AmeriCorps is a federally-funded program that focuses on giving back and strengthening communities, as well as building connections through service. This organization was created in 1993, but was previously known as the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The AmeriCorps mission is to “Get Things Done for America," essentially being able to provide support where needed, nation-wide. This can be seen in many different contexts, such as tutoring in elementary schools, helping rebuild communities and provide relief in natural disasters, environmentalism, encouraging healthy futures, and economic positions.
WHAT'S IN IT FOR MEMBERS?
AmeriCorps members earn a living stipend while serving in their community— this is not payment for hours served, but a way for members to sustain themselves throughout their service term. The federal government provides members with an educational award (Segal Award) after the completion of successful service (1700 hours within the determined service term, 3-12 months). Members also have the opportunity to gain a deeper connection to the community by becoming more involved and fostering relationships with fellow service members, as well as people within the community they serve. Moving forward, AmeriCorps service can help members develop a clear mind about possible career paths.
Service is deeply valuable, to the service member and the community alike. Working with neighbors to create and foster strong bonds, and to find common ground in conflict, is incredibly rewarding.
Joining AmeriCorps is a fantastic way to give back to the community that you get to serve, and you also gain many connections with the community. It is an excellent way to network, and whatever your next steps may be, AmeriCorps provides incredible experiences and encourages soft skills that employers are looking for.
Living Stipend: $2550, taxable
Segal Award: $6495, taxable