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 portal.
- Capacity building (grant writing, infrastructure) in organizations that alleviate poverty
- Full time, 40 hours a week, maintain host site operational hours
- Living allowance (stipend): $13,152
- Segal Education award for federal student loans or education expenses: $6,345
- Optional cash award in lieu of education award: $1,800.
- Healthcare provided
- Mileage reimbursement for service-related travel
- Training and equipment budget
- One year of non-competitive status for Federal jobs
- Eligible for SNAP if already receiving benefits
- 10 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 10 fulltime AmeriCorps VISTAs in Athens, Perry, and Hocking Counties. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for full VISTA Assignment descriptions. Opportunity listings will be up on my.americorps.gov in mid-March.
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 and a partial Segal Education Award and are eligible to receive the value of 2 full “Ed Awards” with further completed terms of service.
- Build an account at my.americorps.gov
- Click “Search Listings” and choose “Advanced Search”
- Select “Summer VISTA Associates”
- Type “Rural Action” or narrow your search to Ohio
- Find and select the Rural Action Listing
- Click “Apply” and you choose the application you want to use
**You may need to keep checking until the listing opens, usually in May!**
Capacity to leverage our assets to solve our own issues is a challenge for small rural organizations, and finding your place in the world can also be a challenge. National Service is an incredible resource that puts heart and soul into our work and that of many partners. As a Rural Renewal AmeriCorps VISTA member, you will help Rural Action build needed capacity to reach more people and get more done in the communities we work in. Our Rural Renewal VISTA program currently places 5 members in year-long terms within programs at Rural Action and Community partners. Since 1994, more than 400 full-time and part-time VISTA members have served rural Appalachian Ohio communities through Rural Action to address community needs and poverty. Projects have spanned healthcare, arts and heritage, low-income housing repair, community revitalization, and other community organizing and community development activities. These VISTAs helped form the foundation of the work we do today; many of Rural Action’s current programs began as member committees working with VISTA volunteers. Members served a total of 712,228.85 hours over the 15-year course of the program. The current Rural Action VISTA project has been operating since 2019 and aims to build on the successes of past programming to help small communities do big things.