Program Volunteer

As a program volunteer, you can serve in one of three roles; a Guide, a Program Coach or a Program Manager.

Guides (group facilitators)

Must be at least 16 years of age. They are frequently high school and college-aged women.

Guide Description

A group of 15 participants requires a minimum of two and maximum of three Guides. Guides must be at least 16 years of age and can earn college credit, internship/practicum hours, community service, or a stipend for facilitating a Smart-Girl group. Although high school and college-aged young women are recommended to maintain a “near peer” environment, there is no age maximum for this position. If you are an individual that can connect with adolescents, develop a healthy relationship with them and create positive change, then you may be a great candidate for the job regardless of your age.

Guides are responsible for running the program each week and providing direct service to the middle-school participants. Guides must commit to participating in every session; continuity is important to the success of the program. The role of the Guide is to facilitate, support, share with and guide the group of middle-school participants through the curriculum. The primary job responsibilities include:

  • Attending the Smart-Girl Leadership Institute
  • Attending all program sessions
  • Preparing and debriefing sessions with the Program Coach
  • Understanding the curriculum, and the role of each Guide
  • Ensuring that supplies are ready for each session
  • Record keeping (attendance, evaluations, registration, etc.)
  • Conducting and participating in all discussions and activities
  • Building a positive, healthy and supportive relationship with group participants


Program Coaches (mentors to the Guides) and Program Managers (responsible for program) must be at least 21 years of age.

Program Coach Description

Often this role is combined with the role of Program Manager. The Program Coach must be over 21 and must commit to being on site for all of the sessions. Each Smart-Girl group must have a Coach. One Coach can oversee several groups as long as each group is supported with the time and energy it deserves. The primary responsibilities of a Coach are to prepare with the Guides before sessions, supervise and support them during sessions, and debrief with them after sessions. Volunteers, graduate students, teachers, counselors and other paid professionals may serve in this role. Coaches must be Smart-Girl certified.

The Program Coach primarily oversees the Guides, but is also available to support the Guides and help run the program. A Coach must attend each session. The primary responsibilities are:

  • Providing supervision and support for the Guides
  • Preparing and debriefing the Guides before and after every session
  • Keeping track of supplies and informing the Program Manager if anything is needed
  • Reporting any legal or ethical concerns to the Program Manager

The Coach must gauge how the group is progressing and must step in, as needed, to recharge or re-energize the Guides. If group cohesion is not building, or there is a drop in productivity, morale, etc., it is the responsibility of the Coach to motivate the Guides and the groups.

Program Manager Description

A Program Manager oversees one or more program(s), including the supervision of Coaches and Guides. The Program Manager must be over 21, and may be a volunteer, a paid employee of the partner organization (school counselor, teacher), an organization board member, university faculty or paid contractor. The partner organization, not Smart-Girl, will be responsible for paying the Program Managers. The Program Managers are not required to be present when sessions are being held, but they do bare primary responsibility for the program.

The primary responsibilities include:

  • Planning and overseeing logistics such as scheduling, site, supplies and transportation
  • Recruiting both the participants and the Guides
  • Supervising and supporting the Guides and the Coaches
  • Overseeing the safety of all participants, Guides and Coaches
  • Managing the budget and the finances of each group
  • Reporting evaluation procedures and results
  • Performing administrative tasks as required

Time Commitment

All positions require an average of 2-6 hours per week, including preparation and onsite group facilitation. The time required per week varies depending on the site and volunteer commitment. Smart-Girl staff will help you select an appropriate site that matches your time availability upon completion of the 22-hour Smart-Girl Leadership Institute training.

Attend the Smart-Girl Leadership Institute to get involved!

The Smart-Girl Leadership Institute (SGLI) is a 22-hour training course that will introduce you to the Smart-Girl curriculum, program and methods. You will gain valuable communication, facilitation, leadership, self awareness and program management skills that will benefit you throughout your life. All volunteers must successfully complete this training before being certified to work with a group.

NOTE: Completing the Smart-Girl Leadership Institute does not guarantee that you will be certified to facilitate a program as a Smart-Girl Guide or Coach. Final decisions are made at the discretion of the Smart-Girl Board of Directors and staff. You will gain valuable leadership, communication and management skills even if you will not be working directly with a Smart-Girl group. In the event that you are not certified, there will be no refunds.

If you are interested in registering, please Contact us for more information.

Earn Volunteer Hours, College Credit or Continuing Education Units!

Aside from the many skills and strategies that Guides, Program Coaches and Program Managers acquire through their involvement with Smart-Girl, there are many additional benefits as well. Anyone attending the SGLI training, male or female, is eligible to register for two undergraduate or graduate credits. Educators can also earn up to 22 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for their participation in the training. Those who are involved in facilitating a Smart-Girl group as a Guide, Program Coach or Program Manager can also earn an additional three credits. All credits are given through the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs and in Denver. For more information on registering for credits go to University of Colorado, Colorado Spring Smart-Girl Leadership Instituteor contact Brian Glach,  Director, LAS Extended Studies, (719) 255-4071.

Colorado high school students registering for the Smart-Girl Leadership Institute and/or Group Facilitation Course must also submit the two-page Colorado Statewide Agreement Form.

Re-certification – If you have not worked with a Smart-Girl group within six months of attending the Smart-Girl Leadership Training Course, you must attend the “refresher course” for re-certification. Contact Smart-Girl for additional details.

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