Frequently asked questions

What is the time commitment to participate in the Spirit of Service Scholars program?

Spirit of Service Scholars commit to four key areas of participation:

  • Serve on a team to develop and put on a seminar on a community or public policy issue of your choosing
  • Meet with your Senior Mentor at least 2-3 times a semester
  • Attend all Spirit of Service Scholar seminars (held online, about once a month on Saturdays)

 What is expected for the Spirit of Service Scholar Seminars?

Prior to the start of fall semester, scholars pick community issues or public policy topics they’re interested in, and sign up to serve on two of six teams to organize and put on a seminar on one of those topics during the year (one of three seminars in the fall semesters and one of three seminars in the spring semester).

The format of these seminars varies widely, but the expectation is that each planning team, with support from the SOSS staff, will create an agenda that includes expert speakers, presenters, or panelists to provide a wide range of perspectives and critical information about the topic, and that also includes experiential learning and/or service opportunities related to the topic.

What kind of involvement will I have with my Senior Mentor, how often will we meet?

Senior Mentor volunteers are high-level public policy or public service professionals from government, nonprofit, and private sector agencies. Each SOSS student selects their mentor from a pool of Senior Mentor volunteers, each of whom represents distinct areas of expertise and professional networks.

We ask each mentor to commit to meet with their scholar approximately once a month if possible, but some meet more often. With guidance from SOSS staff, each scholar works with their mentor to develop objectives for the mentorship, and identify a project to address one or more of those objectives. These can be any combination of objectives related to your professional development, public service interests, leadership skills development, or academic development goals or interests.

Specific activities and experiences you may undertake with your mentor may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Shadowing professionals in different fields or areas of advocacy
  • Attending meetings of organizations related to the student’s areas of interest
  • Participating in conferences and workshops relevant to the student’s professional development goals
  • Collaborating on projects or service program experiences
  • Meeting and networking with community contacts identified by the Mentor
  • Developing leadership and professional development goals, objectives, and strategies

What is involved with mentoring the Junior Scholars?

Scholars are assigned to one of three mentor teams to work with a small group of students from one of three local high schools over the course of the academic year. Currently, our partner schools include Camelback High School, ASU Preparatory Academy, and Cesar Chavez High School.

After undergoing an initial background check at the assigned school, scholars usually meet with the students every two weeks during their advising hour. 

During the fall semester, each scholars mentor team will guide the Junior Scholars through an established Public Service Leadership Development curriculum. At the end of the fall semester, scholar mentors will help their Junior Scholars select a topic for a Public Service project for their school. In the Spring semester, scholar mentors guide the Junior Scholars through planning and carrying out their Public Service project.