slot. 10 weeks of volunteering per semester would meet the requirement (a semester lasts around 18 weeks.) Sign-up for slots is required at least one week in advance.
- Squash and Athletic Volunteers: 20 hours completed per semester, minimum 1 semester commitment.
Sign up for slots is required at least one week in advance.
- Mentors: 10 face-to-face interactions per year, each lasting a minimum of 90 minutes, plus one monthly phone call. Read more
- Special Skills: opportunities for special skills volunteering are advertised throughout the year and are related to specific events, projects or programs.
What to expect when enrolling
Because we work with children, the safety and wellbeing of our Scholars is our top priority. All student-facing volunteer roles require a background check, and depending on your experience and the type of volunteering there may be some additional forms to fill out. Our Volunteer Manager will work closely with you throughout the enrollment process to make this as simple as possible.
Depending on the volunteer role you’ve chosen, you may be asked to visit our facility to observe practice and attend a short training session. To complete the sign up process, you will then be asked to review and sign our Volunteer Handbook which includes your commitment to follow our Volunteer Policies and Child Protection Policy. You’ll receive a detailed role description and some supporting materials to help you make the most of the volunteer role you have chosen.
You’re ready to get started! Sign up for regular volunteer slots is completed using our online Calendly system, allowing you to sign up for volunteer slots several weeks ahead. You will automatically receive an Outlook or iCal calendar invite to help you keep track of your sessions.
We track your volunteer hours for you and provide you with a monthly volunteer hours statement. As a volunteer, you are also welcome (and encouraged) to attend our all-staff meetings and annual events. For those wishing to get even more involved, volunteer leadership positions are also available.
The Fun Stuff
Volunteering with us gives you access to an exciting and incredibly fun community of well-connected professionals, mentors and educators who are passionate about investing in the future of Houston’s youth. This naturally includes the Houston squash community, but also extends to the major industries including insurance, finance and oil & gas through our Board and Young Professionals Board.
Our volunteers are an integral part of the organization. We welcome them at our major annual events, and hold special volunteer events where we celebrate the commitment, achievement and impact of our volunteer work together.
Regular volunteers covet our special t-shirt line, available to those contributing 10 to 100 hours of service. The “Double Yellow Dot” shirt for 100 hours of service is especially sought after!
We work with students from 6th-12th Grade, age 11-18.
Practices follow a two-week A/B schedule, with middle schoolers (age 11-14) attending after school on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, then Tuesday and Thursday the following week. High schoolers (age 15-18) attend on the alternate days.
All weekday practices consist of both academics and squash and run from 3.50pm to 6.30pm. Practice runs on every full HISD school day, except where trips or other events have been planned. See The Scholarship Program page for more general information about how the program operates.
If you’re considering working with our students in academics, squash or as a mentor but have limited experience working with children, it’s still possible to get involved. Please reach out to us for more information.
If you would rather volunteer in a non-student-facing role, there are a number of opportunities to help with Special Skills volunteering throughout the year.
Volunteer Organizations - partner with us
If you are involved with a volunteer organization or company that can provide regular tutors, adult professional mentors or athletic coaches to work with our Scholars, we’d love to work with you. Please reach out to the Volunteer Coordinator to kick things off.
Volunteer Spotlight: Jennifer
Jennifer hails from London and has been playing squash for 35 years. She learned about Mission Squash shortly after moving to Houston and thought it would be a good way to give back to her community.
She has been volunteering with Mission Squash since October 2015 and recently became one of our “Double Yellow Dot” volunteers, having given over 100 hours of service. She says the “enthusiasm and excitement” from the children during practice is what keeps bringing her back, as well as seeing them improve.
“There is a steep learning curve in squash,” says Jennifer, “it’s fun to see the progress that is made at the start of the Scholar’s Mission Squash careers!”
Jennifer’s two sons are also active Mission Squash volunteers when they return from boarding school for the holidays.