Within the past two decades, a somewhat novel form of service opportunity has emerged on Harvard University's campus for undergraduates.These are not traditional volunteer positions, as might be exemplified by the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA), which traces its history back to the early 1900s and features primarily student-run programs. Instead, for the Harvard EdPortal Mentoring Program and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Emerging Leaders Program, university administrators primarily manage the execution of these programs and students are compensated for their time. In addition to serving the local community, they are also in the service of the university and its educational outreach priorities.
The Harvard EdPortal Mentoring Program
The Harvard EdPortal was built in 2008 with the intent of bridging relationships between Harvard and its neighboring communities. Allston-Brighton community members are regularly into this Harvard space for programming ranging from arts workshops to professional development sessions. The Mentoring Program has existed since the beginning of the EdPortal’s existence—it pairs a cohort of typically twenty to twenty-five Harvard undergraduates with Allston-Brighton students and encourages the former to lead the latter in purposeful learning academic exploration. Full-time staff from the EdPortal as well as the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning manage the administration of the program and undergraduate mentors receive hourly pay for their participation.