Back in 1963, when President Kennedy introduced the idea of AmeriCorps VISTA to Congress, he could have never dreamed of all the good AmeriCorps VISTA members have done to alleviate poverty all over America. AmeriCorps VISTA continues to bring individuals and communities out of poverty by partnering with and supporting organizations and initiatives that share this goal. In addition, VISTA seeks to build capacity within organizations to strengthen or expand existing programs, or to work with the community in developing new programs.
The Virginia State Office of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is currently requesting concept papers for AmeriCorps VISTA programs. CNCS supports projects in a number of issue areas and programming priorities, including education, economic opportunity, healthy futures and veterans and military families. Projects must be developed in accordance with AmeriCorps VISTA’s core principles: an anti-poverty focus, community empowerment; sustainable solutions; and capacity building. The Strategic Plan emphasizes activities that 1) engage baby boomers in service; 2) engage students in their communities; 3) ensure a brighter future for America’s youth; 4) mobilize more volunteers and 5) support disaster preparedness.
Project start-up requires a number of steps:
- Applicant submits a concept paper in Word document to Virginia State Office
- If the concept paper is accepted by CNCS, the applicant is invited to submit a full application.
- Application is submitted, reviewed and approved or returned for revisions.
- If approved, Memorandum of Agreement is issued
- Project supervisor attends CNCS VISTA Supervisor training
- Project begins recruitment of VISTA member candidates
- Upon approval by CNCS, candidates are enrolled for the Corporation’s Pre-Service Orientation (PSO)
- Candidates who complete PSO successfully are sworn in and begin service immediately.
If you are interested in learning more about sponsoring an AmeriCorps VISTA project or submitting a concept paper, please reach out to the Virginia State Office at VA@cns.gov.