AmeriCorps

Americorps
Snohomish County AmeriCorps Program


Frequently Asked Questions

Is AmeriCorps like Peace Corps?
I'm confused. I hear different AmeriCorps names like VISTA , NCCC, State, etc. Are they all AmeriCorps?
What is service-learning?
1,700 hours seems like a lot to complete in 10 months. How do members accomplish that?
Do AmeriCorps members have fun?
Do AmeriCorps members get paid?
Tell me more about the education award.
Do AmeriCorps members have to pay back students loans?
Does AmeriCorps offer childcare?
What is the healthcare and dental coverage?
Do AmeriCorps members get time off?
How long is the assignment and is it full-time?
Is there an age requirement?
What skills do AmeriCorps members need to have?
Is training is provided?

Can people be in AmeriCorps for more than one year?

 

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 while AmeriCorps members serve only in the US. Peace Corps volunteers serve for two years while AmeriCorps volunteers serve for one year, with the option of returning for a second year.

I'm confused. I hear different AmeriCorps names like VISTA , NCCC, State, etc. Are they all AmeriCorps? Yes. AmeriCorps is a network of hundreds of programs throughout the US. Two programs are managed at the federal level: AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps NCCC. The Snohomish County AmeriCorps Program is considered a State program, meaning that funding and direction come from the state rather than the federal level. Our AmeriCorps Program is still connected to all national programs, and you will still be a part of the national service movement.

What is service-learning? Service-learning uses problem-solving, hands-on activities, and reflection to enhance both learning and service while promoting personal development and civic responsibility. Service-learning is at the heart of the AmeriCorps Program, and both members and the youth they serve will have opportunities to participate in service-learning activities.

1,700 hours seems like a lot to complete in 10 months. How do members accomplish that? Members typically have no problem serving 1,700 hours in 10 months; many members complete more! Serving 40 hours per week (the equivalent of a full-time job) puts members in good shape to serve 1,700 hours by the end of the program.

Do AmeriCorps members have fun? Yes! Program staff strive to make AmeriCorps a life enhancing and fun experience for all members.

Do AmeriCorps members get paid? Members receive a modest living allowance

Tell me more about the education award. After successfull completion of AmeriCorps, members receive an award of $5,350 that can be used to: repay qualified existing or future student loans; pay all or part of  current education expenses, including living expenses, to attend a qualified institution of higher education (including certain vocational programs); and/or pay expenses while participating in an approved school-to-work program. Members have seven years to use the education award and it does not have to be used all at once. 

Do AmeriCorps members have to pay back student loans? Most members qualify for postponement, or forbearance, of the repayment of loans during service. In addition, the interest accrued on loans during AmeriCorps service is be paid.

Does AmeriCorps offer childcare? Yes, though this is based on income eligibility.

What is the healthcare and dental coverage? Members are eligible for coverage under an AmeriCorps health care plan if they do not have any other health care plan. The plan does not include coverage for a spouse or dependents. The AmeriCorps Program pays the monthly premium and members choose their own doctor, hospital, and dentist. The plan also pays 80% of qualified prescription drugs.

Do AmeriCorps members get time off? All members are entitled to holidays taken by employees at their host site. So long as you members 1,700 hours of service by the end of the 10-month term, they can take up to 10 vacation and sick days as needed.

How long is the assignment, and is it full-time? The time commitment is 10 months and all members serve full-time.

Is there an age requirement? Yes, members must be at least 17 years old.

What skills do AmeriCorps members need to have? Motivation, commitment, and a passion for service is critical. Other skills are necessary but vary by host site.

Is training provided? Absolutely! Ttraining begins with pre-service orientation (PSO). PSO is an extensive training provided at the beginning of the service year to prepare new members for their AmeriCorps service and their host site. It covers a variety of topics and provides an opportunity for members to bond with each other. PSO is mandatory. Members who start the service after the original start date will receive a modified PSO. Members also receive training and development activities throughout the service year.

Can people be in AmeriCorps for more than one year?  Yes! We love to have members serve for a 2nd year. Members may continue for a second year at their current site or with another site.