Venture Mentors


A New Approach to Coaching: LearnServe Fellows design and launch social ventures to serve their schools and communities. They represent more than 45 high schools in the DC Metro area. Mentors may choose to work with first-year LearnServe Fellows, second-year students participating in the LearnServe Incubator, or a sub-cohort of Fellows a part of the LearnServe PowerHouse Collaborative. Mentors help Fellows identify and overcome challenges to their venture plans, practice their presentations, and guide alumni as they grow active ventures.
Fellows Mentor 2014

Where: Fellows: Classrooms at the School Without Walls, on the campus of George Washington University in Foggy Bottom.

Incubator: National Society of Collegiate Scholars, near Dupont Circle.

When: Venture Mentor sessions typically occur on Mondays (Incubator) or Thursdays (Fellows) from 5-6:30 pm during the fall and spring semesters. Mentors are encouraged to attend the Fellows’ capstone presentation events in December and April, Incubator Pitch Competition in April, and are invited to host practice sessions in their offices in March/April.

Background Check: Through Verified Volunteers (approx. $30)

“I enjoy serving as a mentor because it inspires me to think differently and not become complacent with the status quo.  LearnServe Fellows are the future leaders… I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with them to create the change that our society needs!”
– Lisa
How it Works: Mentors apply online and are invited to work either with the LearnServe Fellows, in the early stages of designing their ventures, or with the LearnServe Incubator, Fellows alumni now working to launch their ventures.

LearnServe Venture Mentor Opportunities: 2017-18

LearnServe Fellows Program

The LearnServe Fellows Program offers high school students an introduction to social entrepreneurship, and the opportunity to design their own social ventures. More than 60 students participate, from 30 high schools in DC, Maryland, and Virginia – launching more than 45 social ventures.

Mentors have the opportunity to meet and work with different LearnServe Fellows each session. Before each session, mentors are given prompts to initiate conversations with their students. Mentors will typically meet with 2-3 student teams during a given session.

Mentors are expected to sign up in advance, and attend as many sessions as possible, but need not sign up for every session. Mentors have some flexibility if they are unable to attend a session due to a work commitment. Attending all sessions is encouraged.

September 28th
January 18th

October 12th
February 1st

October 26th
February 15th

November 9th
March 8th

December 7th – Innovators’ Coffee House
April 19th – Panels & Venture Fair

May 3rd – Fellows’ Graduation


When I was a teenager, all I wanted was to be taken seriously, spoken to like an adult and given the opportunity to learn these skills. LearnServe gives these teens the space, the skills, and the confidence to realize their projects. You can’t help but take them seriously and respect their ambition and talent. I’m thrilled to give my time and energy to an organization that empowers these bright young students to do such meaningful things.

LearnServe Incubator

Mentor at Venture Fair

The LearnServe Incubator guides LearnServe alumni as they launch their ventures.  The Incubator introduces students to Lean Startup, customer discovery, prototyping, pitching, and legal structures of organizations.
Mentors hold Alumni accountable to implement and follow their venture, minimal-viable-product, and customer discovery plans throughout the program year and provide critical feedback in preparation for the final pitch.
Mentors will work with the same 1-2 Incubator student teams at each session.  Mentors are expected to attend each mentor session (approximately 1 per month), and are also expected to connect with students independently once per week outside of LearnServe sessions.
September 25th
February 5th
October 16th
February 26th
November 13th
March 12th
December 11th
March 26th
Third Column
April 9th – Incubator Pitches


The Incubator program requires a higher level of commitment from both Mentors and Alumni.


LearnServe PowerHouse Collaborative

Mentoring at another Level: LearnServe students represent a diverse group of academic and socio-economic backgrounds. LearnServe realizes that academic and extracurricular opportunities are not always equitable. LearnServe works to bridge these gaps in our programs through expanded opportunities that focus on students that attend traditionally under-resourced partner school.

LearnServe PowerHouse Collaborative offers specific programming, including a separate (and additional) mentorship opportunity, that links participating students with resources and skills to advance their venture plans and promote their holistic success in their academic endeavors.

This mentorship opportunity requires a greater engagement level from mentors to build relationships that support and advocate for Fellows’ success.

Where: Fellows PowerHouse Collaborative sessions are held at rotating metro-accessible locations in Washington, DC. 

When: Fellow’s PowerHouse Collaborative sessions are typically held on Saturday afternoons from 11 am – 1:30 pm. Mentors are encouraged to attend the Fellows’ capstone presentation events in December and April, and are invited to host practice sessions in their offices in March/April.

How it Works: Mentors apply online and are invited to work either with the LearnServe Fellows, in the early stages of designing their ventures, the mentorship commitment is to Saturday PowerHouse sessions and personal support of Fellow’s venture project and academic achievements during program year.

Background Check: Through Verified Volunteers (approx. $30)

LearnServe Fellows’ PowerHouse Session Dates:

October 14th
January 27th

November 4th
March 17th

December 2nd
April 7th

Become involved with the LearnServe PowerHouse Collaborative. Contact Courtney Williams at for more information.

Those interested in mentoring for the 2017-18 school year are invited to apply online.