BGCA began expanding services to Native communities in 1992. There are now over 170 Native Clubs serving nearly 82,000 Native youth in 25 states, representing approximately 90 different American Indian, Alaska Native, and Hawaiian tribal communities.
Members who serve in the Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country AmeriCorps VISTA Project (BGCIC VISTA) build the capacity of Native Clubs through activities such as: grant writing to bring equipment, additional staff, and cultural programs into Clubs; grants management processes; evaluation of programs and policies, and adaptation for cultural relevancy & maximum impact; and recruitment of volunteer coaches and mentors. AmeriCorps VISTA members strive to improve programs related to increasing physical activity and improving nutrition for youth with the purpose of reducing childhood obesity. VISTA members also assist local Clubs in developing or improving programs designed to improve educational outcomes for youth.
Goal and Priority Areas of the BGCIC AmeriCorps VISTA Project
To ensure that BGCIC can lift local youth out of poverty by creating community leaders and employees of the future, and introducing youth to positive lifestyle choices that will make them productive, healthy members of society, VISTA members build organizational capacity through the following activities (specific activities vary by Club site);
- Internal Operations & Management
- Program Development & Impact
- Resource Development
- Strategic Relationships
What VISTA members say about their service at Native Clubs
“As a VISTA member, I have been researching programs that would benefit the children that attend the Club. I want to encourage the kids to get educated so they know what is happening with the Tribe and not be blind to what is happening in their community/reservation. Maintaining the culture, wellness, and traditions is very important. I want to find programs that help Native youth and want them to keep their traditional ways." – 2016 VISTA Member Sara McKinney in Mayetta Kansas
“My service as an AmeriCorps VISTA member has focused on promoting the clubhouse and bringing in resources, businesses, or individuals that are driven to support our youth. Working on volunteer mobilization and getting into the community events has raised the awareness of our organization and its presence in the community. Most volunteers that served were unaware that the Club was in the community and that it was open to any youth within or visiting our community. A number of businesses were unaware of the Club and the impact that it has on the youth, their families, and its community. The youth have welcomed visitors and volunteers into their clubhouse with the Aloha spirit, leaving their own impression on very important individuals and organizations. I was able to be a part of those moments and I am glad to have contributed to the Great Futures these youth will now enjoy!” – 2016 VISTA Member Kainoa Teixeira in Nanakuli, HI
“At the Boys and Girls Club of Moody County, I have been able to implement a new way to reach out to our donors as an AmeriCorps VISTA Member. With the help of Club youth, we decorate birthday cards every month to send to our donors and prospect donors. I feel this is a good way to remind the community that the Boys & Girls Club is here to support them and their families, as they have done for the Club by being a donor or volunteer.” – 2016 VISTA Member Renae Jenniges in Brookings, SD
What is a VISTA Leader?
The Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country AmeriCorps VISTA Project has one VISTA Leader who supports the project overall. To learn about the role of a VISTA Leader, click here. We are currently seeking a new VISTA Leader, and looking to fill the role soon.
More about AmeriCorps and VISTA
AmeriCorps is a network of local, state, and national service programs that engage more than 80,000 Americans each year with service at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith based groups across the country. AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) focuses on alleviating poverty through indirect, capacity building service. VISTA members work behind the scenes and focus their efforts to build the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and assist low-income communities.
Benefits of AmeriCorps VISTA Service
VISTA members serve for a year of full-time service. In return, they receive the following:
- A Segal AmeriCorps Education Award ($5,775) or post-service stipend ($1,500).
- Modest living allowance (approximately $11,000-$11,820 per year).
- Healthcare benefits while in service.
- Access to the network of VISTA & VISTA alumni.
- Childcare assistance while in service.
- Relocation allowance and travel to pre-service orientation.
- Student loan forbearance or deferment while in service.
- One year of noncompetitive status for a federal government job.
BGCIC AmeriCorps VISTA Resource Page
Files for download:
AmeriCorps VISTA One Pager (pdf)
2017 - 2018 BGCIC AmeriCorps VISTA Past & Present Sites Map (pdf)
VISTA Relocation Fact Sheet (pdf)
Watch a Video Highlighting BGCIC VISTA at a National Celebration of VISTA's 50th Anniversary
Search available AmeriCorps service opportunities
AmeriCorps VISTA Account Log-in
AmeriCorps VISTA on Google+