AmeriCorps* VISTA

For more than two decades, GHCC has been a proud sponsor of the AmeriCorps VISTA program. GHCC sponsors a diverse selection of projects that build and strengthen vibrant urban communities throughout Baltimore City and across Maryland. Our members develop K-12, college, and career opportunities for at-risk youth, create access to healthy options through community organizing and gardening, improve programming that empowers refugees and the homeless, and much more.

To learn about our 2014-15 VISTA projects, click here.

2013-14 VISTA Cohort

How to Apply to be a VISTA Member
All interested applicants must complete an online myAmeriCorps application. Go to my.americorps.gov and click “apply to serve” to register and begin your application. A complete application requires 2 references, so be sure to request those early. Please do not send cover letters or resumes unless requested; only online applications will be considered.

Our positions will be posted below as they become available, typically in early April for positions that begin in July and late August for positions that begin in November. Qualifying applicants will be contacted by both GHCC staff and the service site for interviews before final decisions are made.

Our July 2014-15 VISTA positions are now filled. Please check back here in late August for our November 2014-15 VISTA opportunities.

Schedule
2014-15 GHCC-Sponsored VISTAs will serve full time for a period of one calendar year, starting July 25, 2014 and ending July 24, 2015. All of the VISTA positions require full time dedication, often with responsibilities in the evening and on weekends. Note: Per the policy of CNCS, VISTAs cannot engage in paid work during their year of service.

VISTAs are required to attend a mandatory Pre-Service Orientation (PSO) prior to beginning their year of service (July 21-24 in Philadelphia, PA). All lodging and travel costs to and from PSO will be covered by CNCS.

Benefits
VISTAs receive a living allowance set at 105% of the poverty line for the city in which they will be serving. For a VISTA serving in Baltimore City, the allowance is approximately $1,110 per month before taxes. In addition, GHCC-Sponsored VISTAs receive a $55 monthly transportation and cell phone stipend.

VISTAs also have the opportunity to enroll in the Seven Corners Health Benefits Plan (supplemental to health insurance), to apply for SNAP (food stamps), childcare assistance, and other benefits if eligible.

GHCC provides an orientation at the start of the term and monthly in-service training tailored to the VISTA cohort. Training topics have included volunteer management, sustainable project planning, grant writing and reporting, effective communication, and community organizing, among others. Our in-service training, called Professional Development Meetings, are an opportunity for team-building and resource sharing among our VISTA members and are often described as a highlight of their service experience through GHCC.

If relocating more than 50 miles to serve, the VISTA will be considered to receive a travel allowance depending on the distance (not to exceed $1,000) and settling-in allowance (not to exceed $550).

Finally, upon successful completion of the term, VISTAs choose to receive either an Education Award of $5,550 or Cash Stipend of $1,500. The Education Award, which is subject to taxation, can be applied to any federally backed student loan or used to pay school tuition in the future. After serving, VISTAs have one year of non-competitive eligibility for federal employment.

For detailed information about AmeriCorps*VISTA, including member benefits, please visit: http://www.americorps.gov/about/programs/vista.asp

Requirements
All applicants are required to fill out an online application with CNCS and, if selected, provide proof of age, social security number, and citizenship. All selected candidates are required to complete a federal criminal background check and child abuse clearance before beginning service.

Questions
Contact the VISTA Leaders, Allison Wilhite (awilhite@greaterhomewood.org or 410-387-0088) and Tom Pfeifer (tpfeifer@greaterhomewood.org or 410-261-3618), to ask questions about the application process and GHCC’s VISTA program.

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