AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) is one of many national service programs administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). For over 40 years, it has been at the forefront of building capacity of communities to fight poverty. VISTA members devote a year of their lives to challenge poverty’s root causes. They achieve this by mobilizing volunteers and local resources and by increasing the capacity of individuals in low-income neighborhoods to become more self-reliant and make positive changes. Although most VISTAs nationwide serve in human service agencies, Campus Compact has pioneered the use of this resource to enhance campus/community collaborations.
New York Campus Compact (NYCC) has been partnering with CNCS since 2003 in order to assist member campuses in increasing the number of faculty, students and community members making a difference through volunteer service and service-learning. VISTAs have played pivotal roles in helping colleges and universities address community needs, develop leadership among their students, and improve collaborations between the institution and the community.
The NYCC VISTA program enables colleges and universities to better respond to pressing issues facing low-income communities by improving the quality of and capacity for service programs that mobilize intellectual, human, and material resources to address community-identified issues of concern.
2012-2013 Host Sites
Bard College/Community-Learning Centers
Hamilton/Colgate/SUNY IT/MVCC Educational Opportunity Center
SUNY Geneseo/Livingston County Office for the Aging
SUNY Oswego/Oswego City School DistrictHa
Vassar College/REAL Skills
Benefits of Serving
Every AmeriCorps VISTA member receives the following standard benefits from the Corporation and National Community Service for committing to a year of service.
- Monthly living stipend of:
- $946 (upstate)
- $1,026 (Dutchess and Orange County)
- $1,276 (Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond, Putnam and Rockland County)
- $1,393 (Westchester County)
- $1,466 (Nassau and Suffolk County)
- $5,550 Education Award (qualified student loans) or $1,500 end-of-service stipend
- Health benefits including prescription drug coverage
- $550 Relocation allowance (if eligible)
- Relocation travel expenses (if eligible)
- $400/month childcare allowance (if eligible)
- Student loan forbearance (if receiving education award)
- Repayment of interest accrued on qualified student loans (if receiving education award)
- Life insurance (optional)
- Workers compensation
In addition to CNCS standard benefits, NYCC VISTA members will receive the following:
- Ongoing training and professional development
- Daily support and assistance from NYCC staff
- Integration into unique VISTA community
- Lifelong camaraderie and friendship
- Networking opportunities
- Intrinsic value towards your work
- Other Optional Benefits – determined individually by institution (i.e. housing allowance, parking passes, conference attendance, etc.)
Germantown/Kingston/Red Hook Y2: Education/K-12 Success
The Bard VISTA will work with school districts and the community to launch a series of educational activities and cultural experiences designed to improve students’ academic skills and broaden their vision of the future so that they view higher education as a viable choice. The Maple Lane Community Center, implemented during the first year, functions as a community-learning center for the Maple Lane Mobile Home Park (MLMHP). Through this center, current staff/student led projects will continue to offer MLMHP students and parents the opportunity to participate in a variety of learning and social activities to enhance cultural capital. In addition, many activities will take place on the Bard College campus, which will allow students to see and experience college life first hand. This model will be expanded into the Kingston Central School District (KCSD), where a new community-learning center will be developed.
Applications for NYCC’s 2013-2014 AmeriCorps VISTA Program can be found at: http://My.AmeriCorps.Gov
– click on the “Search Listings” Link (below password box)
– Program Name: NYCC