Our Programs

What VISTA Members Do

AmeriCorps VISTA members live and serve in some of our nation’s poorest urban and rural areas. With passion, commitment, and hard work, they create or expand programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. 

Each VISTA member makes a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. In return for their service, AmeriCorps VISTA members receive a modest living allowance and limited health benefit options during their service, and have the option of receiving a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or post-service stipend after completing their service. About 6,500 VISTAs are placed each year in more than 1,200 projects in low-income communities around the country.

VISTA members generally do not provide direct services, such as tutoring children or building homes. Instead, they focus their efforts on building the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic develop, and otherwise assist low-income communities. VISTAs develop programs to meet a need, write grants, and recruit and train volunteers. As a VISTA, you can:

  • Create an adult literacy awareness campaign and recruit volunteer tutors.
  • Set up transitional housing dedicated to helping the homeless turn their lives around.
  • Expand programs to help low-income families obtain affordable health insurance.
  • Recruit mentors for children of incarcerated parents.
  • Organize shelter and job opportunities for victims of disasters.

In each case, you’ll be strengthening an organization so it can continue to serve the needs of the community once AmeriCorps VISTA’s support has ended.

Additional Information
Read "VISTA: Overcoming Poverty, Building Capacity" (6.67 MB PDF)
VISTA Member Handbook
How to Apply to AmeriCorps VISTA


A VISTA volunteer reads to kids

National Service Blog - AmeriCorps VISTA

By: Max Finberg,  Director of AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America)
Tags: National Service, CNCS, AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps, native americans
By: Lisa Cohn, AmeriCorps VISTA, ServiceWorks STL“Tell me about a time you made a mistake.”
Tags: National Service, CNCS, AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps, Missouri

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Do you want to help a kid succeed in school? Or protect a national forest? Or help a family rebuild their home after a devastating disaster?

When you join AmeriCorps, you use your energy, ideals, and talents to help others. Plus, you’ll earn money for education, learn to be a leader, and gain real job skills.

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