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Volunteer

Volunteer opportunities

Thank you for your interest in welcoming refugees to your community. By volunteering with the IRC in San Jose, CA, you use your skills to help people who have fled violence and persecution to rebuild their lives in America. See below for the latest volunteer opportunities and how to apply.

Last updated 

Current opportunities

San Jose, CA

Youth Mentor

Start date: Ongoing

Thank you for your interest in assisting refugees and asylees in our community. By volunteering with the IRC San Jose, you can share your unique experience and skills directly with IRC clients. Volunteer support is an integral part of the IRC's mission to provide opportunities for refugees to thrive in San Jose. The BRIDGE Youth Program is a youth mentoring program that pairs refugee youth aged 15-24 with members of their community that support their academic, professional, and community development in their new homes. This position reports to the Youth Connections Coach.

San Jose, CA

Youth Services Volunteer or Intern

Start date: Ongoing

Thank you for your interest in assisting refugees and asylees in our community. By volunteering with the IRC San Jose, you can share your unique experience and skills directly with IRC clients. Volunteer support is an integral part of the IRC's mission to provide opportunities for refugees to thrive in San Jose. By volunteering in Youth Services you will assist the Youth Connections Coach with program administration, outreach for both participants and mentors, case management and other tasks as assigned. This position reports to the Youth Connections Coach.

San Jose, CA

Casework Services Volunteer or Intern

Start date: Ongoing

Our Casework Services focus on assessing and addressing client needs, providing orientation, connecting to public benefits and supportive services, and may provide limited financial aid, if eligible. Volunteers and Interns primarily work in the office with some field work for outreach or direct services. Under the supervision of the caseworker, volunteers aid in the client’s personal development toward security and self-sufficiency.

San Jose, CA

Donations & CIK Volunteer or Intern

Start date: Ongoing

Meeting our clients’ material needs are a critical part of the resettlement process in the United States. Donations from hygiene supplies to bicycles and laptops affect their ability to be employed, their access to public services, and integration with the community. Volunteers will assist the Volunteer & Donations Coordinator with outreach, the intake and inventory of in-kind donations and the preparation/delivery of said goods to our clients. Volunteers will work with IRC Staff to identify what items clients need and strategize how to meet these needs with the Volunteer and Donations Coordinator. Volunteers will also assist in valuation of goods, tracking of distributions, and drafting reports to assure grant compliance regarding donation requirements. This position reports to the Volunteer and Donations Coordinator.

San Jose, CA

Volunteer Financial Literacy Instructor

Start date: Ongoing

For IRC clients to become fully self-sufficient, they must be taught financial literacy. Financial Literacy Instructors are responsible for teaching monthly workshops on topics such as credit, banking, and budgeting. These modules are critical to help new Americans understand the basics of the American financial system.

San Jose, CA

Volunteer Coordination Volunteer or Intern

Start date: Ongoing

This position will help support the Volunteer Coordinator’s efforts to recruit, train, and support volunteers at the IRC San Jose office. This position allows for great learning regarding the use of popular platforms (e.g. Salesforce, Handshake, Linkedin, etc.) and responsibility on part of the volunteer to build community support in order to provide the necessary support to staff for the successful completion of program deliverables and client services. This is an excellent position for those looking to gain a broader understanding of work in the nonprofit sector and make a large impact in the work of the IRC. This position reports to the Volunteer and Donations Coordinator and requires a minimum 8 hr/week commitment.

San Jose, CA

CareerLink Volunteer or Intern

Start date: Ongoing

For IRC clients to become fully self-sufficient, they must be taught how to obtain gainful employment as well as financial literacy. CareerLink volunteers will work in a team to conduct outreach and enroll clients; process scholarships and training enrollments; and assist IRC staff with case management. This position reports to the Career Development Specialist.

San Jose, CA

Social Media Volunteer or Intern

Start date: Ongoing

Through incisively written communication following IRC Brand Guidelines the social media volunteer will work alongside the Volunteer Coordinator in managing IRC’s outreach and communication efforts. Volunteers will develop creative ways of displaying and expanding the IRC’s presence within the San Jose community through social media and other methods. Volunteers will also learn and perfect critical marketing, public relations, and administrative skills applicable to both for-profit and nonprofit sectors while contributing to meaningful social change. This position reports to the Volunteer and Donations Coordinator.

San Jose, CA

Financial Empowerment Volunteer or Intern

Start date: Ongoing

For IRC clients to become fully self-sufficient, they must be taught how to obtain gainful employment as well as financial literacy. Financial Empowerment volunteers will work in a team to conduct outreach and enroll clients; organize and facilitate workshops on financial literacy; and assist IRC staff with case management and program administration for the IDA, CEO Lending, and Financial Coaching programs. This position reports to the Financial Empowerment Specialist

San Jose, CA

Digital Literacy Volunteer or Intern

Start date: Ongoing

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a tremendous digital divide and the need for our staff, clients, and services to become digitally adept – that’s why we created the Digital Literacy program.

As a volunteer or intern, you will be an essential part of the creation of digital content and literacy trainings as a pathway to wellbeing and self-sufficiency for newly arrived refugees across NorCal. You will support our team directly by helping refugees access the internet, devices, and educational opportunities as they work to positively integrate into the community.

San Jose, CA

Immigration Services Volunteer or Intern

Start date: Ongoing

Volunteers work with Immigration Program Caseworkers to directly assist clients with the processing and filing of applications for citizenship, lawful permanent residence, family reunification, and other immigration petitions necessary to receive legal residency in the United States and reunite family members. This position reports to the Immigration Coordinator and requires a minimum 8 hr/week commitment. Preference will be given to those who can commit a minimum of 15 hrs/week or more.

San Jose, CA

Professional Mentor

Start date: Ongoing

Professional Mentors provide guidance aimed at assisting refugees, asylees, and other immigrants advance their careers in the United States. Resettlement programs have traditionally focused on entry-level job placement and there is a scarcity of long-term career advancement services that help clients navigate their way out of poverty. As part of our CareerLink program, the IRC in San Jose is looking for working professionals who want to utilize their knowledge and skills to help refugees and other immigrants attain their long-term career goals and become financially secure. We are looking for professional mentors with backgrounds in the tech, finance or healthcare sectors to mentor refugee and other immigrant clients pursuing training and certification within these fields.

San Jose, CA

Immigration Outreach Volunteer or Intern

Start date: Ongoing

Immigration Outreach volunteers work with the Community Outreach Coordinator to develop strategies to connect with the San Jose immigrant population and provide Naturalization Services. Volunteers are involved in identifying and establishing relationships between organizations and immigrant communities to assist individuals on their path to citizenship. This position reports to the Community Outreach Coordinator and requires a minimum 8 hr/week commitment. Preference will be given to those who can commit 15 hrs/week or more.

San Jose, CA

Vocational ESL Volunteer or Intern

Start date: Ongoing

Volunteers work closely with the VESL instructor and early employment team to provide basic ESL classes to newly arrived refugees, asylees, SIVs, and victims of trafficking. The English taught is primarily focused on creating a vocational vocabulary for IRC clients to secure their first job although differing levels of English proficiency within our clients may require more advanced training. Volunteers will help create, develop, implement, and teach curriculum to IRC clients. This position reports to the VESL Instructor.

San Jose, CA

Early Employment Volunteer or Intern

Start date: Ongoing

For IRC clients to become fully self-sufficient, they must be taught how to obtain gainful employment as well as financial literacy. Early Employment volunteers will work in a team to conduct outreach and enroll clients; assist with program administration; and assist IRC staff with case management. This position reports to the Employment Specialist.

San Jose, CA

Citizenship Workshop Assistant

Start date: Ongoing

Volunteers will assist clients as they complete their citizenship applications.

Volunteer process

  1. Review our current available volunteer positions.

  2. Complete an online application and upload your resume and cover letter to the application. To expedite the application process, fill in the “Interests and Questions” section as completely as possible. IRC staff will contact you when there is an available placement matching your skills, interests and availability.

  3. After your application is reviewed, you may be selected for an phone interview. 

  4. After phone interview, you will complete an interview with IRC staff.

  5. After accepting a volunteer position offer, complete an online background check. To protect our clients, volunteers are asked to complete a background check, and we ask volunteers to contribute $40.00 to offset its costs. All IRC volunteer opportunities are contingent on the results of the background check. This step can add 1-2 weeks to the process, but is typically very fast. 

  6. Once cleared, you will attend a general orientation before training and scheduling the first day.

Additional things to note

*You must be 18 years or older to volunteer and complete a background check.

Most of our volunteer opportunities take place during regular business hours (Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.).  The minimum commitment for all opportunities is 6+hrs a week for 4 months. The 4-month minimum commitment ensures ample time for volunteers to move beyond training and into meaningful work. Additionally, it provides stability to our clients’ lives as they can expect to work with the same volunteer consistently. 

For individuals whose schedules do not permit for a regular commitment, we have flexible opportunities (after normal business hours & weekends). Currently, these opportunities are for our Citizenship Workshops. 

Due to the high volume of interest, we are unable to respond to phone, drop-in or other individual inquiries regarding current opportunities.