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  • 48 people are interested

Virtual Mentors Needed for UMich College Students

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  • 48 people are interested

Are you interested in virtually mentoring the next generation of social innovators?

optiMize, a student-led org at the University of Michigan, is looking for mentors from a variety of backgrounds to help out with virtual small group mentoring and 1-on-1 mentoring for students as they work on developing self-directed projects that make a positive impact in the world.

Our primary program is the Social Innovation Challenge (Oct-Feb). It's an incubator for students to develop their projects with the potential to be awarded funding from the University - we awarded a total of $300,000 in 2022 alone. Student projects we've funded include initiatives in climate change, food insecurity, education equity, medical innovation, the arts, and more!

Our secondary program is the Summer Fellowship (May-June), where our funded student teams work on their social innovation projects for 8 weeks over the summer.

An optiMize Mentor’s Commitments to Mentees

  • I will find the good first.
  • I will try to be helpful, not just to be "right."
  • I will "sit next to you" and put problems in front of us rather than between us.
  • I will ask you to clarify any important idea that isn’t clear to me.
  • I will never crush your dreams or make you feel stupid.
  • I will challenge you only after I have made it clear that I have listened to you and I care about you.
  • I will ask thoughtful questions to challenge you and help you see new possibilities.
  • I will acknowledge that I still might not fully understand the issue.
  • I will help you understand your strengths and how to use them to address your challenges.
  • I will always let the student make their own decision.
  • I will tell stories from my own experience to illustrate potential lessons, but I will not give specific directions to you - not all of my lessons apply to your experience and this is your business, not mine.
  • I will work with you to create clear expectations of what must be completed (if anything) before we meet again.

Benefits for Mentors

  • Engage in the meaningful experience of supporting students who are working to change the world!
  • Catch the creativity, energy, and ideas of incredible students who believe a better future is possible!
  • Reflect on your own skills and experiences and improve your own work and life as a result!
  • Develop your skills as a mentor and teacher!
  • Make a big social impact with your time!
  • Connect to a network of other mentors from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and industries!

More opportunities with optiMize

No additional volunteer opportunities at this time.

About optiMize


218 Weiser Hall, 500 Church St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, US

Mission Statement

Cultivating the optiMize community. Bringing people together for transformative education. Creating projects that illuminate possibilities, in passionate pursuit of a just and sustainable future. Practicing love and care in all we do, to help everyone we meet ask themselves, "Why not me?"


We are a student-led community at the University of Michigan that offers workshops, mentorship, and funding for students to create self-directed projects that make a positive impact. One of our biggest programs is the optiMize Social Innovation Challenge. It's an incubator for students to develop social impact projects. Projects can receive up to $10,000 - we awarded a total of $238,000 in 2023.


Advocacy & Human Rights
Education & Literacy
Advocacy & Human Rights, Community, Education & Literacy


We'll work with your schedule.


This is a Virtual Opportunity with no fixed address.


  • Mentoring
  • Teaching / Instruction




  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • 4-6 hours/month

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