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Family Mentor/ESL Tutor

Start date: Ongoing
Last updated 
A refugee family gathers on the couch for a photo. Photo: Jenna Reich

The Family Mentor volunteer provides support to refugee families by acting as a community guide, conversation partner, and English tutor. Volunteers meet weekly with the family to assist with practical needs and make referrals to IRC staff.  Family Mentors provide friendly encouragement as refugees move towards self-sufficiency and become established in their new homes.

Activities Include:

  •  Familiarize refugees with how to access crucial community resources including: transportation systems, grocery stores, and libraries.
  • Reinforce Job Readiness and Job Retention skills including: interview techniques, employment applications, money handling, and common work place vocabulary.
  • Engage the client in conversational English appropriate to their skill level.
  • Be a friendly and stable presence in a refugee family’s life.
  •  Provide insight into American culture.


  • Able to work independently to identify and address client needs in a limited-English environment.
  • Conduct oneself in a responsible and appropriate fashion as an IRC representative to the family and the Tucson community.
  • Commit to interacting with a family for two hours per week on a regular basis with a focus on building self-sufficiency skills.
  • Strictly adhere to the IRC’s confidentiality policy
  • Able to engage in open-minded communication regarding new cultural perspectives
  • Report monthly volunteer activities accurately and on time

Minimum Commitment: 2 hours/ week for 4 months; set a consistent schedule to visit on an evening or weekend