Today, about 46 million Americans live in poverty. Through AmeriCorps VISTA, you can make a tangible difference. And, you’ll find the fulfillment that comes from using your knowledge and skills to help those in disadvantaged circumstances turn their dreams into reality.
VISTA was founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 as a national service program designed specifically to fight poverty in America. In 1993, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs.
Did you know that President John F. Kennedy came up with the idea for VISTA? Or that many of the best-known anti-poverty programs, including Head Start and Upward Bound, were created by VISTA members? VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for more than 45 years.
Becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA Member
AmeriCorps VISTA members are passionate and committed to their mission to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Members make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. They focus their efforts to build the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities.
A number of members serve in the summer months through the AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates program. The program offers members the opportunity to become engaged in community service through an existing AmeriCorps VISTA project for eight to 10 weeks during the summer.
AmeriCorps VISTA is open to all U.S. citizens, nationals, or lawful permanent resident aliens age 17 and older. Members and Summer Associates receive a modest living allowance, and those who serve for a year also recieve health coverage, childcare, if needed, and other benefits. After successful completion of a term of service, members can choose to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or post-service stipend. Learn more on the What VISTA Members Do page.
Becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA Sponsor
Public, private, or faith-based nonprofit organizations, as well as, local, state,or federal agencies can become an AmeriCorps VISTA sponsor. Applications for VISTA projects are handled through CNCS State Offices. Project sponsors are not required to provide a financial match but must be able to direct the project, supervise the members, and provide necessary administrative support to complete the goals and objectives of the project. Learn more at our Sponsor a VISTA Project page.