AmeriCorps VISTA Initiatives


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AmeriCorps VISTA Initiatives

  1. 1. AmeriCorps VISTA Initiatives<br />Presenter: Ben Shapiro, Mentoring and Parent Outreach Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA, Central Lakes College Upward Bound<br />
  2. 2. What will we cover today?<br />What are VISTAs?<br />What do VISTAs do?<br />How do I apply for a VISTA?<br />What has the VISTA done for our program?<br />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. <br />
  3. 3. What are AmeriCorps VISTAs?<br /><br />Volunteers in Service to America<br />Created in 1964 as part of War on Poverty<br />Private citizens can contribute on a voluntary basis to meet the challenges confronting low-income communities.<br />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.<br />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.<br />
  4. 4. AmeriCorps VISTA Sponsor<br />A federal, state, or local government agency<br />A government of an Indian nation<br />A private non-profit organization that is committed to creating solutions to problems affecting low-income communities<br />The sponsoring organization is responsible for developing a project plan<br />The sponsoring organization manages AmeriCorps VISTA resources - grant money and the members themselves - and provides the support necessary to achieve project goals.<br />The sponsoring organization shares the cost of AmeriCorps VISTA members by committing to pay all or part of their members' living allowances.<br />
  5. 5. VISTA Work Plan<br />  Engage residents of the low-income community to ensure that it is responsive and relevant to the low-income residents served<br />Leverage community resources (including part-time community volunteers) from public and private sectors<br />Expand the capacity of the community and organization to sustain the project when AmeriCorps VISTA members finish their terms of service<br />..VISTA DescriptionProject Plan Form vs 3.doc<br />
  6. 6. AmeriCorps VISTA Role<br />VISTA members make a full-time, one-year commitment to alleviate poverty in a particular community<br />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<br />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.<br />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<br />
  7. 7. Role Continued<br />The member living allowance is at the poverty level.<br />A member may not receive any additional monetary compensation beyond the standard allowances for services rendered as an AmeriCorps VISTA member.<br />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)<br />Members serve one year, but maybe invited to extend up to three years<br />
  8. 8. How do I get a VISTA?<br />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.<br />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.<br />The assignment description portion of the application is used to recruit and assign AmeriCorps VISTA members and to summarize their required duties and skills.<br />..VISTA DescriptionVista project application form.doc<br />
  9. 9. Supervision <br />Your day-to-day tasks on the project<br />The relationship of your tasks to the work of staff members of the sponsoring organization<br />The sponsoring organization staff 's understanding of your role<br />The target community's expectations of you and for the project<br />The resources, facilities (e.g., reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities), and supplies needed for your assignment<br />Duties cannot supplant those of paid staff or existing volunteers<br />
  10. 10. Other Projects<br /> Develop a system to assist immigrant/refugee community members meet the child care needs of their community<br />Greater diversity among Catholic Charities volunteers as it relates to age and ethnicity<br />Development and implementation of an After-Care program for former residents of domestic violence shelter and transitional house.<br />Donor program development & website development<br />Developing our volunteer program<br />Recruiting volunteers and spreading community awareness <br />
  11. 11. My VISTA Experience<br />This year I was put in charge of two programs<br />The creation of a parent advisory board<br />The creation of a mentoring program<br />Mentoring turned into three programs, academic year mentoring, summer program mentoring and job shadowing mentoring<br />
  12. 12. Parent Advisory Board <br />Researched other parenting committees<br />Wrote a parent letter and survey with return envelopes- received 12 responses<br />Created a Ad and bylaws to be sent out with the newsletter to find potential parents<br />Called selected parents that Upward Bound staff thought would be good board members<br />Had first meeting at Saturday Academy <br />
  13. 13. Academic Year Mentoring <br />Researched other programs<br />Surveyed students on mentoring<br />Created Strategic Plan for program that would include mentoring in student communities<br />Changed plan in order to allow more college students to be mentors<br />Recruitment of mentors-E-mailed students, partnered with Senior Center, Social Work Department and Student Support Services<br />Interviewed mentors and checked their background<br />16 students were matched with 14 mentors for four Saturday Academies <br />Students and mentors meet at lunch and had a meal conversation<br />
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  15. 15. Summer Program<br />Peer Mentoring program to help with retention for summer program <br />Wrote up plan similar to academic mentoring program<br />Matched new summer students with returning summer students<br />Job shadowing/work study will help bring more upper classmen students<br />Researched other programs<br />Decided to have job shadowing for Bridge students only<br />Met with professionals in the area<br />Students will meet for 40 hours and produce a paper on the career they choose <br />
  16. 16. Questions?<br />Benjamin Shapiro<br />AmeriCorps VISTA<br />501 W College Drive<br />Brainerd, MN 56401<br />218-855-8293<br /><br />