ASPIRE Ambassadors | Aspire

We believe that  UNSW students who volunteer for the ASPIRE program are the happiest volunteers in the world. Time and again the feedback from our partner schools, our school students, our networks and our own staff confirms it: ASPIRE Ambassadors are fantastic! If you’d like to be part of one of the greatest teams on the planet, then read on to find out what it takes to volunteer as an ASPIRE Ambassador!

What we do

  • If you have heard about the ASPIRE program, you'll know we help school students from disadvantaged backgrounds to aim to go to university.
  • We run a number of big events throughout the year where we bring students from our partner schools onto campus to participate in faculty-based activities.
  • We also run in-school workshops, homework clubs, residential programs for our regional students and a number of community-based activities with our schools across Sydney and regional NSW.
  • You can also have the opportunity to become a mentor! If you can commit to a set one hour on a fortnightly basis to talk to a high school student online about career aspirations, read on!

What ASPIRE Ambassadors do

In everything we do, our Ambassadors play a big role in the ASPIRE program.

  • Ambassadors lead workshops, attend events, work in our schools, organise activities, talk about scholarships and how to apply for university, answer questions and share personal experiences about the ups and downs of university life. To our students, Ambassadors become mentors, tutors, role models and friends. They provide unique support and encouragement to the students and help build their confidence in their academic abilities.
  • We probably should mention the non-glamorous side of being an Ambassador.  We really appreciate your enthusiastic help with setting up, taking down, greeting students on arrival, registration, giving out ASPIRE bags, packing-up, distributing snacks and lunches, and all the other odd jobs behind the scenes that go into event management.
  • It's not all hard work.  ASPIRE Ambassadors have a lot of fun too and become great team mates.
  • Suitable for University students who have a busy timetable – you sign up for workshops or events which are suitable to you, whenever you want!

Mentoring with ASPIRE

Many students rarely leave their local environment or community, so their life experience is very limited. Students may not have anyone in their family who has been to university and may not even know anyone who has gone on to higher education. A mentor can help open up the students' world of possibilities and instil a sense of confidence and aspiration to achieve a university degree.

We ask all volunteers to sign up as an Ambassador to become a mentor. We are looking for volunteers who can commit to a set 1 hour a week online mentoring session. During the online sessions, you will:

  • Share your high school experience and journey to university with high school students
  • Offer a glimpse of university life: how to adapt to a new environment, offer guidance on subject selection and what a typical day at uni looks like
  • Be a role model and build student confidence to achieve their own potential

Being a mentor is a great way for you to enhance your leadership, communication and interpersonal skills. It is also very rewarding to inspire and motivate a young person to reach their full potential.

Quick facts about Mentoring with ASPIRE:

  • Over 90% of our past mentors feel that mentoring has been able to increase their interpersonal skills
  • Over 70% of our past mentors feel that mentoring has been able to increase their leadership skills
  • Over 80% of our past mentors feel that they have made a difference in a young person's life

Who can be an ASPIRE Ambassador?

Any current UNSW student who has completed at least one semester can apply. We welcome applications from undergraduate and postgraduate students from any faculty or degree program.

What's in it for you?

Being an ASPIRE Ambassador is a fulfilling and rewarding opportunity. Many of our Ambassadors have regularly volunteered for ASPIRE throughout their entire university career.

The top five reasons to join the ASPIRE Ambassador team are:

Giving back
You genuinely contribute to helping a young person discover the benefits of higher education. 

Personal growth
Boost your self-confidence and social skills.  Step out of your comfort zone and gain a sense of purpose.

Professional development
Build skills in communication, team work, leadership, problem solving, presentation and organisation.  Qualities that look good on your resume and employers value.

Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS) recognition
Volunteering a minimum of 20 hours per year is recognised on your AHEGS certificate.

Loads of fun
Meet new people, make new friends, experience something different 

How to apply

  • Notifications that ASPIRE Ambassador applications are open will be sent out through UNSW student channels and on this website.
  • You'll need to fill out a short application form
  • If you get through the first round, you will be invited to participate in a group selection activity and mentor interview
  • Successful applicants will be required to complete an online training and attend an Ambassador training session

FAQs

Q: Is the Ambassador program open to all UNSW students?

A: Yes! The Ambassador program is open to all University students – including undergrads, post grads and even PHD students.

Q: I don't have previous volunteering experience or experience working with school kids. Can I still apply?

A: Absolutely! You don't need any prior experience to become an ASPIRE Ambassador.

Q: My timetable is pretty packed, with only a few free hours in the week. Should I still apply?

A: Yes of course! You can choose the time you would like to volunteer for workshops or events. And you can still become a mentor if you can commit to a set time in which you are free.

Q: I'm a shy person, would I still  fit in to become an Ambassador?

A: Definitely! We value difference in personality and being a shy person does not mean you will not become a great Ambassador.

Q: I would like to become a mentor but I'm worried I might not get along with the student?

A: Our students are very appreciative of mentors taking the time to talk to them. The training is very comprehensive to ensure mentors feel capable and adequate before commencement of being a mentor.

Q: Am I able to become a mentor only?

A: No, you will need to be an ASPIRE Ambassador in order to become a mentor.

Q: How long is the training?

A: The online training should take approximately 90 minutes to complete.

The Ambassador training is approximately two hours and the mentor training is another two hours.

Q: Do I only receive the one AHEGS recognition?

A: You will receive accreditation for becoming an ASPIRE Ambassador and ASPIRE mentor if you sign up for both.