VISTA's Four Core Principles​

  1. Eliminating poverty

  2. Empowering low-income communities

  3. Building capacity for communities and organizations

  4. Creating sustainable solutions

VISTA History

"Since 1965, over 220,000 AmeriCorps members in the VISTA program have joined the fight against poverty by helping local organizations expand their capacity to make change. The VISTA program serves in each of the 50 U.S. states and in all U.S. territories.

Through capacity building activities such as fundraising, grant writing, research, and volunteer recruitment AmeriCorps members in the VISTA program serve in an office setting and gain experience and leadership skills. This opportunity prepares members for a life of service in the public, private, or nonprofit sector."

- AmeriCorps.gov 

VISTA Benefits

Who are VISTA members?

FAQs


Q. What does the VISTA acronym mean?

A. Volunteer in Service to America.

 

Q. How do I become an AmeriCorps VISTA member?

A. To join the Community Food Security VISTA Project in Iowa and find the right fit for you, visit our Available Positions page. To find and apply for other AmeriCorps VISTA positions, visit AmeriCorps.gov.

Q. What are the requirements to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA?

A. The Community Food Security VISTA Project in Iowa requires that members be 18 on or before they begin service. AmeriCorps rules also state that members must also hold one of the following work authorization statuses: US citizen, US National, Lawful Permanent Resident (i.e. Green Card status), and persons legally residing within a state, some examples of which include: refugee, asylee, temporary protected status throughout VISTA service, and holding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.

Q. Are VISTA members paid? How much?

A. VISTA members earn a living allowance that is tied to the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). At current rates, the living allowance is between the FPL amounts for households of 1 and 2 people. The living allowance for VISTA members is set at the county level by the federal government and in recent years has been updated 1-2 times per year to reflect changes in the FPL and costs of living. For up to date information on current VISTA living allowance rates, please contact us directly.

Q. How long is a service term?

A. Typically, VISTA service terms are full-time, 12-month long commitments. However, you can also serve as a Summer Associate with a full-time, 10-week long service term.

Q. What kind of support channels are offered to AmeriCorps VISTA members?

A. AmeriCorps VISTA members are a part of a large AmeriCorps network. Community Food Security VISTA Project in Iowa VISTA members can find support from their Sub-Sites Supervisors, Sub-Site Organizations, the Sponsoring Organization, the Regional Office, and VISTA Headquarters.

Q. What's the difference between capacity building activities and direct service activities?

A. Capacity building activities are tasks and activities to expand the scale, reach, efficiency, or effectiveness of programs or organizations. Direct service activities, alternatively, provide services to the identified recipients or clients of a specific program.

Have any other questions? Send us an email!