AmeriCorps VISTAFounded in 1965, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) is a public program designed to provide men and women who act as the resources for non-profit organizations and public offices to increase their ability to assist in lifting communities out of poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA provides opportunities for Americans eighteen years of age and older from diverse backgrounds to dedicate a year of service with non-profit organizations or public entities (as a host organization) to create or to expand efforts designed to empower low-income individuals and communities. VISTA members serve for one year in full-time position with a host organization. In exchange, VISTAs receive a living allowance as well as other benefits while serving. Upon successful completion of their term, members receive an education award to assist them in paying for costs at qualified institutions of higher education, to pay for educational workforce training, to repay qualified student loans, or they may opt for an end of term cash stipend.The power of Americorps VISTA is extraordinary. VISTA attracts talented, passionate people to research, create, and expand the capacity of your organization. At the same time, they mobilize volunteers who can strengthen the organization or office after the VISTA has ended their term.General information about AmeriCorps can be found on the Volunteer Iowa website.Priorities for the Volunteer Iowa VISTA ProgramThe focus of this program is to assist in creating opportunities for low-income people through volunteering and service. The following priorities will be taken into consideration for any applications received:
- Economic Opportunity: VISTA's commitment to people who are economically disadvantaged requires focusing on working to provide opportunities to low-income individuals to gain access to training, to education, and to learning the skills which will meet the needs of employers. In addition, projects which pay attention to asset building are encouraged to apply. Volunteer Iowa will give priority to efforts that support access to resources which contribute to improved economic well-being and to the financial security of economically disadvantaged people in many communities.
- Education: VISTA will give priority to projects that facilitate access to improved education and educational attainment for economically vulnerable youth.
- Healthy Futures: The VISTA program will give priority to efforts which seek to improve health outcomes, including access to a wider variety of food and better health care for low-income families. As the COVID-19 pandemic proceeds, there continues to be many different negative impacts, particularly on low-income men, women, and children.
- Military Veterans and Their Families: The VISTA program gives a priority to programs which pay attention to low-income military and naval veterans and to their families.