You must be a U.S. citizen, national, or legal permanent resident alien of the United States to be a VISTA.
Most programs seek members with college degrees or at least three years of work experience. Many VISTAs bring significant work and life experiences to their assignment. Initiative, flexibility, and organizational skills are a must. Fluency in Spanish or other languages also are helpful in certain programs. You must be available to serve full-time for one year.
Additional benefits include training, limited health care benefits, relocation expenses, student-loan forbearance or deferment and non-competitive eligibility for a federal government position. You may also be eligible for childcare assistance should you need it. Perhaps the greatest benefit is the experience of making a positive change in your community and your country. But there are other benefits as well. VISTAs serve for a variety of reasons, from wanting to make the world a better place to discovering a life-changing adventure.
No, but VISTA members receive a modest, monthly living allowance to help cover the basic necessities. VISTA members who successfully complete a term of service are also eligible to receive either a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $5,550 to pay for college or to pay off student loans, or an end-of-service cash stipend of $1,500.
AmeriCorps VISTA members serve full-time for a year in anti-poverty organizations and agencies throughout the nation, working on issues such as fighting illiteracy, improving health services, creating businesses, increasing housing opportunities, improving college access, and bridging the digital divide.
VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Authorized in 1964 and founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993. VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for 45 years.
Today, about 46 million Americans live in poverty. Through AmeriCorps VISTA, you can make a tangible difference. And, you’ll find the fulfillment that comes from using your knowledge and skills to help those in disadvantaged circumstances turn their dreams into reality.