Community Navigators

Why should I become a Community Navigator?

Community Navigators are tasked to help guide refugees through their new community. You’ll assist with navigating the English language, adjusting to the community, and learning about the culture of Washtenaw County.  The goal of Navigators is to ensure the refugee(s) understand what they need to know to assimilate to their new community.

As a Community Navigator, you will have the opportunity to help with the following activities:

  • Community Guide
    • Learning how to use public transportation to get to appointments, stores, or community agencies
  • Employment Coach
    • Meet with clients for resume building, application assistance, mock interviewing
  • Financial Literacy Instructor or Tutor
    • Teach a group or tutor individuals on a set of classes (Budgeting, Credit, Financial Services & Taxes, Goal Setting)
  • Vehicle Ownership Instructor or Tutor:
    • Teach or tutor students about insurance, registration, fees, driving laws
  • Cultural Orientation & Life Skills Instructor or Tutor:
    • Teach or tutor groups about the basics of life in the United States: laws, education, rights, services
  • Language Partner
    • Utilize creative communication techniques (such as photos and Google translate) and teaching methods (we provide training & resources) to plan lessons that meet your student(s)’ needs.
  • Matching Grant Volunteer
    • Meet weekly with an individual or family to develop their employment related skills


  • Attend a JFS General Orientation
  • Attend a Community Navigator Training where you will learn:
    • Skills that will help you help our clients
    • Detailed information to choose best activities for you to volunteer with
  • Some Roles require additional steps:
    • Community Guide & Employment Coach require no additional training steps
    • Financial Literacy, Vehicle Ownership, and Cultural Orientation Instructors/Tutors require additional training on each class’s curriculum
    • Language Partner & Matching Grant require an in person interview

We will be happy to provide you with training, resources, and support in order to be successful in your volunteer role. However, please note, we will not be providing interpretation for most one-on-one activities.

Interpretation for classes will be provided as necessary.

Please note: volunteer tasks related to refugee resettlement vary case-by-case and are dependent on refugee arrivals.