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 10 AmeriCorps VISTA members on our National Service team serving in a program known as VISTA: Rural Renewal. VISTAs will serve full time for one year from their start date. Start dates take place on national Virtual Member Orientation dates, about 2 per month.


  • Full time, 40 hours a week, maintain host site operational hours
  • 10 sick and 10 personal days, on top of host site days off
  • Living allowance (stipend): $22,882 in accordance with the national Rescue Plan increase
  • Segal Education award for federal student loans or future education expenses: $6,895
    • OR optional cash award in lieu of education award: $1,800.
  • Healthcare options
  • Mileage reimbursement for service-related travel up to $950
  • $250 training and $200 equipment budget
  • Relocation and Settling In Allowance (if over 50 miles)
  • Buying Club membership during growing season
  • Eligible for SNAP (living allowance does not count as additional income if already receiving benefits)
  • One year after service of non-competitive status when applying for Federal jobs
  • Connection to post-service careers with Employers of National Service
  • AmeriCorps members must not be listed on the National Sex Offender Registry or have a conviction of murder on their criminal records. Some host sites may have additional criminal history requirements.
  • Rural Action does not test for substance use as part of the application or enrollment process. However, some host sites may have additional drug testing requirements as part of their onboarding, after a member is selected.

Keep in mind that 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).

The availability of VISTA positions and compensation amounts are dependent on grant funding. Positions and benefits are subject to change.

How to Apply

Review the application instructions before beginning, then click on position you are applying for below to create your account and start your application on the AmeriCorps website. Not ready to apply but still interested? Fill out the top section of our application.

Application Instructions


These positions will not begin until March 2024.

If you want to learn more about the positions before applying, click here to learn more.

If you have anymore questions, please email Johna at johna@ruralaction.org.

  • [FILLED] UCM Center Social Justice VISTA (Athens County) – Supporting the Athens student population and wider county in service that will address food security for low-income and improperly-housed Appalachian Ohioans, provide support and resource connection for refugee families, and build the capacity of small, community-led organizations to further racial, environmental, and social justice movements in Southeast Ohio
  • [FILLED] Mt Zion Historical Preservation Society VISTA (Athens County) – This VISTA will support the Athens BIPOC Appalachian population to facilitate and increase in programming that will expand access to cultural resources and information about sustainable livelihoods, as well as expand Mt Zion’s capacity to meet the goals of their Capital Campaign and provide support for psychological and health-related services and expand opportunities to learn about racial, environmental, and social justice movements in Southeast Ohio.
  • Rural Action Whole Farm VISTA (Athens County) – Assisting with non-profit and social enterprise creation, expansion, and branding, with a specific focus on the agriculture and natural resources sectors especially in Athens, Perry, and Morgan Counties
  • [FILLED] Stuart’s Opera House VISTA (Athens County) – Developing arts-based programming for area youth), asset-mapping for arts-related resources and livelihoods in Nelsonville and nearby communities, and supporting the public use of the Stuart’s Opera House complex
  • [FILLED] Rural Action Volunteer and Communications Support VISTA (Athens County) – Building and maintaining standard operating procedures for volunteer and community member engagement, supervised and supported by the Communications team, and promoting opportunities for community members to engage in environmental stewardship and economic development/security programming
  • [FILLED] Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative VISTA(Athens County) – Assisting in developing a network of regional and national stakeholders working on staple foods, integrating staple crops as a larger part of sustainable agriculture work at Rural Action, and increasing access to and use of sustainable staple crops by local individuals, including low-income residents
  • [FILLED] Rural Action Sustainable Energy VISTA (Athens County) – Aiding in the growth of transitioning the former Southeastern Ohio region from a coal-based economy to the advanced and growing industry of sustainable energy, including a burgeoning focus on clean transportation for individuals and larger community entities
  • SOPEC Energy and Economy VISTA (Athens County) – Increasing youth and adult residents’ access to education around sustainable energy choices and how to further conservation with their household choices, building awareness of programs that promote sustainable and affordable household energy choices, and offering support to municipalities who want to support community members’ green energy choices
  • Ohio’s Winding Road VISTA (Perry County) – Building the capacity of the Perry County heritage tourism network to offer low-cost educational opportunities for community members, including programming for residents who are interested in creating and maintaining economic security through sustainable market opportunities based on heritage resources
  • [FILLED] Tuscarawas County Community Networks VISTA (Tuscarawas County) – Building the capacity of a network of organizations that support the social determinants of health for rural populations in Uhrichsville and southern Tuscarawas County, including an effort to strengthen grass-roots hunger intervention services.

The availability of AmeriCorps VISTA positions is dependent on grant funding. Positions are subject to change.


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 AmeriCorps VISTA program currently places 10 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.

For More Information

Johna Metcalf, Program Manager

Not ready to apply? Fill out the top section of our application.

Rural Action and Appalachian Ohio Restore Corps host sites do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, age, orientation, disability, or political affiliation.

All positions are pending approval of AmeriCorps funding.