Each year during AmeriCorps Week CNCS asks projects to recognize their members' commitment to service and to highlight the impact AmeriCorps members and programs make across the nation every day. AmeriCorps Week takes place this year March 10 through March 18.
The theme of the week is "AmeriCorps Works." The two main goals are to Connect AmeriCorps members and alums with one another to make them aware and feel they are part of a nationwide effort, and to communicate AmeriCorps' impact on critical problems and on the lives of its members and alums.
AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Authorized in 1964 and founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965,
VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993. VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, strengthen community groups, and much more. With passion, commitment, and hard work, workers create or expand programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty.
By serving through VISTA, members gain new skills, friends, and experiences that come from helping others. Members also receive a modest living allowance, health care, and other benefits. And, upon completing service, the can choose to receive either a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or post-service stipend.
Public, private, and faith-based nonprofit organizations-as well as local, state and federal organizations-can benefit greatly from linking up with AmeriCorps VISTA. Applications for members are handled by Corporation State Offices. Project sponsors are not required to provide a financial match but must be able to direct the project, supervise the members, and provide necessary administrative support to complete the goals and objectives of the project.
Currently, the Boys & Girls Club of Carbon County, United Way of Eastern Utah, and BEAR Program employ VISTA volunteers in the area. For more information on AmeriCorps and the VISTA program, visit their website at www.americorps.gov.