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!

Applications are now closed. If you’re interested in becoming a substitute Mentor (“sub Mentor), please fill out this Mentor Interest Form and we’ll be in touch!

Through outdoor adventure and long-term mentorship, Explore Austin supports adventurous youth from low-income communities as they develop into confident and courageous adults. Explore Austin recruits new volunteer Mentors from the community each year.

Being a Mentor is a 3-6 year ongoing volunteer experience with a commitment of one Saturday a month during the academic year and one week in the summer. Mentors have the opportunity to learn outdoor skills such as mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, and navigation along with their mentees (although no previous experience is required!) at beautiful locations throughout Austin. Each summer, they are also fully supported in going on a week-long out-of-state backcountry trip to some of the most breath-taking places in the U.S., from Colorado to New Mexico to Arkansas and beyond. Being a Mentor with Explore Austin gives you the chance to make a difference in the lives of Austin youth, join a close-knit network of other Mentors, and travel to natural wonders in and out of state.