Supporting Students for 18 Years

Volunteers in Bellevue’s Education System (VIBES) is a highly successful volunteer program that has been operating in all Bellevue schools for 18 years.

VIBES has provided a safety net for thousands of Bellevue students (K–12) that are at risk for academic failure or dropping out. VIBES helps students succeed in school by fostering their personal growth and improving their academic skills and work habits.

This success is made possible by matching students with trained, caring, and dependable adult mentors who meet with them weekly during the school day in the classroom or a designated area at the school. VIBES volunteers support struggling students in various ways, including:

  • ONE-ON-ONE mentors are matched to students that need help and guidance from a responsible adult mentor. VIBES mentors meet weekly with individual students to help them with their school work (academic tutoring) or help them deal with difficult issues. Typically, mentors do a little of both.
  • CLASSROOM mentors support individual students or small groups of students. Their role in the classroom is guided by the teacher.
  • AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) mentors provide study skills and coaching, and they facilitate small group discussions for students enrolled in AVID.
  • COLLEGE CORPS helps high school seniors with college admissions essays at Sammamish and Interlake High Schools. Many of these students are the first in their families to be on track to graduate from high school and to attend college. Former Foundation Trustee Ronna Sarvas Weltman, who conceived of the College Corps program, also has written a guidebook for students to use to prepare their essays. It is available to students through the donor-funded Naviance platform and can be read here.
  • STEM mentors was a new program in 2011. The program matches science, technology, engineering and math professionals with students and classrooms at Sammamish High School.
  • BIG PICTURE SCHOOL mentors and internship mentors was a new program implemented in conjunction with the launch of the Bellevue Big Picture School in the fall of 2011. Mentors are needed for every student in the school.