Building Skills Partnership

Volunteer and Intern

Volunteer With BSP

Bring Educational Opportunities to Janitors and Other Service Workers Through a Cross-Cultural Learning Experience

BSP’s volunteer programs include Worksite English and Computer Literacy Tutors and Teaching Aides, Community English and Computer Literacy Tutor and Teaching Aides, and BSP Office Support and Internship Program.   Through volunteers, BSP is able to provide students with the individual support they need to succeed in a multilevel class environment.  In addition, volunteers allow BSP to cut administrative costs and devote maximum resources towards increasing the quality and scope of our services.  For the students, volunteers not only make the language learning process more dynamic, but they also serve as a resources for immigrants learning how to navigate life in the United States.    In return, BSP volunteers receive training and acquire skills in teaching or tutoring ESL or computer literacy, gain knowledge about the issues facing newcomer families, and learn about the social services and other resources available to immigrants and low-wage workers in Santa Clara and other Bay Area counties.


Worksite Volunteers (Vocational ESL and Computers)

BSP’s worksite volunteer programs create community at the worksite by fostering mutual understanding and learning between corporate employees and the janitors who clean their offices.  Corporate employees volunteer as one-on-one tutors, who help address the specific language or technology needs and interests of their partner.  They can also become teaching aides, who support the teacher within the multi-level English and computer classroom.   BSP’s worksite volunteer program is a convenient way for corporate employees to help shrink the growing language and digital divide and improve communication within their workplace.  Every corporate volunteer is given training, access to additional educational resources, and supported throughout their volunteer experience by the site’s Volunteer Program Coordinator.   In the past, BSP Worksite Volunteer Programs have accompanied ADVANCE classes at Adobe, eBay, Yahoo!, Genentech, Google, Novartis.  At Stanford, BSP also supports the program ¡Habla!, in which over 50 pairs of Stanford students and janitors come together twice a week to practice English.  Read about ¡Habla! in the New York Times and National Public Radio.

Community Class Volunteers (ESL and Computers)

Volunteer tutors and teaching aides in our community (mostly taught at SEIU-USWW offices) classes participate in an exciting, community-based effort to make a difference in the lives of immigrants and other low-wage workers.

Teaching aides and tutors provide encouragement and build the workers’ confidence to learn, while helping immigrant adults gain familiarity with United States culture and resources.  Tutors meet one-on-one or in small groups outside of class to provide personalized attention to the specific needs and interests of each student, while teaching aides offer support to English or Computer teacher in a multi-level class.  Building Skills Partnership works with each volunteer
to create an opportunity that is tailored to the volunteer’s interests, experience, and availability.

BSP also utilizes experienced volunteer computer and ESL teachers with backgrounds in adult education.
Curriculum is provided, but teachers are allowed flexibility to cater their course to the learner’s interests
and needs.  Class sizes range from 12 to 16.  Teachers are supported by BSP staff and volunteer classroom teaching aides.

Office Support Volunteers

Office support volunteers assist BSP staff with administrative duties, including outreach, database maintenance, funding research, and attendance tracking.  Office support volunteers are critical to BSP’s capacity. By adding hundreds of hours work each year, office support volunteers allow BSP to keep administrative costs to a minimum and direct saved resources towards expanding the quality and scope of BSP’s services.

For more information about BSP’s volunteer opportunities in your area, please contact: 

San Francisco and East Bay Program Coordinator
Kareen Kanjo
(510) 437-8144
kareen AT

Northern California Regional Director 
Madeleine Case
(408) 280-5329
madeleine AT

Greater Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego:

Southern California Regional Director
Laura Medina
(213) 284-7744
laura AT

Los Angeles Program Coordinator
Daniel Paredes
(213) 284-7718
daniel AT