AmeriCorps Invests $37 Million in Organizations Addressing Poverty
Funding supports 2,000 new AmeriCorps members serving in the VISTA program, adds capacity for organizations addressing food security, healthy equity
Washington, DC – AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, today announced more than $37 million in federal funding to support new projects in its VISTA program across more than 44 states and territories. The investment will support more than 2,000 new AmeriCorps members who will expand capacity in organizations that alleviate poverty and build economic opportunity through community-driven efforts.
AmeriCorps members will help organizations in a variety of ways, including advancing projects that support student success, reduce homelessness, increase food security, expand job opportunities, improve health services, expand access to technology and increase economic opportunities for families with low income. See the full list of AmeriCorps VISTA projects.
“AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers have long been an essential part of community-led transformation,” said Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO. “This investment not only reinforces our core commitment to alleviate poverty, but also leverages common-sense approaches, backed by evidence, to give local communities the tools they need it create meaningful and lasting solutions.”
AmeriCorps is making available more than $11 million in education awards for the 2,000 new AmeriCorps members. After successfully completing one year of service, AmeriCorps members earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award toward tuition at eligible schools or at specific GI Bill-approved educational programs for veterans or student loan repayment. The education award is equivalent to the maximum value of the Pell Grant for the fiscal year in which the term of national service is approved.
Additionally, AmeriCorps is finalizing updates to ensure funding through the VISTA program is more accessible to organizations in underserved communities that may not have been able to secure federal resources previously. This new federal rule establishes that AmeriCorps may provide non-competitive support grants to new projects to strengthen and supplement efforts to address poverty and poverty-related problems.
Each year, more than 7,000 AmeriCorps members serve in the VISTA program across all 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. Since 1965, AmeriCorps VISTA has provided resources to nonprofit organizations and public agencies to address poverty and economic opportunity across the country. AmeriCorps members in the VISTA program serve in an office setting and gain experience and leadership skills that prepare them for a life of service in the public, private or nonprofit sector. Americans can serve full-time with AmeriCorps VISTA or short-term in its Summer Associate program.