FEMA Corps

How will illegal drug use affect my federal background investigation for NCCC-FEMA Corps?

A recent history of illegal drug use may prevent an individual from successfully completing a term of service with NCCC-FEMA Corps. In making a suitability determination, FEMA considers the circumstances of use, the frequency of use, and the amount of time that has passed since the last use of any illegal drug use. Because NCCC-FEMA Corps members are provided access to sensitive information, FEMA does not permit members to use its facilities and systems if they do not pass the background investigation.

What happens if I provide incorrect information during my federal background investigation?

Be honest. Intentional dishonesty during the investigative process may result in an unfavorable determination and prevent continued participation in NCCC-FEMA Corps. With rare exception, each member will have an in-person interview with an investigator. It will be an opportunity to provide clarifying information regarding a member’s responses to questions on the investigative questionnaire.

Do all NCCC-FEMA Corps members undergo a federal background investigation?

Yes, in addition to the pre-screening, all NCCC-FEMA Corps members will undergo a federal background investigation. The purpose of the investigation is to ensure that every member serving in a position of public trust is responsible and trustworthy. The investigation is conducted on behalf of FEMA by the Office of Personnel Management. Having passed a federal background investigation may benefit members after they graduate, if they are interested in a career in the federal service.

How is the screening procedure different for NCCC-FEMA Corps?

The FEMA screening procedure has two components – a prescreening process and a federal background investigation. All NCCC-FEMA Corps applicants will be pre-screened, and only those who have a favorable pre-screening result will be eligible to be members. Once an applicant becomes a member, a federal background investigation will be conducted. Members will be asked many questions about their past, including where they worked, went to school, and lived. Members are also asked about illegal drug use, criminal activity, and reasons for leaving jobs.

Does AmeriCorps NCCC screen applicants for criminal history or other issues?

Yes, the criminal history of all AmeriCorps NCCC applicants – both traditional and NCCC-FEMA Corps – is reviewed. AmeriCorps NCCC does not allow any member to serve who has been convicted of murder or who is listed, or who is required to be listed on, the National Sex Offender Public Website. For all other convictions, AmeriCorps NCCC will evaluate whether or not to clear an applicant for service on a case-by-case basis.

May an individual serve in AmeriCorps NCCC if he or she has used, or is currently using, illegal drugs?

AmeriCorps NCCC is a drug-free environment. All members are tested within 14 days of reporting to the campus and randomly throughout the program year. Members may also be tested when the Region Director determines that there is reasonable suspicion to do so.  Dismissal proceedings will be held for Members who test positive for illegal drugs. 

VISTA’s Social Media Project Raises Suicide Awareness

I am an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving in Montana with the Global Health Equity Foundation on their social media based project titled "Let's Talk." This project allows me to work toward enabling Healthy Futures in a different way. In fact, I'm the only member working on a mental health project in the state.

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