Since 1965, over 220,000 VISTA members have served in all 50 states and U.S. Territories. AmeriCorps VISTA members are in tribal, rural, suburban, and urban communities. Poverty can take many forms, which is why VISTA’s model is driven directly by communities in need. Whether that need is expanding job-training services for out of work coal miners in Kentucky, recruiting disadvantaged youth for computer literacy and coding classes in Minneapolis, or combatting homelessness among our veterans, AmeriCorps VISTA members help others while gaining valuable skills for their career.
The AmeriCorps VISTA mission is to strengthen organizations that alleviate poverty through volunteering and the mobilization of resources.
VISTA, Volunteers in Service to America, was conceived by President John F. Kennedy as a domestic counterpart to the Peace Corps and was started by President Lyndon Johnson as part of the War on Poverty. It is the national service program that works to eliminate poverty. The first VISTAs began serving in 1965, in migrant farm worker camps in California, the hollows of eastern Kentucky, and the urban neighborhoods of Hartford, CT. In 1994, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs. Today, AmeriCorps VISTA is as vibrant and necessary as ever.