VISTA Position Opportunities
Are you interested in reducing poverty in your community? The AmeriCorps VISTA program is seeking motivated individuals to participate in a year of service with the United Way of Thurston County. We are offering 15 positions in the areas of Health, Economic Opportunity, Veteran Support and Education to support communities in poverty. Start dates for year-long service range from July to November. Benefits include: $970/month stipend, professional development training, Education award of $5815 upon successful completion of service, childcare and health benefits. We encourage interested candidates to make a profile at www.my.americorps.gov or to follow up with our Team Lead Andrea Fercho at Afercho@unitedway-thurston.org
Please click on the links below for more information
Pre-Service Orientation: August 14 – 17, 2017 Start Date: August 18, 2017
How to Apply for AmeriCorps https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JwJfJxVBU0
About AmeriCorps VISTA
AmeriCorps VISTA is a branch of national service specifically dedicated to eliminating poverty in our communities. Originally created in 1964 by Lyndon Johnson members served in their communities as the domestic peace corps for almost 30 years until the Clinton administration when VISTA was woven into the newly created AmeriCorps service program, a division of the Corporation for National and Community Service and renamed “AmeriCorps VISTA.”
Now, members exchange 365 days of service at an organization and are provided with orientation and training, a living stipend at no less than 105% of the poverty line, settling in and transportation costs, childcare benefits and a modest health care plan.
Upon successful completion of their one-year term VISTA members have the option of receiving a cash award or the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award which is equivalent to that years maximum Pell grant, for projects beginning after October 2016, that Education award is equivalent to $5,815.00. The education award can be used towards paying back qualifying student loans or continuing education at any title IV institution.
AmeriCorps VISTA operates on a 3-year program cycle. First year VISTAs establish the programmatic needs and lay a foundation, the second year VISTA carries out the planning and the third year ensures the stability of the program to run independently of VISTA service members. This model allows organizations to make an investment in VISTA program development and the VISTAs ensure that the program can run independent of VISTA member service by recruiting volunteers or creating standard operating procedures to ensure long term viability.
What can an AmeriCorps VISTA do?
AmeriCorps VISTA members live and serve in both urban and rural regions, creating and expanding programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Each VISTA member makes a full-time year-long commitment to serve at a specific nonprofit or public agency. VISTAs are generally not providing direct services, such as building homes or tutoring children, rather they focus their efforts on building the organizational, administrative and financial capacity of organizations that otherwise assist low-income communities. VISTAs can help develop programs to meet a need, write grants, recruit and train volunteers. VISTA service is comprised of four key components
• Capacity Building
• Poverty Alleviation
• Community Empowerment
What is the United Way of Thurston County AmeriCorps VISTA team?
The United Way of Thurston County serves as an Intermediary supervisory so that your site can simply host a VISTA. We handle the paperwork, negotiating with the state office, writing the grant for hosting VISTAs, we help to place VISTAs and provide a VISTA Lead to support the team of AmeriCorps VISTAs serving in our community. Our current VISTAs serve at:
• United Way of Thurston County: Reading Buddy Program
• United Way of Pierce County: Hunger Free Pierce County
• SideWalk: Operations and Development
• Thurston County Economic Development Council: Asset Building Coalition
• CIELO: Centro Integral Educativo Latino de Olympia
Past sites include:
• Family Support Center
• Family Education and Support Services: Kinship Navigators
• Pierce County Medical Reserve Corps
• Thurston County Food Bank: Satellite Food Banks
• Crisis Clinic of Thurston and Mason Counties
Our members represent a diverse array of experiences from veterans, to parents, to recent graduates, to local community members, to imports from other parts of the nation! We are excited to grow the team into more areas of South Western Washington and expand our opportunities for training and professional development while serving our community.
Who is eligible to be an AmeriCorps VISTA member?
• Anyone 18 years or older can be an AmeriCorps VISTA, there is no upper age limit.
• Members must be U.S. citizens or national, legal permanent residents of the United States to qualify.
• Most organizations seek members with college degrees or at least two years of work experience.
• Many VISTAs bring significant work and life experiences to their assignment. Initiative, flexibility, and organizational skills are a must.
• Fluency in Spanish or other languages also are helpful in certain programs.
• You must be able to serve full-time (40 hours-a-week) for one year.
• You must attend an AmeriCorps Pre-Service Orientation Training either in person or online
How to apply:
• Make a profile on www.my.americorps.gov (need help making a profile?)
• Make sure your application is complete
• Search available listings
Who is eligible to be a host site for an AmeriCorps VISTA?
Does your organization have a project with the ultimate goal of eliminating poverty in our community that you currently lack the staffing or funding to implement? Do you work in one of VISTAs key focus areas?
• Veterans and Military Families
• Economic Opportunity
• Healthy Futures
If you are a non-profit, an educational institution/educational service district or a local, state or tribal government in the following counties:
• Grays Harbor
you may be eligible to host a VISTA with the United Way of Thurston County VISTA team!
How do organizations apply to be a host site?
If you are interested in applying to be a host site, please email Stacy Hicks: Volunteer Programs Coordinator at email@example.com
Why be a member of the United Way of Thurston County Team?
Monthly Training Opportunities
Professional networking and development
Community Service opportunities
VISTA leader provides soft support and AmeriCorps navigation for members
Conflict resolution and mediation from United Way Team
Connection to other non-profits in our community
Benefits and Compensation
• Monthly living allowance of $990 (pre-tax)
• $5,815 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful program completion
• Health benefits that meet the minimum standards of ACA compliance
• Childcare assistance
• Loan forbearance and interest accrual payment on qualified student loans
• Transportation assistance
• High quality training and orientation
• Unique team experience as part of United Way and AmeriCorps networks
For more information, please contact:
Stacy Hicks, Volunteer Programs Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea Fercho, AmeriCorps VISTA Lead Afercho@unitedway-thurston.org