BE THE GREATER GOOD

AmeriCorps
I want to serve

ABOUT AMERICORPS

AmeriCorps offers a variety of service opportunities, from the classroom to the outdoors, and everything in between. No matter what you’re passionate about, where you’re from, or why you choose to serve, AmeriCorps is your chance to be the greater good. 

AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs, made up of three primary programs that each take a different approach to improving lives and fostering civic engagement. Members commit their time to address critical community needs like increasing academic achievement, mentoring youth, fighting poverty, sustaining national parks, preparing for disasters, and more.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT DOES AMERICORPS LOOK LIKE IN CALIFORNIA?

California Volunteers leverages nearly $82 million in public and private funding to support 58 AmeriCorps programs and the deployment of over 4,000 AmeriCorps members who provide intensive service at more than 1,000 locations including schools, nonprofits, public agencies, and community centers across the state. AmeriCorps members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing thousands of volunteers for the organizations they serve.

Can you explain the different type of AmeriCorps programs?

AmeriCorps State and National: AmeriCorps State and National supports a broad range of local service programs that engage thousands of Americans in intensive service to meet critical community needs. Learn more about AmeriCorps State and National.

AmeriCorps VISTA: AmeriCorps VISTA provides full-time members to community organizations and public agencies to create and expand programs that build capacity and ultimately bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty. Learn more about AmeriCorps VISTA.

AmeriCorps NCCC: The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps is a full-time residential program for men and women, ages 18-24, that strengthens communities while developing leaders through direct, team-based national and community service. Learn more about AmeriCorps NCCC.

IS AMERICORPS LIKE PEACE CORPS?

Yes. AmeriCorps is often referred to as “the domestic Peace Corps.” Both agencies are committed to service, and both offer challenging and rewarding full-time opportunities. Peace Corps assignments are all overseas, and AmeriCorps members serve only in the US. While Peace Corps Volunteers serve for two years, a stint in AmeriCorps usually lasts 10 months to one year. (Some AmeriCorps projects also offer part-time opportunities, and some AmeriCorps members serve more than one term of service.)

CAN I JOIN IF I'M NOT A U.S. CITIZEN?

For AmeriCorps State and National and AmeriCorps NCCC you must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or legal permanent resident alien of the United States to be an AmeriCorps member. For AmeriCorps VISTA, you must have one of the following citizenship statuses: U.S. Citizens, U.S. Nationals, Lawful Permanent Resident Aliens, or persons legally residing in a state that have the following legal residency classifications: refugee, asylum or asylee, temporary protected status or deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status. By law, only VISTA members who are either U.S. Citizens, U.S. Nationals, or Lawful Permanent Resident Aliens—sometimes referred to as “Lawful Permanent Residents”—are eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Segal Education Award.  All other members will receive an end of service cash stipend. 

DO I GET PAID?

Full-time AmeriCorps members receive a modest living allowance for service and health care. Part-time positions may provide a living allowance or they may not. All AmeriCorps members who successfully complete a term of service also receive an AmeriCorps Education Award.

WILL I GET TRAINING BEFORE I START?

Yes, all members receive training at the beginning of their service, as well as project-specific training during service.

HOW LONG ARE THE ASSIGNMENTS, AND ARE THEY ALL FULL-TIME?

The time commitment varies depending on the needs of the program. Generally, the service commitment can be from three months, e.g. a summer program, up to one year. Many terms of service are full time, but there are also part-time service opportunities available.

CAN I DEFER STUDENT LOANS DURING MY SERVICE WITH AMERICORPS?

Members may qualify for postponement, or forbearance, of the repayment of their loans during service. The education award will help you pay off qualified student loans when you’re finished. You may also qualify to have the interest accrued on your student loans during service paid for by the National Service Trust. Contact your lender for more specific information or to confirm your loan status during AmeriCorps service. For more information, please visit our Postponement page. 

WHY SERVE

Michelle was a 4-term service member with JusticeCorps Los Angeles. Beginning in 2012, she did two terms as a student and two full-time fellowship terms. She just passed the California State Bar and chose to be take the State Bar oath in the same courthouse she took her JusticeCorps oath. She is now a staff attorney at nonprofit where she provides immigration legal services to university students. 
JusticeCorps Los Angeles

“Every time Jumpstart walks into the classroom, I see a look of not relief, but calm, come over their face: they are so happy that Jumpstart is there. As one teacher shared with me, there are many reasons for this: first, their job is extremely demanding, especially with the class I served in this year, which is exceptionally high-energy. It is a relief to have additional people in the class who they know are trained and reliable with their students.”
Jumpstart California