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Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization – they give our students unique perspectives on the real world of interviewing and help expose our students to a variety of professionals with whom they are apt to encounter in the workplace. They are trainers, coaches, seamstresses, fundraisers, event planners, runners, programmers and administrative aides. Most importantly, they help our staff build its capacity in serving our mission; and we are grateful for their gifts of time every day.

The following are a sample of volunteer opportunities available: student coaching and job strategy support, computer lab assistant, mock interviewers (specifically at our community centers), and a variety of administrative and fundraising support functions as well.

Administrative Support Roles

  • Administrative/Office Support: Assist with projects as needed, including filing, data entry, preparation every six weeks when each new class starts and other projects as determined by our operations department.
  • Admissions Intake Assistant: Assist our admissions department in managing the influx of inquiries from potential students or referral partners and either answering inquiries or referring the inquiry to the appropriate admissions specialist or an additional outside source when necessary.

Student Support Roles

  • Business Writing Coach: Assist in building professional writing skills as it relates to email, thank you letters and cover letters with students who have varying levels of business writing competency.
  • Computer Trainer: Assist students one-on-one with basic to intermediate computer competencies.
  • Job Search Assistant: Assist students during designated "Job Search" times with online applications, resumes and online job searching techniques/methods.
  • Mock Interviewer: Conduct mock interviews with tenured students and evaluate students based on their performance. Give them the sense of the rigor, stress and unexpectedness of a real-life interview, so they are all the more prepared when that opportunity arises.

Clothing Support Roles

  • Clothing Program Assistant: Assist in our clothing room with sorting, sizing and organizing our clothing donations. Additionally, every six weeks, when our new students are being fitted for their suits – help with sizing and distribution is needed.
  • Tailor: Provide professional hemming, tailoring (e.g. bust, waist, length, etc.), to help properly size clothes for our students.

Fundraising Support Roles

  • Event Planning Assistant – Auction Support and/or Logistical Support: Assist our Development Team as they plan key fundraising events throughout the year. This work is more time intensive during the months leading up to the event and would include tasks like soliciting silent and live auction items, helping to organize and execute a large-scale silent auction, managing attendee registration, and general support the week and day of the event.
  • Development Assistant: Assist our Development Team in upkeep of our records, filing and organizing grant and donor reports, mail merges and other housekeeping tasks as needed. If you have an interest in fundraising, we would be thrilled to leverage your skills to assist us in researching new funding opportunities for The Cara Program.


  • Many of our students have lost their smiles over the years; and with that loss can come loss of confidence and loss of esteem.  We are so fortunate to have dentists within our community who provide pro bono dental care and dental restoration to help our students bring back their best asset in an interview - their smile.

Interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities?

  • Feel free to complete this quick inquiry form so we can learn more about you and your interests.
  • Volunteer time commitments vary, depending on the opportunity. Interested parties are encouraged to attend a Volunteer Orientation session, to learn more about our mission and the meaningful ways in which you can contribute.

The Impact

Avg 1 Yr Savings

v. U.S. average of $199

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Our Partner Programs

  • Clean Slate
  • TCP Staffing

Our Supporters and Employers

  • Accenture
  • Engineered Glass Products
  • Armitage Baptist Church
  • Calumet Area Industrial Commission
  • Ravenswood Community Council
  • Skilken
  • Six Corners Association
  • River North Businesses
  • Various Private Groupon Customers
  • John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County
  • Illinois Medical District Guest House
  • Little Village Chamber of Commerce
  • Illinois Medical District
  • The Habitat Company
  • Union League Club
  • Scrub Inc.
  • Oce Business Services, Inc.
  • Charter One Bank
  • Standard Bank
  • Palmer House Hilton
  • Hilton Chicago O'Hare
  • Loretto Hospital
  • Gate Gourmet
  • Vacant Property Security
  • Sodexo @ Northwestern
  • Resurrection Healthcare
  • Greyhound
  • Hyatt Regency Chicago
  • Hyatt Regency O'Hare
  • Hyatt Regency McCormick
  • Standard Parking
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Securitas
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • Pierce and Associates
  • Manpower
  • Mercy Housing Lakefront
  • Pitney Bowes
  • Terrace Paper Company
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
  • Cambridge Commercial Cleaning
  • Center For Working Families
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • Cleanslate
  • Digby's Security
  • Dyson, Inc.
  • ABM Janitorial Services
  • ACORN Housing
  • Allied Barton Security Services
  • Bank of America
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