- Business and Employment»
- Employment & Jobs
Volunteer Work: AmeriCorps VISTA Endorsement By H.O.W.
Welcome to Americorps Vista
VISTA, or Volunteers in Service to America, was the brainchild of President John F. Kennedy. In his Inaugural Speech he called on the youth of America to ask what they could do for their country, and VISTA was one such endeavor that they could join.
The program was founded in 1965, after Kennedy’s death, and it was incorporated into the AmericCorps network of programs in 1993.
As part of President Johnson’s Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, VISTA was the domestic version of the Peace Corps, designed to increase employment opportunities for civic-minded people who wanted to fight the War on Poverty. Volunteers worked across America helping to enrich educational programs and vocational training for the nation’s poor.
There are three main objectives to the VISTA Program:
1. Encouraging volunteer service at the local level
2. Generating the commitment of private sector resources
3. Strengthening local agencies and organizations that serve low-income communities.
Each year there are approximately 5,000 VISTA team members active in over 1,000 projects across the country.
Terms of Service
Members sign up for a full year of service, or 365 days. In return they receive:
· Orientation and training
· Living stipend calculated at no less than 105% of the poverty line
· Settling in and transportation costs
· Child care benefits
· Basic health plan
Upon completion of their year of service, members have the option of receiving a cash award or the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award which can be as much as $5,550.
To qualify to serve for AmeriCorps VISTA you must meet the following requirements:
· Be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, or a lawful permanent resident
· Be team-oriented
· Be willing to meet a variety of challenges
· Be willing to work for one full year
· Most programs require a college degree or at least three years of work experience
· Must be able to pass a criminal background check
There is no upper age limit and in fact many retirees work in the program.
For more information
- AmeriCorps.gov > AmeriCorps VISTA
AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fi
Types of Services Provided By Vista Volunteers
Members usually do not provide direct services such as tutoring or building homes. Their efforts are aimed more toward building organizational and administrative capacities that “fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities.” These would include:
· Create adult literacy awareness campaigns and recruit volunteer tutors
· Establish transitional housing
· Expand programs to help low-income families to obtain health insurance
· Recruit mentors for children of incarcerated parents
· Organize shelter and job opportunities for victims of disasters.
To Join Americorps Vista
For more information:
- Tel: 1-800-942-267
From the website you will be directed to your individual state where the actual paperwork is generated.
Personal Reflections from the Author
It was my honor to serve with VISTA shortly after I graduated from college in the early 1970’s. I spent a very memorable year in the New Iberia Parish in Louisiana, a year I will always hold near and dear to my heart.
There is always skepticism about government programs, and I readily admit to having my share of skepticism during my sixty-four years. However, I found my year with VISTA to be incredibly rewarding, and I found VISTA to be manned by dedicated people who were passionate about helping others.
In a world where greed and complacency seem to be the norm rather than the exception, it is heartwarming to know that there are still people out there who willingly give up a year of their life to make this world a better place.
I call on all members of H.O.W. to spread the word about AmeriCorps VISTA, an organization that truly lives by our H.O.W. Preamble, reaching out to help those who cannot help themselves.
Humanity One World enthusiastically endorses the work of AmeriCorps VISTA.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)