AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA
What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps is a national service program that helps meet the nation's critical needs in the areas of public safety, education, human needs, and the environment. It was created in 1993 with bi-partisan support by Congress, the President, and community groups nationwide. Atlanta Habitat for Humanity engages AmeriCorps members from the AmeriCorps National Direct program and the AmeriCorps VISTA program. In 1994, Habitat for Humanity International and the AmeriCorps National Service Program entered into a partnership aimed at mobilizing more volunteers in the fight against poverty housing. Atlanta Habitat has hosted AmeriCorps members since 1998. It's a great way to serve our community, build personal and professional growth, and engage in Atlanta Habitat’s mission of serving an increasing number of hard-working families across the city.
What is the difference in the National Direct AmeriCorps program and the AmeriCorps VISTA program?
National Direct AmeriCorps members perform direct service and help utilize volunteers effectively. Most members help in construction - building and renovating homes and leading volunteers. Atlanta Habitat also uses AmeriCorps members in our development department, contacting, scheduling, and orienting volunteers.
VISTA AmeriCorps members perform indirect service, i.e., building the overall capacity of our programs, improving systems and processes that will enable the affiliate to more effectively serve families.
The next service term begins in August/September 2016. Applications are received March- May of 2016. Please see our career opportunities for AmeriCorps position postings.
What are the benefits of the AmeriCorps program?
- Job training and new transferable skills for the future
- Living allowance: National Direct members (construction and volunteer services positions) receive up to $12,530 paid over the full 46.5 weeks of service; and VISTA members (operations systems position) - receive approximately $1,000 per month over a full year of service
- Health plan benefits and workers compensation insurance (or equivalent)
- Personal and sick days plus holidays
- Child care benefits if you qualify. Details about child care benefits can be found here: http://www.americorpschildcare.com/.
- Education award of $5,775 avaiable upon completion of service term. The education awards are paid as vouchers by the National Service Trust, and may be redeemed within seven years to pay for current education costs at qualified colleges, universities, other post-secondary institutions and approved school-to-work programs, or to pay back qualified student loans already incurred.
- Possible forbearance of qualified student loans. Note that interest continues to accrue. However accrued interest on qualified loans is eligible for payment by the National Service Trust. Go www.americorps.gov to see if your loan would qualify.
- Atlanta Habitat also provides low-cost housing for AmeriCorps service members. We have a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house available on a first-come, first-served basis. Rent contribution is $135.00 per month, per member, which includes utilities.
What are we looking for in an AmeriCorps member?
We always have more applications than positions, so the process can be competitive. Strong candidates will possess several of the following characteristics:
- An understanding of the AmeriCorps program and its requirements
- A sincere desire to serve combined with an understanding of why one wishes to serve
- Past history of service participation with Habitat or other nonprofits
- Leadership experience and ability
- Good communication skills
- Ability and interest in working with a team
- Patience and flexibility
- For construction positions - construction experience or experience that required significant time spent outdoors
- For office positions - experience with Microsoft Office programs, excellent written and oral communication skills. We also look closely at applicable experiences, for example for Volunteer Services, working with diverse populations, community development experience, and previous experience working with volunteer organizations. Experience with online registration systems (ex. Volunteer Hub) and online database systems (ex. Donor Perfect Online) is a plus
- High School diploma/GED required; associates or bachelor's degree preferred
- You will also need a valid driver’s license (no more than 2 moving violations)
We recommend that you highlight these attributes in your cover letter and interview.
How Do I Apply?
We accept resumes and cover letters by email only during the recruitment period, March through June. Open positions will be posted on this page during that time frame each year. Phone and Skype interviews are conducted for applicants residing outside of Atlanta. Final acceptance into the program is subject to a background check and a potential phone interview with Habitat for Humanity International program administrators. Any questions about the program at any time of year may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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