Fighting Poverty, Empowering Communities, Changing the Nation!
Who We Are
Serve New York mobilizes AmeriCorps VISTA members to serve organizations, government agencies, and educational institutions focused on the needs of military families and veterans and improving and expanding opportunities for economically disadvantaged individuals. The goal of Serve New York is to strengthen communities across the State, and to allow organizations within them to better provide services to impoverished individuals and families.
Authorized by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) was founded in 1965 to “fight the war on poverty.” VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, and since that time has continued to serve its original mission: to eliminate poverty in the United States. For more VISTA history, please visit NationalService.gov.
Join Serve New York!
AmeriCorps VISTA members work behind-the-scenes at organizations to build capacity, create sustainability, and indirectly serve the organization’s clients. Typical VISTA responsibilities include: grant writing, community outreach, fund development, curriculum building, creating partnerships, and program development and execution.
Currently, Serve New York’s major impact areas are Education, Veterans & Military Families, Healthy Futures, and Economic Opportunity. To support educational advancement, our members work to increase educational support services for economically disadvantaged youth, increase student engagement, increase college readiness and attendance by low-income youth, and involve community volunteers in the delivery of educational services. VISTA members working towards our Veteran & Military Family goals are helping to increase access to resources for this population, including educational, job-training, legal, and financial services. Serve New York VISTA members also serve with projects dedicated to preventing childhood obesity, improving long-term access to fresh and healthy food, and increasing financial literacy and housing services.
Hosting a VISTA Member: Why partner with Serve New York VISTA?
A partnership with Serve New York provides an increase in agency capacity, greater sustainability, and improved program management for organizations working to eradicate poverty. VISTA members provide behind-the-scenes, indirect service designed to build programs and practices that will last long after they leave. Members are permitted to write grants, work on fundraising initiatives, develop policies & procedures, recruit and manage volunteers, develop programs, build curriculums, and provide outreach on behalf of their host sites.
What kinds of candidates apply to AmeriCorps and what is required of them?
Host sites can recruit candidates on their own or request The Service Collaborative staff screen applicants for the needs of their specific site. Serve New York applicants provide at least two references; go through state and FBI background checks; and a rigorous interview process ensuring the highest quality of candidates. When members commit to VISTA they are committing to a 12-month term during which time they are expected to serve at their host sites full-time. Members are not allowed to have outside employment during their term of service. Members are provided health insurance, childcare, student loan forbearance, the choice of an education award or cash stipend at the end of their term, and a living stipend; the only financial expectation of host sites is a modest cash match.
What do I need to know if I’m interested in hosting a Serve New York VISTA member?
If you are interested in hosting a Serve New York VISTA member please email Jillian Kubiak to be added to the RFP distribution list.
Organizations interested in hosting a VISTA member should:
- Have the capacity to utilize VISTA members in an indirect service role, and make a strong connection between the organization’s work and Serve New York’s performance goals
- Be willing to provide supervision, staff support and agency resources to ensure the success of member serving at their site
- Be a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, educational institution, or government agency located within New York State but not in New York City
Have questions about Serve New York VISTA?
Contact Jillian Kubiak, firstname.lastname@example.org / (716) 418-8500 x156
Sample VISTA VAD