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AmeriCorps VISTA Initiatives

AmeriCorps VISTA Initiatives






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    AmeriCorps VISTA Initiatives AmeriCorps VISTA Initiatives Presentation Transcript

    • AmeriCorps VISTA Initiatives
      Presenter: Ben Shapiro, Mentoring and Parent Outreach Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA, Central Lakes College Upward Bound
    • What will we cover today?
      What are VISTAs?
      What do VISTAs do?
      How do I apply for a VISTA?
      What has the VISTA done for our program?
      Goal: Programs will find new ways to bring in programs and individuals to their programs. VISTAs create capacity to organizations and can bring in aspects to our programs.
    • What are AmeriCorps VISTAs?
      Volunteers in Service to America
      Created in 1964 as part of War on Poverty
      Private citizens can contribute on a voluntary basis to meet the challenges confronting low-income communities.
      The skills and energies of AmeriCorps VISTA members are used most effectively when the members live and work in the low-income communities they serve.
      The full-time personal involvement of AmeriCorps VISTA members brings an added dimension to local public and private nonprofit organizations that work to develop lasting solutions to the problems of low-income communities.
    • AmeriCorps VISTA Sponsor
      A federal, state, or local government agency
      A government of an Indian nation
      A private non-profit organization that is committed to creating solutions to problems affecting low-income communities
      The sponsoring organization is responsible for developing a project plan
      The sponsoring organization manages AmeriCorps VISTA resources - grant money and the members themselves - and provides the support necessary to achieve project goals.
      The sponsoring organization shares the cost of AmeriCorps VISTA members by committing to pay all or part of their members' living allowances.
    • VISTA Work Plan
        Engage residents of the low-income community to ensure that it is responsive and relevant to the low-income residents served
      Leverage community resources (including part-time community volunteers) from public and private sectors
      Expand the capacity of the community and organization to sustain the project when AmeriCorps VISTA members finish their terms of service
      ..VISTA DescriptionProject Plan Form vs 3.doc
    • AmeriCorps VISTA Role
      VISTA members make a full-time, one-year commitment to alleviate poverty in a particular community
      Focus on building the capacity of individuals, organizations, and communities as a whole to set and attain their goals and respond to problems confronting communities in need
      A member assignment does not include the delivery of individual services to a limited number of clients, that is, "direct service," or activities more appropriately performed by the sponsoring organization's administrative support staff.
      An AmeriCorps VISTA member is not an employee of the sponsoring organization. An AmeriCorps VISTA member is a federal resource on loan to a local organization
    • Role Continued
      The member living allowance is at the poverty level.
      A member may not receive any additional monetary compensation beyond the standard allowances for services rendered as an AmeriCorps VISTA member.
      Members remain available for service, without regard to regular working hours, at all times during the member's service, except for periods of approved leave. (10 sick days and 10 vacation days)
      Members serve one year, but maybe invited to extend up to three years
    • How do I get a VISTA?
      The project application details the specific problem the project will address in the low-income community, provides a set of goals and objectives for the overall project, and includes a project plan that describes the activities the member will undertake.
      The performance measures portion of the application is the basis of subsequent Project Progress Reports, which are used by Corporation staff to monitor the achievement of project goals.
      The assignment description portion of the application is used to recruit and assign AmeriCorps VISTA members and to summarize their required duties and skills.
      ..VISTA DescriptionVista project application form.doc
    • Supervision
      Your day-to-day tasks on the project
      The relationship of your tasks to the work of staff members of the sponsoring organization
      The sponsoring organization staff 's understanding of your role
      The target community's expectations of you and for the project
      The resources, facilities (e.g., reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities), and supplies needed for your assignment
      Duties cannot supplant those of paid staff or existing volunteers
    • Other Projects
       Develop a system to assist immigrant/refugee community members meet the child care needs of their community
      Greater diversity among Catholic Charities volunteers as it relates to age and ethnicity
      Development and implementation of an After-Care program for former residents of domestic violence shelter and transitional house.
      Donor program development & website development
      Developing our volunteer program
      Recruiting volunteers and spreading community awareness 
    • My VISTA Experience
      This year I was put in charge of two programs
      The creation of a parent advisory board
      The creation of a mentoring program
      Mentoring turned into three programs, academic year mentoring, summer program mentoring and job shadowing mentoring
    • Parent Advisory Board
      Researched other parenting committees
      Wrote a parent letter and survey with return envelopes- received 12 responses
      Created a Ad and bylaws to be sent out with the newsletter to find potential parents
      Called selected parents that Upward Bound staff thought would be good board members
      Had first meeting at Saturday Academy
    • Academic Year Mentoring
      Researched other programs
      Surveyed students on mentoring
      Created Strategic Plan for program that would include mentoring in student communities
      Changed plan in order to allow more college students to be mentors
      Recruitment of mentors-E-mailed students, partnered with Senior Center, Social Work Department and Student Support Services
      Interviewed mentors and checked their background
      16 students were matched with 14 mentors for four Saturday Academies
      Students and mentors meet at lunch and had a meal conversation
    • Summer Program
      Peer Mentoring program to help with retention for summer program
      Wrote up plan similar to academic mentoring program
      Matched new summer students with returning summer students
      Job shadowing/work study will help bring more upper classmen students
      Researched other programs
      Decided to have job shadowing for Bridge students only
      Met with professionals in the area
      Students will meet for 40 hours and produce a paper on the career they choose
    • Questions?
      Benjamin Shapiro
      AmeriCorps VISTA
      501 W College Drive
      Brainerd, MN 56401