The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has announced that the University of Virginia is one of eight colleges and universities selected for a new AmeriCorps VISTA partnership designed to encourage participation in national service opportunities. The other schools selected for this partnership are the Rochester Institute of Technology, Tufts University, University of Hawaii, University of Montana, University of Rochester, Utah State University, and Wake Forest University.
Each school will receive approximately $20,000 to onboard a part-time recruiter to work in partnership with AmeriCorps VISTA to increase awareness of service opportunities among the campus communities and surrounding cities. These recruiters will host information sessions on national service, promote service opportunities at events, and develop partnerships across their campuses and within the surrounding community. The schools were chosen through an application process.
“Just like college, a year of service can be a life-changing experience,” said Desiree Tucker-Sorini, director of AmeriCorps VISTA. “With this new pilot program, we’ll be able to explore the combined power of higher education and national service. I’m thrilled to welcome these eight schools to our national service family.”
Participation in this AmeriCorps VISTA partnership will provide an opportunity for colleges to strengthen the civic engagement of college students and promote the transformative experience of national service, all while addressing poverty in the surrounding community. Each school will conduct its own search for a part-time campus recruiter this fall to implement this work. The ideal campus recruiter is a graduate student who has served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member or completed a term of service through another AmeriCorps program.
AmeriCorps VISTA provides a pathway to employment, further advancing the hiring potential of the schools’ graduates. AmeriCorps VISTA members develop leadership skills and gain professional experience while supporting nonprofit organizations and public agencies to grow their capacity. With more than 600 employers, the agency’s Employers of National Service program recognizes the valuable skills gained by more than 1 million Americans who have participated in AmeriCorps since 1994 and increases employment opportunities for those that join national service. Approximately two-thirds of AmeriCorps VISTA members have a four-year degree or higher, making colleges and universities key strategic recruitment partners.
Since 1965, VISTA has been on the frontlines of the war on poverty, placing passionate Americans where the need is greatest to serve as catalysts for change, living and working alongside the communities in which they serve. Now one of AmeriCorps’ three signature programs, AmeriCorps VISTA engages approximately 8,000 Americans in service each year to help build the capacity of nonprofits across the country: helping organizations do more, for more people.