What is AmeriCorps*VISTA?
Authorized originally in 1964 by the Economic Opportunity Act, the federal program has provided full-time volunteers to thousands of low-income communities across the nation to address a multitude of problems as defined by those communities.
Nearly 6,000 AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) members serve in hundreds of non-profit and public agencies throughout the country. Known also as the "domestic Peace Corps," AmeriCorps*VISTA is a national service program that seeks to eliminate poverty by creating and expanding sustainable projects that impact the lives of those being served.
The Mission of AmeriCorps*VISTA
To strengthen and supplement efforts to eliminate and alleviate poverty in the United States by encouraging and enabling persons from all walks of life, all geographic areas, and all age groups, including low-income individuals to perform meaningful and constructive volunteer service in agencies, institutions, and situations where the application of human talent and dedication may assist in the solution of poverty and poverty-related problems to generate the commitment of private sector resources, to encourage volunteer service at the local level, and to strengthen local agencies and organizations to carry out the purpose of the program (42 U.S.C. 4951)
Benefits: What's in it for the VISTA Member?
By dedicating a year of your life to VISTA, you can put your skills and experience into action and learn a lot along the way. Learn and grow as you mobilize volunteers, write grants, or develop a tutoring program for children.
When you serve for a full year in AmeriCorps*VISTA, you receive:
A monthly living stipend ($990 per month), health coverage, child care (if eligible–maximum is $400/month), 10 personal and 10 sick days
Relocation allowance up to $550, depending on the distance of the move
A $5,775 education award at end of service or a $1,500 cash stipend with student loan deferment
Professional trainings, which are held both by the DPI and AmeriCorps*VISTA
Experience in a field that interests you, not to mention an immense boost to your resume.
Option to put your loans into forbearance or deferment for the duration of your service.
Visit the AmeriCorps Homepage or call (800) 942-2677 for more information regarding AmeriCorps*VISTA, on general, non-DPI oriented questions.