CAP Volunteer Opportunities

Through Harvard Law School

There are various volunteer opportunities being coordinated by student organizations at Harvard Law School. To participate in these opportunities, please contact the student organizations directly, as CAP is not the sponsor of these activities.

Children & Youth Advocates (CYA)

      -CYA is a Harvard Law School student organization devoted to children's issues.  Visit the CYA's webpage for an updated list of their suggested volunteer opportunities.  Click here.

Harvard College Stories for Orphans

         -Create books for children in orphanages.  Harvard College Stories for Orphans coordinates students' interests in creative writing, drawing, and foreign languages for the benefit of orphaned children abroad. The organization partners with a different international orphanage each semester and aims to remind each child in that home that he is special and to foster an early love of reading. By giving them their own personalized hand-made books, it is our hope that the children will discover in them not only a whimsical story-line, but also a sense of individuality and worth.

COACH Program

        -Help High School Students in Roxbury Apply to College. The COACH program seeks Harvard college and graduate students to assist high school juniors and seniors in West Roxbury with applying to college and formulating plans for after high school. Harvard students work as "coaches," helping the high schoolers with applications, essays, financial aid forms and all other aspects of the college selection process. Students spend 3-4 hours per week volunteering, and the program lasts from early October through early May. Coaches are also paid a small stipend.

Big Brother/Big Sister Organization

        -Become a Big Brother/ Big Sister. The HLS Big Brothers Big Sisters program works closely with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, matching student volunteers with children in the Cambridge/Somerville area. “Bigs” and “Littles” meet a minimum of two times each month to play sports, go to the movies, do homework, bake cookies, or just "hang out" and talk. Numerous national studies prove that Big Brothers and Big Sisters can make a tremendous, positive impact on children.

Group activities have included a Red Sox baseball game, ice skating and bowling trips, a barbecue/sports day, the annual Holiday Party, whale watch, and indoor whiffle ball game. Come join the fun, and give something back to the community and to one great kid. To take the next step, visit

Through Community Organizations

Below is a limited list of children's volunteer opportunities which may be of interest to Harvard Law School students. Please note that CAP is not coordinating these opportunities and has had, in some cases, only limited contact with the coordinating organizations. This is not intended as an exhaustive list of interesting volunteer opportunities.

-Mentor an immigrant high school student. Cambridge Community Services (CCS) is a community-based nonprofit with a mission to empower immigrant youth to achieve academic, career, and personal success through inspiring out-of-school experiences. For the last 23 years, CCS has operated City Links to support low-income immigrant students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. The program’s holistic wrap-around model includes 1-1 tutoring, 1-1 mentoring, paid internships, leadership seminars, and community service. As a mentor, you are a role model, cultural guide, and friend who helps your mentee dream big, set goals, and pursue them. Click HERE to complete a mentor application form.

-Become an educational advocate for a child in state custody. Educational Surrogate Parent Program (ESPP) makes a significant difference in the lives of children with special educational needs. Volunteering 10 – 20 hours in a school year can ultimately improve a child's future. All of the children served by ESPP are in state custody and have no parent or guardian available to act on their behalf. These children cannot receive the special educational services they need until a concerned adult is willing to accept the role of an Educational Surrogate Parent. 

-Become a mentor for a child in out of home care. AFC Mentoring prepares children in adoption, foster care, and/or similar situations to become emotionally and socially well-adjusted adults who can define and achieve personal success. AFC Mentoring has a variety of volunteer opportunities available for those who would like to contribute towards making a difference in the life of youth in out-of-home care. Volunteers work on projects such as: activities planning for our mentor matches, research/evaluation, grant writing, human resources, and more. For further information about volunteering with AFC: email or call 617-224-1300 ext. 3. 

-Work with older youth who are transitioning to out of state custody. Rediscovery House began as a six-bed group home in the neighboring town of Watertown in July 2002. Since that time, Rediscovery House has grown and currently operates a variety of additional innovative programs including an apartment program which helps young males in the child welfare system transition to independent living; an alternative education program for older teens in the child welfare system; a social enterprise initiative which empowers youth in the child welfare system to work at their own online bookselling business. Working at Rediscovery House will expose law students to novel programs for older youth in the child welfare system. 

-Mentor, coach or tutor youth at a local Cambridge Youth Center. The City of Cambridge supports five youth centers across the city. Volunteer at the Area IV Youth Center on Harvard Street which serves youth aged 9 – 19. The center provides area young people enrichment opportunities including academic support, recreational activities, and mentorship. For more information, call 617-349-6262.

-Provide legal research about attorney representation of children in dependency court. First Star is a national 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to improving the lives of America 's abused and neglected children. First Star's nonpartisan, multidisciplinary approach fosters collaborative action among organizations, advocates, practitioners and policy-makers working to benefit children. The organization is currently seeking law students to volunteer their time and legal research expertise for projects relating to attorney representation of children in dependency court. Volunteers are invited to work remotely or at First Star's headquarters in Washington D.C.

Last modified: June 30, 2015

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