Volunteering at the Exploration Center
Senior Planet always welcomes engaged volunteers of all ages and interests. Without our volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to offer many of the programs and services that are so important to enriching the lives of older New Yorkers. No matter what type of volunteer activity you choose, volunteering is a great way to get involved with Senior Planet.
Please read the FAQ below. If you are interested in contributing your time, click here to fill in a volunteer form.
- WHAT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE?
There are four different roles that we see volunteers filling at the Senior Planet Exploration Center. Because we have a limited staff, these roles may overlap at times.
The greeter is the first point of contact our visitors have with the center. In this role, you are responsible for welcoming each new visitor, articulating our mission and services, ensuring that visitors sign in and comply with our house rules, and helping to answer phone and email inquiries. This volunteer position is ideal for someone with customer service experience or who has a natural ability to relate to people.
Data Entry/Clerical Assistant
The data entry/clerical assistant helps to ensure that keep track of our membership and registration information at the center. In this role, you are responsible for entering the data from new membership forms into our online database as well as keeping track of RSVPs for special events and workshops. You may also be asked to assist with filing or serve as a backup for the greeter. This volunteer position is ideal for someone who is detail oriented and who is relatively comfortable using the Internet.
Tech Talk Host
The tech talk host leads a 20-minute one-on-one conversation related to technology with visiting members at the center. In this role, you assist a member to accomplish a technology-related goal for the session based on their existing knowledge and our tech-talk guidelines. The ability to manage expectations and redirect members to other technology related resources is critical, as tech talks are not meant to be prolonged tutoring sessions or computer repair consults. This volunteer position is ideal for someone who is relatively comfortable with most commonly used technology products and also is skilled at communicating about them.
The class assistant helps Senior Planet trainers to lead a formal course on technology for Senior Planet members. Trainers serve as primary instructors, while the class assistant helps students who fall behind to get back on track. You also may be asked to help track attendance, reach out to students who are absent or manage equipment distribution in the class. Classes generally meet twice a week for for 10 weeks and attendance in each class is crucial. This volunteer position is ideal for someone with tutoring or teaching experience who is relatively comfortable with most commonly used technology products.
- WHAT COMMITMENT DO YOU REQUIRE FROM VOLUNTEERS?
We ask that volunteers commit to at least one shift per week, for two months at a minimum. Volunteer shifts are on weekdays and most last for four hours, from 10am – 2pm or from 1pm – 5pm.
- HOW DO I BECOME A SENIOR PLANET VOLUNTEER?
We want to make sure that your time as a volunteer at the Exploration Center is as interesting and fun for you as it is helpful for our members, so we do ask you to work with us to find the right spot for you.
1. Submit a letter of interest and resume via email The first step to becoming a Senior Planet volunteer is to fill in a volunteer form. Let us know a little bit about yourself and your experience, and why you want to volunteer at the center.
2. Interview with a Senior Planet staff member Once we review your volunteer form and determine that your availability and experience match our current volunteer needs, we’ll contact you to schedule a one-on-one interview with a Senior Planet staff member. The purpose of this interview is to find the right volunteer placement for you at Senior Planet and to answer your questions.
3. Attend a Volunteer training In some cases, the volunteer opportunities at Senior Planet require initial training and may include other commitments as well. You can find out more about this during your interview with a Senior Planet staff member.