AmeriCorps VISTA Core Principles
Create Sustainable Solutions
AmeriCorps VISTA in Rural Utah
UServeUtah's AmeriCorps VISTA project will focus on alleviating poverty in rural Utah. This project will increase economic opportunity for Utahns in impoverished communities through community engagement strategies and interventions.
Ten full-time AmeriCorps members will be placed with local organizations to build capacity and further the impact of their work to alleviate poverty. AmeriCorps members in this VISTA program will serve in organizations full-time for a term of service lasting one year. Members engage in capacity building activities such as fundraising, grant writing, research, and volunteer recruitment to further the mission of their host site and strengthen the community. Each member will spend 80%-90% of their time on initiatives included in the application and as directed by the host site, and 10%-20% of their time to carry out the following activities meant to support community engagement:
- Community mapping
- Youth program development
- Coalition building
- Vision setting
- Partnership development with the Utah Department of Cultural and Community Engagement
UServeUtah serves as the sponsor for this AmeriCorps VISTA project. UServeUtah will act as an intermediary, placing AmeriCorps members across the state with partner organizations referred to as "host sites." Host sites may be considered for continuation on a year-to-year basis, depending on the availability of resources, program performance, and the priorities of AmeriCorps. Typically, AmeriCorps VISTA projects can be continued for up to three years.
Becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA Host Site
- Public organizations such as state and local government organizations, Indian Tribes, and nonprofit organizations may apply to be VISTA sites. All organizations with IRS 501(c) status that focus on anti-poverty community development are eligible. Organizations that focus solely on advocacy and lobbying are not eligible.
- Agencies must be able to recruit and supervise the AmeriCorps members and provide necessary administrative support to complete the goals of the project.
- The beneficiaries of any VISTA initiative must be community members experiencing (or at risk of) significant poverty. The goal for every VISTA project is to sustain the AmeriCorps member’s outcomes beyond the service term.
- Preference will be given to organizations operating in or serving rural communities in Utah.
AmeriCorps Member Activities
When applying for an AmeriCorps member at your site, please ensure that the program:
- Reflects the AmeriCorps VISTA anti-poverty mission.
- Addresses the Economic Opportunity Priority Programming Focus Areas
- Project increases economic opportunities for communities in the areas of financial literacy, housing or employment.
- Addresses the AmeriCorps VISTA program core principles.
- Demonstrates an understanding of national service within the context of the AmeriCorps VISTA program.
- Articulates clearly defined goals with measurable impact directed towards eradicating poverty and the problems of low-income communities.
AmeriCorps Member Prohibited Activities: While charging time to the AmeriCorps VISTA program, accumulating service or training hours, or otherwise performing activities associated with AmeriCorps, members and volunteers recruited by members may not engage in activities listed at the following link: PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES
Terms and Conditions
Host site applicants are encouraged to review the AmeriCorps VISTA Terms and Conditions.
AmeriCorps members in the VISTA program cannot displace staff positions or staff duties. AmeriCorps members are not considered employees of sponsoring organizations, nor are they considered employees of the federal government, except in limited circumstances. AmeriCorps members are a federal resource recruited by the site with support from the sponsoring organization to accomplish the project’s goals. Along with UServeUtah, host sites are required to follow the AmeriCorps VISTA Terms and Conditions and ensure members do not engage in prohibited activities.
AmeriCorps members serving in the VISTA program are national service professionals building organizational capacity and are not authorized to perform direct service or physical labor. For example, if the proposed project’s goal is to increase high school graduation, then an AmeriCorps member could design a Volunteer Recruitment Program for mentors or tutors. Teaching or tutoring students directly are not appropriate AmeriCorps member activities in the VISTA program.
AmeriCorps Members in the VISTA Program
AmeriCorps members come from diverse race, age, geographic, and economic backgrounds and serve communities across the nation. Each AmeriCorps member in the VISTA program makes a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project with a sponsor and site supervisor.
Through capacity building activities such as fundraising, grant writing, research, and volunteer recruitment, AmeriCorps members gain experience and leadership skills. This opportunity prepares members for a life of service in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. AmeriCorps members in the VISTA program support projects that focus on building permanent capacity and infrastructure in nonprofit organizations to help more effectively bring individuals and communities out of poverty.
AmeriCorps members in the VISTA program receive a modest bi-weekly living allowance to cover basic expenses.
Professional Development Training
AmeriCorps members in the VISTA program have the opportunity to attend in-person and virtual training to learn how to be a community development change agent.
AmeriCorps VISTA is the only AmeriCorps program that allows members to earn federal non-competitive eligibility, giving members an edge in the federal hiring process.
End of Service Award:
Members can choose between a Segal Education Award (valued at approximately $6,495) to pay for a range of education expenses or a $1,800 cash stipend.
- Be 18 years or older (no upper age limit)
- Hold one of the following citizenship or legal residency statuses: US citizen, US National, Lawful Permanent Resident (i.e. Green Card status), and persons legally residing within a state. Examples of persons legally residing within a state may include those holding the following classifications: refugee, asylee, temporary protected status throughout VISTA service, and holding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.