Student request policy

ACE receives many student requests for interviews and information about environmental justice work. While we are honored to be contacted and excited about the broad range of environmental justice projects, we are unfortunately unable to answer most requests.

To remain true to our mission of building the power of lower-income communities and communities of color to achieve environmental justice, we ask for an exchange of volunteer time for student requests. This policy ensures that our time spent working with students outside our primary constituency will still help us advance environmental justice in the region.

Students in the Boston area

If you are a student in the Boston area with an interview or informational request, we ask that you complete a volunteer session with us before conducting interviews or gathering information. As it may take some time to schedule volunteer work, please contact us as much in advance of your deadline as possible, with at least four weeks notice. We will do our best to accommodate requests, but cannot guarantee we will be available for every request.

Volunteer hours

We ask for an exchange of volunteer hours for staff time, with a minimum of four hours for each request, and two additional hours for every half hour of staff time requested beyond one hour. Depending on the nature and scope of your request, more volunteer hours may be required.

We are generally unable to accommodate requests that take more than one hour of staff time.


  • A request for a one-hour interview would require at least four hours of volunteering.
  • A request for a 1.5 hour interview would require at least six hours of volunteering.
  • A request for two hours of staff time would require at least eight hours of volunteering.

Students outside of our region

Because it is difficult to provide volunteer tasks that can be completed remotely, we are generally not able to accommodate requests from students outside the Boston area. Fortunately, there are many resources available on our site that may be helpful for your project.

Thank you for your understanding!

We wish you the best of luck in your project! Please see the FAQ below and contact us if you have further questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I have a research/interview/informational/survey/etc. request that may be different from traditional requests. Will you consider this?

A: Sure, we'd be happy to hear more and see if we can accommodate your request. Please contact us.

Q: I am working on a paper or project that is due this week and need information on some EJ issues, can you help me?

A: This request is difficult for us to accommodate because of our policy that students must complete an exchange of volunteer hours. Please look through the resources available on our site and best of luck on your paper or project!

Q: My project or paper deadline is very soon. Can you make an exception to this policy? I promise I will complete volunteer hours after I finish my paper or project.

A: Sadly, we've had to stop granting exceptions after many students failed to fulfill their hours after their project or paper was finished. We may consider exceptions if you are an ACE member who has a history of working with us. Please contact us if you have further questions.

Q: Does this policy also apply to high school students?

A: Generally, this policy also covers high school students. Please contact us with more details, especially if you are a Boston Public Schools student.

Q: I am a researcher/graduate student/in academia, does this policy also apply to me?

A: Yes, this policy also applies to you. We sometimes provide help or collaborate on projects if they are in line with our mission and campaigns - if we have extra time. This tends to be pretty rare. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Q: I would like to have someone from ACE speak at my school/event. Do you take these requests?

A: We are sometimes able to fulfill speaking requests in the Boston area depending on staff time and availability. We ask for a sliding scale honorarium depending on the type of group making a request. The scale ranges from $100 to $500 an hour, with universities and colleges on the high end and Boston Public Schools on the low end. Occasionally we may be able to arrange exchanges with other youth organizing groups or substitute a portion of the honorarium with volunteer work for Boston Public high school classes. Please contact us with more information about your event.

Q: I am organizing an event, and everything is set: We have a topic and speakers, and all we need from you is [someone from ACE/one or more of your youth] to be in attendance and speak about [environmental justice/issues affecting communities of color]. We don't have funding for an honorarium, but we really want to hear your perspective.

A: We are generally not able to fulfill these requests, and prefer not to place youth, members or staff in potentially tokenizing situations. Best of luck with your event!

Q: I am working on or applying for a project to do some fantastic research. Can you help fund my project?

A: Unfortunately, we are not able to fund your endeavor, as we do not give out funding or grants. Best of luck in your project!

Q: How can I find out more information about Boston University's bioterrorism (BSL-4) lab?

A: ACE connected the Stop the Biolab campaign to pro bono attorneys participating in our Massachusetts Environmental Justice Assistance Network (MEJAN). To find out more about the lab, see the Stop the Biolab site or contact Attorney Mina Makarious at Anderson & Krieger, LLP.