An Overview of AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that gives people the chance to serve in locations across the country.
OneStar Foundation administers AmeriCorps*Texas, which pairs members with nonprofits, public agencies and faith-based and community organizations to help them tackle social challenges. AmeriCorps*Texas gives members the opportunity to strengthen Texas communities while being part of a national service movement.
The four goals of AmeriCorps are to:
- Get things done.
- Strengthen communities.
- Encourage responsibility.
- Expand opportunity.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is the federal agency created to connect all Americans with an opportunity to serve their communities and their country, in partnership with state service commissions like OneStar. AmeriCorps provides thousands of Americans of all ages and backgrounds with intensive full- and part-time opportunities to serve their communities and help grassroots organizations meet local needs. In return for their service, AmeriCorps members receive a modest living allowance. AmeriCorps members who successfully complete their term of service can earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to pay for college, graduate school or qualified student loans. For more information regarding the Segal Education Award, please click here.
Types of AmeriCorps Programs
AmeriCorps programs include:
- AmeriCorps*State and AmeriCorps*National. These programs are for people ages 17 and over who want to have a positive impact on communities by engaging in direct service and mobilizing community volunteers. Members serve to accomplish a wide variety of local program goals, such as mentoring students, promoting health initiatives, spreading public safety information or beautifying parks and trails. (AmeriCorps*Texas is an AmeriCorps*State program.)
- AmeriCorps*VISTA. This program is for people ages 18 and over who have a college degree or employment experience and want to use their skills to increase an organization’s impact. Members tackle issues related to poverty through activities such as developing programs and improving nonprofit business practices. VISTAs are self-motivated and are passionate about doing the behind-the-scenes work that will empower communities.
- AmeriCorps*NCCC. This program is for people ages 18 to 24 interested in working in a team environment completing intense projects that respond to regional challenges and needs, such as disaster response. Members receive trainings on first aid, CPR, public safety, firefighting and other topics, and should be willing to relocate throughout the country with their teams for project assignments throughout their service commitment.
Each AmeriCorps program has its own selection process. To determine which program is the best fit for you to serve in, visit the Interactive Program Selector. After identifying programs of interest to you, you should contact the program to determine its selection process and obtain a copy of the member position description which will include minimum and desirable qualifications. The selection process typically includes an application (either on-line or paper) and an interview.
These programs are available to all, without regard to race or color, national origin, disability, age, sex, political affiliation or, in most instances, religion. Qualified individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply to national service programs. The programs will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals and conduct all activities in fully accessible settings.
AmeriCorps is a great way to make a difference in people’s lives—including your own.
AmeriCorps members may receive a modest living stipend, student loan forbearance, health insurance, child care (for those who qualify) and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to be used toward college tuition or student loan payment. For those members 55 and over serving in an AmeriCorps State or National program, an additional benefit may be the option to transfer your Education Award to a child, grandchild or foster child.
Some benefits of participating in AmeriCorps are much larger and less tangible. Through AmeriCorps:
- You can serve your country, making America a better place.
- You can learn valuable skills, gain important work experience and explore career opportunities.
- Your efforts will have a lasting impact on communities for years to come.
- You will foster an ethic of civic responsibility that can last a lifetime.
- You can gain lifelong connections and friendships.
- Your commitment to helping others shows what a difference one person can make.
Find a Texas Program
2011-12 AmeriCorps Texas Programs: Click here.
2012-13 AmeriCorps Texas Programs: Click here.
For further information contact Elisa or Colette below.
If you are an organization considering applying for AmeriCorps funding and need assistance in determining the best grant program for your needs, please visit the AmeriCorps Fit Finder.
Below are links to more information about AmeriCorps and other streams of national service.