Information for Future Volunteers

How to become a Project Uplift mentor

The first step in becoming a mentor with Project Uplift is to attend one of the upcoming training sessions. The calendar below contains the dates sessions will be offered this semester.  

Note, all unmarried applicants under the age of 21 must have parental permission to volunteer with Project Uplift. Parents giving consent for their child to mentor must complete and return the Parent Permission Form to the Project Uplift Office (which Project Uplift sends out to the parents).

Project Uplift Calendar

See the Project Uplift Calendar for training session dates and times.

Our training is 2.5 hours long. This may seem long to you now, but we expect you'll find it very interesting and helpful. It's designed to answer all of your questions.

  • Please arrive on time and plan to stay until the end. The full training program is required to be a volunteer. Bringing a note pad, pen, and laptop (if possible) would be helpful.
  • You do not have to sign up in advance to attend a session - simply attend the session best suited for you. You will receive an application and other documents during training.
  • All sessions will be held in 158 Cary Hall on the campus of Auburn University.

Project Uplift Online Training

If attending the in-person training session is not possible for you, we also offer it online! You can access the online training here. The online training provides the same information you would have received in the in-person training, at your convenience. Please contact us - (334) 844-4430 or - if you have any questions.


Visiting Project Uplift offices

Current mentors/volunteers and potential mentors/volunteers visiting the Project Uplift office or training sessions should enter and exit Cary Hall using the rear door closest to War Eagle Way and Donahue Drive. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a volunteer

There are a few steps in becoming a Project Uplift Volunteer.

  • Attend a four hour training session.
  • Present references from three responsible adults. (No family or fellow students)
  • Complete an interview with a Project Uplift Coordinator.
  • Complete a background check with the Alabama Department of Human Resources.
  • Complete a national criminal background check using fingerprinting.
  • Submit a TB skin test that is no more than two years old.
  • Complete a driving record check.
  • Complete CPR/First Aid Certification
  • Pay a $10.00 application fee.
  • Complete the Minors on Campus training -
  • Submit to random drug screenings 
What is the volunteer program

The volunteer program is an arrangement whereby volunteers and youth establish strong and sincere relationships, usually on a one-to-one basis. However, since the AU Minors on Campus Policy, there must always be two adults present on all outings with mentees.  Children in our program range from ages 5 to 12. A little more than half of our referrals are boys. Until July 1979, our program was known as a Big Brother/Big Sister program.

How does Project Uplift find the children who need volunteers

Children are referred to us by schools and various social service agencies with parental permission; they participate in the program voluntarily. Volunteers are matched and introduced to children after receiving an invitation to be a mentor by the Program Coordinator.  The volunteers' preferences, experiences, and skills are considered and respected in making the match.

Who can be a volunteer with Project Uplift

Any interested and sincere person who is at least 19 who can meet and agree to do the minimum obligations.

What are my obligations as a volunteer
  • Own a car that is covered with liability insurance and have a good driving record.
  • Attend the training program, which is designed to prepare you for the volunteer experience.
  • Pay a $10.00 application fee at the time of your interview.
  • Be willing to partner with another mentor to fulfill the mentoring experience
  • Spend at least one year in the program, averaging three hours per week, excluding semester breaks and summers, and turn in monthly reports about your visits. Special six-month arrangements can be made for seniors.
  • We require students under 21 to get written parental permission before volunteering.
How much time am I required to spend with my youth

We have found that three to four hours a week is sufficient. Less time would be unproductive and much more time would probably be difficult to sustain for the duration of your friendship. Course credit is available to qualified volunteers for their Project Uplift work after they have been active for one semester.

What am I to do with my youth

You can bowl, swim, fish, go to the movies or the park, ride bicycles, or just sit around and talk. We encourage you to be creative and have fun! The training sessions, monthly newsletters and details on our website will give you many ideas. We also offer free and discounted activities and tickets.

Who am I responsible to as a volunteer

You are immediately responsible to the program's volunteer coordinator.

What if problems arise between my youth and myself

The volunteer coordinator and staff are available to you if a problem should arise. Many potentially touchy situations will be discussed during training with several guidelines and suggestions given to assist you in your relationship. The Project Uplift staff views its relationship with the volunteers as a team effort. Open communication is essential to effectively helping our youth.

Is there a possibility I will not be accepted as a volunteer

Although the training program comes prior to the interview, some people are unable to meet the obligations because of personal problems, a schedule or work overload, family situations, or emotional difficulty. The interview consists of questions that are relevant only to the volunteer program. Our youth need dependable, accepting, positive adult figures. If you believe you are such an adult, we need you.

Last Updated: February 13, 2020