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Featured FAQs


Am I allowed to use marijuana in AmeriCorps?

Possession, use, or distribution of marijuana or other illegal drugs, failing an AmeriCorps drug test, or the improper possession, use, or distribution of prescription medication are prohibited. Any member engaged in prohibited conduct related to drugs will be dismissed.

How does AmeriCorps ensure member and volunteer safety during service?

Member and Volunteer safety is our top priority. Learn more about what we're doing.

Do I have any time off?

Yes!  Every Member receives three (3) paid personal leave days and two (2) paid days of leave for “Life after AmeriCorps” activities, such as applying for colleges or jobs, interviewing, taking tests like the ACT, SAT, LSAT, or GRE, or writing a résumé.  You just need to get approval from your Team Leader and Unit Leader for project planning and general situational awareness.  You will have to make up your service hours you miss during your time off.

There will be time during the service term that members may choose to leave at their own expense and return home or to another destination. AmeriCorps understands commitments like weddings, graduations etc. and when possible will work with members to try to accommodate time off requests for these life events. However, due to the nature of disaster work, these requests cannot be guaranteed.

Recreational marijuana is legal under state law where I am serving?

No, the status of marijuana under state law does not authorize members to use marijuana.  Marijuana is illegal under federal law.  As a federal program, AmeriCorps' policies are controlled by federal law.  As a result, the legality of any drug is determined under federal law, not state law. Therefore, the use of marijuana while serving in AmeriCorps is prohibited.

What professional awards or certifications can I earn as part of AmeriCorps?

Members can earn the President's Volunteer Service Award and the Congressional Award if they meet requirements at the conclusion of their service term.

Additional training and certifications may be acquired, depending on the program and project. AmeriCorps NCCC Team Leaders receive CPR/AED and First Aid certifications.

What if I'm out of school and not interested in the Education Award?

If you're part of AmeriCorps VISTA, you may opt for a cash payment instead if the education award. AmeriCorps members are eligible only for the education award. However, if a member is 55 years of age or older at the time they start service, they can transfer their education award to an eligible child or grandchild. Learn more about transferring an award.

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