AmeriCorps VISTA at Rural Action

Go where you’re needed.

Become a part of the National Service story!

Volunteers in Service to America (VISTAs) have been alleviating poverty and building capacity in communities of need for more than 50 years. When you serve a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Rural Action, you add to VISTA’s legacy of strengthening communities and creating opportunities that lift individuals out of poverty in Appalachian Ohio.

Rural Action supports five AmeriCorps VISTA members on our National Service team. Four members will be placed at Rural Action serving in the Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry and Sustainable Energy Solutions programs. One member will serve at the Hocking Hills Inspire Shelter. VISTAs will serve full time from August 17th, 2020 to August 17th, 2021.

Apply for open Rural Action VISTA positions using the my.americorps.gov portalJust search “Rural Action” and you’ll see all 5 full-time VISTA positions, 1 Summer VISTA position, and the Appalachian Ohio Restore Corps AmeriCorps State/National program.

AmeriCorps VISTA

  • Capacity building (grant writing, infrastructure) in organizations that alleviate poverty
  • Full time, 40 hours a week, maintain host site operational hours
  • Living allowance (stipend): $12,490
  • Segal Education award for federal student loans or education expenses: $6,195 
  • Optional cash award in lieu of education award: $1,800.
  • Healthcare provided
  • Mileage reimbursement for service-related travel
  • One year of non-competitive status for Federal jobs
  • Eligible for SNAP if already receiving benefits
  • 6 VISTA members in Athens and Hocking counties

The VISTA living allowance is less than that of AmeriCorps State/National. This is designed to immerse VISTA members deeply in their communities and create camaraderie with friends and neighbors in the same situation. The VISTA living allowance does not count as income on the FAFSA if it is your only income. VISTA members get “days off” that align with the calendar of their host sites.  Finally, VISTAs who are currently receiving SNAP benefits when they are selected will not have to count their living allowance as income for SNAP purposes (the living allowance does count as income if you apply for SNAP after starting VISTA).

Rural Action is recruiting for 5 fulltime AmeriCorps VISTAs in Athens and Hocking Counties. They are described below and linked to the official applications in the my.americorps.gov portal. 

Community Resources VISTA (The Plains, Ohio)

Help the youth of today feed the world of tomorrow! Go where you’re needed: To one of Ohio’s poorest areas, and help grow an industry vital to the health of our people and our environment. This VISTA will assist with business and social enterprise creation, expansion, and branding, with a specific focus on the agriculture and natural resources sectors.

Farm to School VISTA (The Plains, Ohio)

Fight to bring healthy local foods to kids on the margins of society! Go where you’re needed: into impacted Appalachian schools to feed kids, build sustainable agriculture, and empower communities. The VISTA will be in charge of coordinating of volunteers and Rural Action/partner staff to process and receive orders for fresh produce at five institutional partner locations during the growing season. This VISTA will also head up the creation or update of farm-to-institution educational materials and workshops put on to increase market demand for local food.

Sustainable Energy Solutions (The Plains, Ohio)

 Help Appalachia end reliance on fossil fuels! Save the planet, while improving your own business savvy. Ensure local investment in the non-profit and renewable energy sectors. Save your planet today! This VISTA will be responsible for planning for, advertising, and ensuring the success of training programs such as green energy workshops, wherein participants learn the ins and outs of green careers. This VISTA will also have a hand in developing sustainable energy infrastructure in the region and assessing opportunities for growth.

Economic and Agency Support VISTA (Athens, Ohio)

Help lay the groundwork for new programs to improve YOUR community. Develop your professional skills while helping Rural Action harness local assets to combat deep-seated regional issues! This VISTA will be tasked with three overarching objectives: to build the capacity of Rural Action to effectively manage new and growing programs, to build Rural Action’s fund development capacity, and to develop future partners and local government to increase the reach and impact of their sustainability plans.

Hocking Hills Inspire Shelter VISTA (Logan, Ohio)

Help end rural homelessness! Develop your own professional skills as you empower members of your community to become self-sufficient, all the while fighting systemic poverty. The Homeless Shelter Financial and Public Support VISTA will grow the capacity of the Hocking Hills Inspire Shelter (HHIS) to further their mission of “providing temporary shelter, fellowship, guidance, resources, and encouragement for those who find themselves living in a place not meant for human habitation”. As the HHIS VISTA, you will facilitate partnerships with other organizations that operate to provide community volunteer hours, and whose members can operate the majority of future events put on by the shelter.

What About Summer VISTA?

AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates: Summer VISTA Associates serve for 10 weeks in communities of need, starting in June. Summer VISTAs, unlike full-time VISTAs, can do direct service. Here at Rural Action, our Summer VISTAs serve in the Sustainable Agriculture program, keeping local produce moving, getting food to people who need it, and supporting local farmers. Summer VISTAs receive a small living allowance ($1,040 per month) and a partial Segal Education Award, and are eligible to receive the value of 2 full “Ed Awards” with further completed terms of service. 

To apply

  1. Build an account at my.americorps.gov 
  2. Click “Search Listings” and choose “Advanced Search”
  3. Select “Summer VISTA Associates”
  4. Type “Rural Action” or narrow your search to Ohio
  5. Find and select the Rural Action Listing
  6. Click “Apply” and choose the application you want to use

For more information and VISTA Assignment Descriptions, email shannon@ruralaction.org.