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News Release, Americorps
Service will occur in 40 states; VISTAs will provide support for summer meal programs, COVID-19 response, learning-loss prevention
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Thousands of Americans will serve as AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates throughout the nation in 2020, announced the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service. A valuable asset for nonprofits, these VISTA Summer Associates will serve in communities across 40 states at a time when resources are stretched thin and services are needed more than ever.
Unique to AmeriCorps VISTA, the Summer Associates program provides intensive, short-term opportunities for service lasting eight-to-10 weeks focused on the most critical needs in a community. The AmeriCorps members earn a living allowance and an education award. Often, their service is focused on helping students prevent summer learning loss and supporting free summer meal programs for children, adults, and families to ensure that all Americans have enough to eat.
This year, more than 2,700 AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates will pledge to “get things done” in communities across the country. Because of the unique challenges facing America this year, some VISTA Summer Associates will take on new roles to help communities address the problems created by the coronavirus pandemic.
In Colorado, 350 AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates will provide a temporary surge force for the state’s first phrase of contact tracing. While in New Hampshire, 10 Summer Associates will support a range of public health services, emergency logistics, serving homebound seniors and vulnerable populations, and services that combat food and nutrition insecurity. AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates are also supporting communities in Iowa impacted by COVID-19, educating the public on new safety measures for public transportation and providing counseling to those recently furloughed or out-of-work due to the pandemic.
“For more than 50 years, VISTA has been on the front lines of the toughest problems facing our nation,” said Desiree Tucker-Sorini, director of AmeriCorps VISTA. “I’m proud that VISTA members are addressing critical needs during this pandemic. When things get hard, America steps up. As each of these AmeriCorps members pledge to ‘get things done’ they show us that spirit is still alive today.”
AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members bring passion and perseverance where the need is greatest: to organizations focused on addressing the injustices of poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA members serve as a catalyst for change, living and working alongside community members to advance local solutions. Since 1965, over 220,000 VISTA members have served with the mission to strengthen organizations that alleviate poverty.
These VISTA Summer Associates join the 75,000 AmeriCorps members who serve across the nation throughout the year. The majority of these dedicated Americans have been able to continue their critical work during the pandemic, with more than 10,000 of the agency’s AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members mobilized to COVID-19 response activities.
Many organizations are currently recruiting for AmeriCorps VISTA positions. Those interested in serving can learn more at AmeriCorps.gov/Join.