AmeriCorps – Making a Positive Change in Your CommunityJanuary 15, 2021 AmeriCorps is a program in which participants serve in communities across the U.S. and is often considered the “domestic Peace Corps.” Each year, 75,000 members complete assignments in education, environmental protection, economic opportunity, health care, public safety, and disaster services at public agencies, schools, nonprofits, community- and faith-based organizations.
Daniel Stephenson from Salem, Oregon, served in AmeriCorps in Billings, Montana. “I applied for AmeriCorps because it provided me a chance to get work experience in a government organization and explore a career in public service,” said Daniel.
He worked with volunteer coordinators from Billings city departments. He developed a survey that identified how to best market volunteer opportunities to residents. He created a new volunteer manual and organized a recognition event for city volunteers. Daniel also helped develop an art therapy workshop for patients of a mental health crisis center.
“I learned a lot about organizational development and how a city government department functions,” said Daniel about his experience in AmeriCorps.
A significant educational advantage is the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award (up to $6,345). The education award can be used to pay tuition or student loans. If AmeriCorps members have student loans while they are serving, AmeriCorps pays the interest. Members can choose to receive the education award or a post-service stipend. Other AmeriCorps benefits include:
- A living allowance
- Relocation expenses if you serve more than 50 miles from your home
- Limited healthcare benefits
- Student-loan forbearance, deferment, or postponement
- Service scholarships at nearly 200 universities
- Training and work experience in an area of your interest
- The opportunity to serve in your community or across the U.S. and expand your professional networks
- Job skills such as leadership, team building, and negotiation skills
- CPR, first aid, and disaster response training
- Childcare assistance
- One year of non-competitive eligibility for federal government jobs.