Why Host an AmeriCorps VISTA?

What is a VISTA?

An AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) is a volunteer that serves a 1- year term of service while focusing on capacity building for an organization, not direct service. VISTA members receive benefits including a living allowance, health and dental coverage, training, and the choice of a Segal Education Award or end-of-service stipend. Members are local or national recruits and many are between 18-24 years old, although the program also attracts older adults as well. The value of a VISTA member is estimated to be $23.56/hour, which is $46,904 a year at no cost to the organization they are placed at.

What can they do for your Club?

An AmeriCorps VISTA is great for Boys & Girls Clubs because they can accomplish a wide range of tasks. They can secure resources to start a gardening program that Club staff will implement to teach members about healthy living and eating, work on grant writing to bring more funds in to the Club, and can work on community outreach and public relations to spread the influence of the Club. The VISTA member’s job is to build the capacity of your Club so that more youth can be reached through new and improved programs.

Why do VISTA members work well for a Club?

AmeriCorps VISTA members work well for Boys & Girls Clubs because they are inspired to serve communities in need across the country and to motivate others to become leaders through their civic service.

Is this project the right fit for your Club?

To figure out whether a VISTA would work well for your club, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your Club have capacity building objectives that a VISTA member could work on full-time?
  • Can your Club commit to the time it takes to recruit a VISTA member?
  • Can you appoint a supervisor to train and offer support to a VISTA member for a full year?
  • Is there a space in your Club for the VISTA member to work in (shared is fine) with a computer and internet access?

If you’ve answered yes to these questions, an AmeriCorps VISTA could benefit your Club immensely.

Examples of VISTA projects:
  • The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale put on a hoop dancing event to mix culture into their programs.
  • The Lumbee Boys & Girls Club reached out and supported their community during a period of great need after Hurricane Matthew destroyed parts of the U.S. coastline.
  • VISTA members at the Boys & Girls Club of Brookings put together community-wide fundraising events that promoted physical activity.

How to apply for an AmeriCorps VISTA

Source Cited: Why Host a VISTA