The Community Engagement Center’s resident AmeriCorps VISTA representative, Lucas Knowles has been in Utah since November. A common question he has been asked in the past six months is “What is AmeriCorps?” He has been answering this question since he was accepted to serve as a VISTA in the Utah Campus Compact at the SUU CEC. This March 10-18 is AmeriCorps Week, which seeks to highlight AmeriCorps participants and their impact on their respective communities.
AmeriCorps members can serve in one of three programs, AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, or AmeriCorps NCCC. The largest of these categories is AmeriCorps State and National members serving in a variety of full-time and part-time positions to address community needs. AmeriCorps VISTA is an acronym for Volunteers in Service to America. VISTAs serve full-time for one year with community organizations and public agencies to build sustainable programs to fight poverty nationally. AmeriCorps NCCC is the National Civilian Community Corps and focuses on projects relating to disaster response, the environment, housing, and youth. Over 775,000 people have served a total of 1 billion hours as AmeriCorps members since 1994.
Students are eligible to receive a financial educational award or stipend upon completion of the term of service; students may also postpone student loan repayment for the duration of the term. Locally SUU students can contact the CEC to get involved in the program. Currently the Center has 78 students serving as AmeriCorps members throughout the community, primarily working with youth and disadvantaged individuals. The dedication and ambition of these students provides a valuable service to help others and improve our community as a whole.
To learn more about AmeriCorps programs visit www.americorps.gov and to get involved locally stop by the SUU Community Engagement Center.
This guest post was written by Lucas Knowles, AmeriCorps VISTA.