CARECEN is only as strong as its foundation, and volunteers are an integral part of that foundation. Volunteers like you allow CARECEN to dramatically expand our services and help more people in our communities. You will also take part in CARECEN's efforts to change immigration and education policies, empower our communities, provide quality low-cost immigration legal services, and bring on lasting social change for all. It is because of our volunteers that we continue to grow.
CARECEN has two offices, in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, and a Day Labor Center in Westlake. Most opportunities require a minimum 3-month commitment, but we occasionally have short-term opportunities available.
Steps to volunteering:
- Read about volunteer opportunities below so you have an understanding of the duties, location, and time commitment required for each position.
- Fill out the Volunteer Interest Form. Please email AAmaya@carecen-la.org if you would like the form in a different format (Word doc, Readable PDF, etc.) or if you have any additional accommodation needs/concerns.
- Attend orientation. Once we receive your Interest Form, we will notify you of upcoming volunteer orientations, which generally occur once a month. During the orientation, you will learn more about CARECEN, specific roles, benefits of volunteering, and next steps.
NOTE: If you're applying for an internship, you do not need to attend orientation but you do need to send a cover letter and resume. More information on the Internship tab below.
You can always contact our volunteer coordinator Arlene Amaya for any additional questions at AAmaya@carecen-la.org or 213-385-7800 ext. 181.
Citizenship Class Tutor: Help adult students achieve their dream of becoming US citizens by working one-on-one with them in a classroom. Under the supervision of the citizenship class instructor, you will help students prepare for their naturalization interview and develop their reading and writing skills. Many different locations and times available. Spanish-speaking abilities not required at most locations.
Where/When: click HERE for class times/locations Commitment: minimum 3 months, 2 hours/week
Day Labor Center: The Day Labor Center provides critical job opportunities for day laborers at the Westlake Home Depot. We have tons of volunteer opportunities available! We are looking for individuals who can do short trainings on how to use maps, the LA Metro system, social media platforms, and many other important skills. Can you think of a skill you would like to contribute? We are also looking for dedicated ESL instructors and people who want to help with phone calls, outreach, and more. Learn more about our Day Labor Center HERE. Bilingual (Spanish/English) preferred. Can be structured as an internship (more information under Current Internship Opportunities).
Where: 1675 Wilshire Blvd. When: Flexible, within Mon-Sat, 6:30 AM - 2 PM Commitment: minimum 2-3 months, 3 hours/week
Legal Volunteer: Limited and to be assigned. Might include administrative work, conducting legal screenings (must speak Spanish) with CARECEN clients, researching and supporting casework under an attorney’s supervision, building client-interviewing skills, and more. You can also sign up to be an on-call translator or client interpreter. We also have occasional volunteer opportunities during Saturday naturalization clinics. Can be structured as an internship (more information under Current Internship Opportunities).
Where: LA and SFV offices When: Usually within Mon-Fri, 9-5 pm. Occasional opportunities on Sat. Commitment: minimum 3 months, 3 hours/week
Parent Programs / English Instructor: We offer programming for adults and parents. We need volunteers to do tabling and outreach at resource events, helping facilitate workshops for parents, and more! We are also looking for a dedicated English instructor. English Instructor position can be structured as an internship (more information under Current Internship Opportunities). Bilingual (English/Spanish) preferred.
Where: LA office When: Flexible Commitment: minimum 3 months, 3 hours/week
Tabling / Outreach / Special Events: We are looking for volunteers that can table for CARECEN at different events, including school resource fairs, community events, and more. Volunteers sign up for shifts according to their availability and distribute information about CARECEN and the resources we offer. Tabling is done in pairs of two and volunteers will receive training beforehand. Must speak Spanish.
Where: LA office/Off-site locations When: Flexible Commitment: Flexible, on-call
Youth Programs: We have 5 different youth programs: College Head Start, Youth Organizer Training, Queer Justice Youth Cohort, TPS Youth Group/Committee, and a Central American Studies Course for high school students at East Los Angeles College. Our volunteer needs include helping facilitate workshops, developing curriculum, outreach at local schools, helping students with college readiness, and much more! We also have short-term volunteer opportunities throughout the year for different activities, such as art projects. Learn more about our Youth Programs HERE.
Where: LA office When: Flexible; depends on program Commitment: minimum 3 months, 3 hours/week
Other skills: Do you have a particular specialized skill that you can offer? CARECEN is also looking for volunteers with specialized skills such as web design, graphic design, database management, and more. Indicate the skills you can offer on the volunteer application.
Interested in gaining professional experience while working with a well-established community organization? Apply for one of our internships! While volunteers may commit to up to 10 hours per week, internships imply a more serious time commitment. If you are interested in an internship, please indicate which position on your Volunteer Interest Form. Then email your resume and cover letter to Arlene Amaya at AAmaya@carecen-la.org. We will follow up with further questions or an interview request.
Day Labor Center Internal Organizing Intern: learn about and apply principles of Popular Education, help with workshops and/or events, provide admin support, and help foster partnerships with individuals and community organizations. Must speak Spanish and be able to dedicate minimum 10 hours/week. ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS.
Legal Intern: to be assigned. Might include administrative work, conducting legal screenings with CARECEN clients, researching and supporting casework under an attorney’s supervision, building client-interviewing skills, and more. Requires a more dedicated commitment of 10-35 hours/week. Will generally be trained by and placed with a single legal department to gain specialized skills and experience. Must speak Spanish. ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS.
English Instructor: teach students English at least once a week, for 2 hours, sometime within Monday-Saturday from 9-5 pm at our LA office. Experience preferred, but not required. Will be teaching at basic English level. Ability to speak at least an intermediate level of Spanish required. Commitment of six months or more is highly preferred. ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS.