Become an Explore Austin Mentor!

Ongoing volunteer opportunity with a 3-6 year commitment.

What makes this program unique is the length of time Explore Austin volunteer Mentors commit to their Explorers. Explorers begin in sixth grade and their mentors stay with them through the graduation of high school and beyond into their adult lives. Over the course of the six-year program, each Explorer spends more than 1,300 hours with their Mentors and fellow Explore teammates, creating lifelong growth in character, integrity, courage, and grit.

Regular programming one Saturday a month during the academic year and one week in the summer.

Once a month, Explorers and Mentors will participate in 9 adventure-based challenges. During these Saturdays, Mentors will facilitate leadership activities and discussions.

Every Summer, Explorers and Mentors apply the leadership lessons learned during Saturday Challenges on a weeklong Summer Wilderness Trip. It is on these trips that Explorers are given the opportunity to leave their neighborhoods and see parts of the country most have never seen before. It is when Mentors form a unique bond with their class of Explorers, and when the Explorers get to test their leadership abilities to the fullest.

Direct mentoring to 15 Austin-area teens, alongside 4 co-Mentors.

Explore Austin matches low-income, high potential, 6th grade “Explorers” with caring and committed adult mentors.

Mentors participate in outdoor activities alongside Explorers.

These outdoor activities are taught by professional Trip Leaders and include rock climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, backpacking, and hiking.

Involvement in a strong community of 100+ fellow Mentors.

Our Mentors…

…live in Austin,

have a love of the outdoors (or want to cultivate one!),

are committed and caring,

have experience working with youth,

hold a strong desire to give back,

demonstrated leadership experience,

and are flexible and positive in the face of unexpected weather or a week in the backcountry!

Mentor applications are currently live! The application opened in mid-September 2022 and will remain open until all positions are filled. Apply today, as Mentor positions can fill quickly! 
**We recommend setting aside 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete this application. You will not be able to save and return to your answers. PLEASE SAVE ALL RESPONSES EXTERNALLY (Word, Notes, Google Docs, etc.) as you go and even after the application has been submitted, as we have dealt with some glitches and lost applications in the past.
Also, please note that you will need to complete a background check along with your mentor application. You can complete the background check here: 
  • The password for the background check is “exploreaustin” and the cost is $18.
  • Results will be sent directly to Explore Austin and your information will not be shared.


If you have any questions, please reach out to our Program Manager, Anitra Edwards, at!