What's in it for the VISTA Member? (The Benefits)
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 setting up 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)
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 (between $927-946 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 $5,550 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 resumé.
- 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.
- VISTAs work through the Wisconsin CESAs to coordinate efforts with districts. VISTAs are expected to work with school districts to coordinate services and trainings, to spread best practices, and to help expand current efforts.
- The DPI VISTA program focuses on building capacity through the CESAs to better serve homeless students in Wisconsin. This includes building awareness of homelessness and coordinating service providers and public schools. The VISTAs work with community partners in their region to determine what services are available and where needs exist for homeless students, keeping a focus on academic support programs for students
- VISTAs conduct needs assessments & asset mapping, coordinate homeless liaison meetings at CESA, and create resource lists and awareness materials to distribute.
- VISTAs partner with a school district to begin a mentoring program for students experiencing homelessness
For questions about this information, contact Kristine Nadolski (608) 267-7338