Exactly one year ago Chapter 510 volunteers showed up at MetWest High School, then a rag-tag bunch of low-tech portables scattered in an East Lake parking lot surrounded by construction. Their mission: weekly tutoring of Oakland youth throughout their high school years.

1,000 hours later Chapter 510 has made a huge impact at MetWest for teachers and students alike providing individualized attention, critical to academic success and high school graduation. “MetWest students are so lucky to be working with such skillful and humane volunteers,” says Shannon Carey, 22-year teaching veteran.

In addition to weekly tutoring, Chapter 510 has published student writing on the Harlem Renaissance and immigration, helped promote the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate program and provided summer camp scholarships in partnership with the Lampert Foundation for summer camps, activities and leadership opportunities.

But their primary in-school service focuses on long-term, in-depth tutoring.

Last year’s volunteers moved up with the 10th grade and now they are recruiting a new cohort to weekly tutor through the rest of the school year and beyond. “ I can’t express the extent to which my MetWest students have been a positive force and influence in my life since I started volunteering through 510,” says 25-year-old volunteer Matthew, an artist pursuing a career in youth development.

This Saturday, January 31st, Chapter 510 is hosting a volunteer mixer at Farley’s East, in Uptown Oakland.

Chapter 510 Volunteer Mixer
Saturday, January 31st
Proceeds from register to benefit Chapter 510.

About The Author

Susan Mernit is editor & publisher of Oakland Local (oaklandlocal.com) a news & community hub for Oakland, CA. A former VP at AOL & Netscape, & former! Yahoo Senior Director, Mernit was consulting program manager for The Knight News Challenge, 2008-09; was a 2012 Stanford Carlos McClatchy Fellow; and is a board adviser to The Center for Health Reporting at USC, Annenberg School of Journalism. She has consulted with many non-profit organizations on strategy, product development and social media/engagement, including Salon.com, TechSoup Global, Public Radio International and the Institute for Policy Studies/Economic Hardship Reporting Project, led by Barbara Ehrenreich.

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