AmeriCorps Announces $46 Million in New VISTA Projects
3400+ new AmeriCorps members will serve in more than 43 states to help develop community-based solutions to address COVID-19 recovery, hunger, racial equity and bridge the digital divide
WASHINGTON, D.C. – AmeriCorps, the federal agency for volunteering and service, today announced that it had provided $46 million to support the creation of new AmeriCorps VISTA projects in more than 230 communities. As a result of their service, the 3,400 AmeriCorps members supported by these awards will be eligible for more than $16.6 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards.
“For more than 55 years, our program sponsors and members have been on the front lines of the toughest problems facing our nation – and the last year and half is no exception,” said Meg Ansara, director of AmeriCorps VISTA. “We need that same spirit of service now. As we work to address the converging crises of COVID-19, an economic downturn, climate change, and racial inequity – national service is more important than ever. These funds will give AmeriCorps members the opportunity to lead, continue to break down barriers, and address critical needs of our communities.”
Projects in the VISTA program are developed and selected in accordance with its core principles, which include an anti-poverty focus, community empowerment, sustainable solutions, and capacity building. Projects focus on programs that improve access to health care; address hunger and increase access to nutritious food; improve or create job skills programs; bridge the digital divide; create pathways to safe and affordable housing; enhance educational programs for low-income students focused on school readiness and learning loss, remote learning development, career and technical education, college access and success, and STEM programs; and support veterans employment, homelessness, and substance misuse.
This funding is in addition to the $1 billion invested in AmeriCorps in the recently passed American Rescue Plan to further expand national service programs and increase the opportunity for all Americans to serve their country.
Created in 1965, the VISTA program brings passion and perseverance where the need is greatest: to organizations that help address poverty. Members serve full-time for one year at nonprofit organizations, schools, or local government agencies, increasing the impact and growing their capacity to carry out essential projects. After a year of service, members earn educational awards to support their own professional growth. To learn more about serving in the VISTA program, visit: americorps.gov/VISTA.
These new members will join the tens of thousands of other AmeriCorps members who serve through 21,000+ schools, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations and state, tribal and local governments across the country each year. Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 1 million Americans have served in AmeriCorps, providing more than 1.6 billion hours of service, and earning more than $4 billion in education scholarships.