AmeriCorps VISTA, Seattle

I suppose it is almost official so I can make a semi-official announcement: I have secured a new job and will be relocating to Seattle, Washington! About a month ago I accepted an AmeriCorps VISTA position as the Volunteer Services Program Coordinator with the American Red Cross of King County (Seattle) from August 28, 2009 to August 27, 2010. AmeriCorps VISTA differs greatly from AmeriCorps NCCC, the program with which I served during the year of 2008. Many of my friends and family have asked exactly what the differences are, how they are similar, and why they fall under the same umbrella of AmeriCorps.

AmeriCorps is a subsidiary of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Opportunities to serve exist for people of nearly all ages, from ages 14 (Summer of Service, a mini AmeriCorps NCCC program), to students (Learn & Serve), and on through retirees (Senior Corps). I encourage you all to find your own way to contribute to your own community (however that is designated)... it's rewarding in so many ways.

AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) is a residential team-based program for 18-24 year olds that lasts for 10 months. We did direct hands-on work with various non-profit, government and religious organizations to serve residents of communities in different states. I was based out of the Eastern Region in Maryland and worked in the gulf & eastern states of the US. We traveled as a team of 10 to different projects that last roughly 6 weeks in the length doing such work as tutoring in schools, trail building, and disaster relief. You can read more about my work in previous blog entries regarding AmeriCorps.

AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) more closely represents a "normal" job. My position is administrative in nature and I will be working solely in the Volunteer Services department of the Red Cross Seattle office, assisting with the development and implementation of new policies regarding volunteer recruitment, retention and training. I will still do some hands-on work in the community as the position is multi-faceted, but I can plan on spending most of my days on an 8-5 sort of schedule.

The benefits are similar in the various AmeriCorps programs. I will still receive a $4,725 education award upon successful completion of the program, health coverage is included during my term of service, and I will still be relatively poor. Where AmeriCorps NCCC provides housing and food allowance plus a small monthly stipend of ~$300, AmeriCorps VISTA in Seattle pays a monthly stipend of ~$950 and I am responsible for securing and paying for my costs of living such as housing, food, etc. The monthly stipend received through VISTA is dependent on location and cost of living in the area.

I am excited to continue my participation in a national movement that addresses needs of US citizens. My network of inspring friends, peers, and leaders continues to grow and I look forward to the next adventure, (north)West Coast style.

For more reading, check out these cool developments:

Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009
Roosevelt Scholars Act
US Public Service Academy

Comments

  1. i am so excited for you! there are a bunch of americorps state peeps at the place i work and it definitely gives me the service twitch.

    i'd love to see you while i'm out that way next month!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sister! i am so proud of you. I might be home this upcoming tuesday and wednesday...maybe

    ReplyDelete

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