“A KEEN parent once told me that the time I spend with his child is a gift to his child, but the truth is I am the one getting a gift!” – KEEN coach
Watch the video below to learn what it's like to be a KEEN Volunteer.
KEEN is seriously committed to maintaining the privacy of our volunteers.
Volunteers are the backbone of KEEN. We could not exist without their support and dedication. In addition to working with some great kids and young adults with disabilities, KEEN volunteers, or “coaches,” meet a variety of interesting community-minded people. Volunteering for KEEN is fun and offers opportunities for occasional participation, regular involvement, and leadership on our coaches committee. Volunteers don't need any prior experience working with individuals with disabilities – KEEN provides training prior to each session. Coaches don't need to be athletic, either. Our athletes will love you just as you are!
KEEN’s programs are structured so that each volunteer is assigned one program participant, or “athlete.” A coach’s job is to help athletes take part in different sports activities and to have a good time. Just before the athletes arrive and the session begins, coaches receive a profile with details about their athlete’s abilities as well as helpful coaching hints for that particular athlete.
KEEN draws volunteers from 3 main groups:
Individuals/Young Professionals from Chicago and surrounding areas are the core of KEEN’s volunteer base. KEEN understands the demands on these dedicated coaches, and does not ask them to make a formal commitment of time – they are welcome to show up when they can. But the rewards from interaction with their athlete and the other volunteers make them want to come back, time and again.
High School volunteers are welcome and KEEN provides student service hours. Spaces for high school student volunteers are limited, and to reserve a space, they need to register for each session. Registration may be done on-line.
Corporate/University/Community Groups are welcome to volunteer at KEEN. Groups wishing to volunteer are asked to contact KEEN’s Program Director, Ayana Geiger, to reserve a program and a date, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I become a volunteer?
Volunteers need to be at least 15 years of age.
Becoming a volunteer coach for KEEN is easy: