Becoming a VISTA Member
Since 2003, over 300 individuals have served with the North Carolina Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA program, building the capacity of programs that fight poverty and strengthening partnerships between colleges and communities.
Are you an active citizen who…
- wants to learn about non-profits AND higher education?
- has or hopes to gain skills or experience in youth development, food insecurity, or community development?
- seeks a gap year experience where you can make a difference in NC?
… then our Afterschool Corps OR our Hunger Corps could be right for you!
What is the NC Afterschool Corps?
The NC Afterschool Corps is a team of individuals who serve full-time for 1 year with a college or community-based organization to build the capacity of afterschool programs that serve low-income children and families. Corps members primarily work to increase volunteer involvement with and funding for the afterschool program. They also raise community awareness of the value of afterschool by planning a “Lights on Afterschool” event. A project of North Carolina Campus Compact, all Afterschool Corps members are also members of AmeriCorps VISTA.
What is the NC Hunger Corps?
The NC Hunger Corps supports programs and organizations that address food insecurity and healthy eating among low-income children, families, and individuals, while developing opportunities for higher education civic and community engagement.NC Hunger Corps VISTA members may support on-campus or off-campus food security programs, including programs that target low-income or disadvantaged college students and staff.
What is AmeriCorps VISTA?
AmeriCorps VISTA is a national service program that allows citizens to serve full-time for one year to build the capacity of non-profit organizations and programs that fight poverty. VISTA stands for “Volunteers in Service to America.” VISTA is administered by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service. Each year, about 8,000 individuals serve through VISTA with host organizations across the country. More info
Why should I join the NC Afterschool Corps?
Because you care about educational inequity and creating opportunities for kids. Because you like volunteering and working with college students. Because you had fun being part of an afterschool or summer learning program. Because you are interested in “design-thinking” or adolescent development. Because you are looking for an intensive year-long service experience that will let you develop professional skills. Because high-quality afterschool programs make a big difference for kids and families, and you want to make a difference!
Your primary work will involve organizational and program development, especially improving volunteer recruitment, resource development (fundraising and grant-writing), curriculum enhancement, and event management. VISTAs members do not provide “direct service,” so you will not have a role working directly with children as a afterschool caregiver or teacher.
Why should I join the NC Hunger Corps?
Because you are passionate about helping students and local community members become food secure. Because you have experienced hunger personally or have seen others experience food insecurity. Because you have volunteered with or worked with agencies who address hunger. Because you realize that our state and nation have the knowledge and resources to ensure that everyone has enough food to eat, we just need the will and the capacity-building support to do so.
Your primary work will involve organizational and program development, especially improving volunteer recruitment, resource development (fundraising and grant-writing), and event management. VISTA members do not provide “direct service,” so you will not have a role working directly with clients.
What skills and qualifications do I need?
Applicants should have a passion for the VISTA mission of fighting poverty and for the goals of the NC Afterschool Corps. Ideal candidates will have experience in afterschool settings or with youth development programs, past leadership in college campus service programs, and interests in volunteer recruitment, fundraising, and design-thinking. Qualified applicants should have strong oral and written communication, networking, and organizational skills. Other qualifications include:
- 18 years old, no upper age limit
- Hold one of the following citizenship statuses: US citizen, US National, Lawful Permanent Resident Aliens and persons residing in a state that have the following legal residency classifications: refugee, asylum or asylee, temporary protected status, or deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status.
- Ability to serve FULL-TIME for ONE YEAR term of service (July 20, 2020 – July 19, 2021).
- Pass a national service criminal history check (upon selection)
- Bachelor’s degree from four-year institution strongly desired; 2-year degree and relevant experience will be considered.
- Ability to attend NC Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA virtual orientation July 16-17, 2020.
- Able to start at your service site and participate in VISTA Virtual Orientation on July 20, 2020.
What benefits do Corps members receive?
Our Corps members receive the same benefits as other AmeriCorps VISTA members serving in NC:
- Living allowance (also called a living stipend) of $12,490/year, pre-tax) paid bi-weekly
- Choice of $6,195 Segal Education award OR $1800 end of service bonus, earned upon completion of your service year
- Student loan forbearance or deferrement, if eligible, and payment of accrued interest during service, if eligible
- Healthcare benefits (not insurance) learn more
- Non-competitive eligibility (NCE), which coveys special hiring status when you apply for federal jobs after your service year
- Relocation assistance, childcare assistance, and travel reimbursement, if eligible
- Orientation and in-service training
Our Corps members also have access to a professional development fund, are connected to our network of more than 250 VISTA alumni, and may accept housing assistance provided by the host site. Learn more about VISTA benefits.
How are NC Campus Compact VISTA members selected?
Selection is a competitive process. Once you have submitted your application through the AmeriCorps portal it is forwarded to NC Campus Compact. NC Campus Compact contacts qualified candidates to request a résumé and supplemental info, then we conduct screening interviews with selected applicants. Strong candidates are invited to a second round of interviews with host site supervisors whose projects may match the candidate’s skills and interests. A candidate’s application may be reviewed by multiple host sites. If selected, candidates receive an offer to serve at a particular host site, and you will have a choice to accept the offer. If you accept, we’ll begin the on-boarding and orientation process.
When does the term of service begin/ end?
All FULL-YEAR Corps members must attend a required Pre-Service Orientation at Elon University prior to their first day of service. Then they participate in a Virtual Member Orientation (VMO) on their first day of service. The first day of service for the 2020-2021 service year will be July 20, 2020.
NC Afterschool & Hunger Corps members work full-time, approximately 40 hours/week. You will typically work the same hours as other staff at your host site, though you may work occasional weekends or evenings depending on the project. AmeriCorps VISTA does provide for 10 days of personal leave and 10 days of sick leave during the service year, and you will typically receive the same holidays as other organization staff.
Where will I serve?
Host site organizations may be either a college or university or a community-based non-profit agency. In most cases, a Corps member will be the only member at their agency. During the interview process you may express your preference for a particular host site, but we cannot guarantee placement at a requested site. You will have the option to accept or decline an offer to serve at a site. See our 2020-2021 host sites here.
Do host sites offer housing?
Host sites are asked to offer some form of housing assistance, either by arranging low-cost or no-cost housing for the Corps member or providing a monthly housing supplement directly to a landlord or rental agency. Some host sites may not offer housing support. Please discuss this with the host site representative during the interview process.
For more information, please contact Erin Odoyo, VISTA Program Coordinator .