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AmeriCorps* VISTA
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The goal of the Up2Us Sports VISTA program is to build the capacity of Up2Us Sports member organizations who run high-quality sports-based youth development programming in under-served communities.   

Up2Us Sports has placed over 120 VISTAs at 40 Up2Us Sports member organizations over the past four years. Each VISTA member makes a full-time volunteer commitment to work for one year building organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of Up2Us Sports member organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities.

 

More about AmeriCorps VISTA:

(Source: http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorps-vista and nyccvista.org)

AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) is one of five national service programs administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). For more than 40 years, VISTA has been at the forefront of building capacity of communities to fight poverty. VISTA members devote a year of their lives to challenge poverty’s root causes. They achieve this by mobilizing community volunteers and local resources, and by increasing the capacity of individuals in low-income neighborhoods to rely on themselves to make positive change. To achieve its program purpose, VISTA operates under the following core principles: 

  1. Anti-Poverty Focus: The purpose of VISTA is to support efforts to fight poverty. The goal of every project must be to help individuals and communities out of poverty, not simply make poverty more tolerable. The project should focus on long-term solutions rather than short-term services.
  2. Community Empowerment: Potential and current VISTA sites must ensure that their project engages residents of the low-income community in planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating the project. The project must be responsive and relevant to the lives of the community residents, and should tap into inherent community assets, strengths, and resources.
  3. Sustainable Solutions: VISTA members are a short-term resource to build the long-term sustainability of anti-poverty programs.  All VISTA projects should be developed with a goal to phase out the need for VISTA members and strengthen the ability of the project to continue without them. One way to achieve Sustainable Solutions is to strengthen the ability of local organizations to fight poverty. Through activities such as fundraising, establishment of volunteer recruitment and management systems, community outreach, and partnership development, VISTAs help sponsors to achieve lasting solutions to poverty. In order to build capacity, VISTAs do not perform direct service.

 

What Do AmeriCorps Members Do?

AmeriCorps VISTA members live and serve in some of our nation’s poorest urban and rural areas. With passion, commitment, and hard work, they create or expand programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty.

Each VISTA member makes a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. In return for their service, AmeriCorps VISTA members receive a modest living allowance and health benefits during their service, and have the option of receiving a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or post-service stipend after completing their service. About 8,000 VISTAs are placed each year in more than 1,100 projects in low-income communities around the country.

VISTA members generally do not provide direct services, such as tutoring children or building homes. Instead, they focus their efforts on building the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic develop, and otherwise assist low-income communities. VISTAs develop programs to meet a need, write grants, and recruit and train volunteers.

Examples of VISTA capacity-building projects are:

  • Developing or expanding a volunteer recruitment and/or management platform
  • Developing a marketing program and doing media and social media outreach
  • Prospecting potential donors, creating grants calendars, and writing grants
  • Developing special event fundraisers and cultivation events

 

Examples of projects that are NOT acceptable for VISTAs are:

  • Direct service with program youth such as coaching, teaching, mentoring, etc.
  • Clerical-only work such as filing, answering phones, etc.
  • Advocacy, lobbying, or any work which attempts to influence legislation

If you'd like to learn more about the AmeriCorps VISTA program and the kinds of work that VISTA's do, click here!


UP2US Sports VISTA TEAM CONTACT INFORMATION

 VISTA Program Director: Kim Chinn, kchinn@up2ussports.org

AmeriCorps VISTA Leader: Danielle Walker, dwalker@up2ussports.org

 

 

Already a part of AmeriCorps VISTA with Up2Us Sports? Follow the links below: 

Up2Us Sports VISTA Members: click here for your page. 

Up2Us Sports VISTA Host Site Supervisors: click here for your page. 

   

 

 

 


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