Become a Volunteer

picture of JHU Baltimore First volunteers meeting each other

Baltimore First General Volunteer Registration for Spring 2022 will be available on Hopkins Engage starting on the first day of Spring semester classes, which is Monday, January 24th. The application window will close on Friday, February 4th

As a student-led program of the Center, PDF Document: Baltimore First is an opportunity for students at all stages of the active citizenship continuum (Break Away 2014) to engage with our Baltimore community. Baltimore First offers two volunteer opportunities for student engagement: as a General Volunteer or a Site Coordinator. Learn more about becoming a General Volunteer below or consider becoming a Site Coordinator.

Still have questions? Contact the Baltimore First Student Executive Board at baltimorefirst17@gmail.com.

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Become a General Volunteer

Why Should I Register?

Baltimore First volunteers will:

  • gain hands-on, real life experience supporting community organizations and non-profit agencies in Baltimore City, thereby launching into a career of service at Hopkins;
  • unpack the complex historical, political, and socio-cultural elements that make Baltimore City;
  • explore their own intersecting identities and how they inextricably connect to larger systems and structures of power, privilege, and oppression; and
  • synthesize their experiences by engaging in dynamic educational workshops and peer-led critical reflection.

Registration Process and Procedures

Baltimore First General Volunteer Registration for the Spring 2022 semester will be available from the start of Spring semester classes on Monday, January 24th until the application window closes on Friday, February 4th.

View General Volunteer Expectations

Overview

Founded in 2017, Baltimore First is a direct service organization focused on affecting transformative social change. It strives to achieve this goal by establishing volunteer commitments with community partners, where students can actively engage with social justice issues prevalent in the city of Baltimore. By providing a platform for volunteers and local activists to collaboratively address social inequalities, Baltimore First helps students better understand the city and view themselves as active citizens and community members.

Below are a set of guidelines and policies to help you understand how our organization works:

Site Attendance Policy

All members of Baltimore First select a community partner, known as a site, to volunteer with throughout the semester. A group of General Volunteers and Site Coordinators will conduct site visits on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis depending on the site in question. The attendance policy for all sites is as follows:

  • Each volunteer is permitted 2 absences from a weekly site, 1 absence from a bi-weekly site, and 0 absences from a monthly site for the semester.
  • Volunteers MUST notify their Site Coordinator at least 24 hours in advance by email if they are going to be absent, except in case of emergency. Site Coordinators MUST notify the Director of Volunteer Management.
  • Volunteers with more than the permitted number of workshop absences must meet with the Director of Volunteer Management and/or the CSC staff advisor. After this meeting, volunteers will be assigned a make-up task to complete.
  • Volunteers with more than the permitted number of absences will be at risk of probation for the remainder of the academic semester and/or year.

Co-Directors of Volunteer Management: Tirtho Banjeree & Anjali Patel

Educational Workshop Policy

To foster an understanding of active citizenship, Baltimore First incorporates a series of educational workshops into its volunteer program. These workshops cover various social justice issues in Baltimore and the role Hopkins students play in the community. Many workshops will feature community activists as guest speakers to present topics and lead group discussions. There will be four workshops throughout the semester; attendance for each workshop is required. The attendance policy for workshops is as follows:

  • Each volunteer is permitted 1 absence from educational workshops for the semester. Review the “Important Dates” tab to see all education workshop dates/times.
  • Volunteers MUST notify the Director of Education at least 24 hours in advance by email if they are going to be absent from a workshop, except in case of emergency.

Director of Education: Sai Chandan Reddy

  • Volunteers with more than the permitted number of absences must meet with the Director of Volunteer Management and/or the CSC staff advisor, and will be at risk of probation for the remainder of the academic semester and/or year.

Co-Directors of Volunteer Management: Tirtho Banerjee & Anjali Patel

  • As with the site attendance policy, volunteers with more than the permitted number of workshop absences must meet with the Director of Volunteer Management and/or the CSC staff advisor. After this meeting, volunteers will be assigned a make-up task to complete.
  • Volunteers with more than the permitted number of absences will be at risk of probation for the remainder of the academic semester and/or year.

CSC Staff Advisor: Kate Lynch

Training

Members of Baltimore First are required to complete the following trainings in order to volunteer:

  • All volunteers must complete any required CSC Student Trainings through Hopkins Groups before volunteering. Required trainings must be completed at the beginning of each school year, prior to engaging in any form of volunteerism.
  • Volunteers must complete any additional application(s), training, background check, or fingerprinting required of their specific volunteer site.

Hopkins Engage

Volunteers must log their hours through the the university’s community engagement platform, Hopkins Engage.

General Policies

In addition to Baltimore First’s policies and expectations, volunteers are expected to adhere to the following policies:

In line with our value of intentionality, Baltimore First volunteers should practice full engagement–living in line with community and program values–during service. While at service sites, volunteers should be fully present (e.g. not texting, having side conversations, etc.) respectful to community partners and other volunteers. Baltimore First also has a zero tolerance policy and should a violation occur, JHU Policy and immediate termination of membership will occur. Students who are alleged to have violated the Student Conduct Code will be reported to the Associate Dean of Student Conduct in the Dean of Student Life Office for resolution

Important Dates

Important Spring 2022 Dates

EventDate
Site Coordinator Application OpensFriday, January 7
Site Coordinator Application ClosesMonday, January 24
General Volunteer Registration OpensMonday, January 24
First Day of Volunteering Monday, February 7
Educational Workshop 1Week of March 14
Spring Break (No Programming)Saturday, March 19th - Sunday, March 27
Executive Board Application OpensMonday, March 25
Educational Workshop 2Week of April 18
Executive Board Application ClosesMonday, April 8
Last Day of VolunteeringFriday, April 22
End of Semester CelebrationFriday, April 29

Community Partners & Volunteer Times

During Spring 2022, Baltimore First will be partnering with 8 local nonprofits and community organizations virtually. Learn more about each organization and commitment times below.

Note: In-person volunteer times INCLUDE TRAVEL TIME and represent the total time frame volunteers will need to allot for volunteering.

Volunteering Opportunities for Spring 2022

Reading Partners (weekly, 1-2 hours between 7:30-9am or 2-5pm, virtual)

Description

Reading Partners is a national nonprofit that mobilizes communities to provide students with the proven, individualized reading support they need to read at grade level by fourth grade. They support under-resourced schools and engage volunteer reading partners to work one-on-one with students who struggle with reading. Volunteers will provide hour-long tutoring sessions to students — following a structured, evidence-based curriculum developed with an expert team of curriculum advisors.

Volunteers will tutor students either once or twice a week, depending on availability. Volunteering will take place virtually, but may transition to in-person depending on the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Club 1111 (monthly, 6-8pm on the second Saturday of each month, virtual)

Description

league for people with disabilities logoThe League for People with Disabilities hosts Club 1111, Maryland’s first and only adult nightclub for people with disabilities that includes DJs, dancing, spa, games, and more. The Club provides a safe place for people within the Baltimore disability community that otherwise might not have this opportunity to socialize. Volunteers will be hosting monthly sessions via Zoom and have the opportunity to join social events at Club 1111 virtually.

St. Francis Neighborhood Center (weekly, Mondays or Wednesdays 4:10-5:50pm, in-person)

Description

St. Francis Neighborhood logoSt. Francis Neighborhood Center, in the Spring of 2009, established an after school youth development and family stability program called The Power Project. The Power Project consists of three major components: education, mentoring, the arts, and human services. A group of volunteers with a variety of experiences, perspectives, and potential career paths will partner with high school interns to encourage civic engagement and help with schoolwork and trajectory development.

Volunteers would meet 1-2 times a week for about an hour each time, and mentor-mentee partnerships may switch.

Corner Team, Inc. (weekly, Mondays or Tuesdays 5:10-6:50pm, in-person)

corner team logoDescription

Corner Team, Inc. is organized around the longstanding and successful tradition of community sports programs that address holistic well being at the neighborhood level to shape Champions for Life! Volunteers will partner with students grades 6-12 in the Youth Champions after-school program to help students set and achieve goals. Volunteers meet with students once a week for 1-2 hours to engage students and provide academic support that will supplement the boxing training and other programming provided at Corner Team.

Baltimore Green Space (weekly, Saturdays 9:30am-12:20pm, in-person)

Baltimore Green Space logoDescription

Baltimore Green Space is Baltimore’s environmental land trust. They promote vibrant neighborhoods and a healthy environment through land preservation, research, and community advocacy. Green spaces provide unmatched opportunities for recreation, civic engagement, and community revitalization, and it is essential to retain existing natural spaces that have ecological value and biodiversity. Our impact includes the scientifically documented social, health, environmental, and economic benefits that create strong neighborhoods and a vibrant city. Volunteers will work to revitalize a neighborhood forest near Chinquapin Park, and possibly another forest in the area.

Paul’s Place (weekly, Thursdays 10:30am-1:00pm, in-person)

Paul's Place Logo.Description

Paul’s Place aims to be a catalyst and leader for change, improving the quality of life in the Southwest Baltimore communities. They provide programs, services, and support that strengthen individuals and families, fostering hope, personal dignity and growth. Volunteers will help serve hot lunch, help staff the clothing bank, and possibly work with patrons in the computer lab.

Cornerstone Community Housing (weekly, Mondays 5:40-7:20pm, in-person)

cornerstone community housing logoDescription

Cornerstone Community Housing has a twofold mission to help men experiencing homelessness rebuild their lives, and to change attitudes toward homelessness through outreach and education. Earl’s Place is located in Baltimore City and provides transitional housing and supportive services to 17 men at a time. Annually, 30-35 men are provided housing and support to work on their goals. Volunteers will work with residents of Earl’s Place to help them improve their digital literacy skills by supporting them as they learn to navigate computers, mobile phones, email, and other technology.

St. Mary’s Outreach Center (Thursdays biweekly 4:40-7:20pm, in-person)

St Marys Outreach Center logoDescription

St. Mary’s Outreach Center helps older adults meet the challenge of living self-sufficiently with dignity and respect. St. Mary’s views older adults as valuable and contributing members of society, and envision a caring community in which they enjoy a healthy, productive, and personally satisfying life. Volunteers will host a social hour at one of the community centers, helping with setup, engaging residents, and cleaning up afterwards.