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soc.org.service-clubs.misc Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Section - Q2.3. AmeriCorps / National Service / VISTA / Youth Corps

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[Although not a service club, because of the publicity received by
these programs, I thought it would be worthwhile to give them a
listing in this document. == Ping Huang]

Americorps is operated by the Corporation for National Service,
created by Congress and the Clinton White House administration
(National and Community Service Trust act of 1993).  Widely referred
to as a "domestic Peace Corps", participants in AmeriCorps sign up for
one year or two year commitments and are assigned to the national,
state, and local organizations affiliated through the AmeriCorps
National Service Network.  The 1995 brochure lists two specific
national programs: AmeriCorps*NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps,
specializing in environmental improvement, open to ages 18-24 only),
and AmeriCorps*VISTA.  The latter draws upon the VISTA (Volunteers in
Service to America) heritage of serving low-income communities
nationwide.  AmeriCorps participants receive a modest living
allowance, health coverage, and a post-service education award of up
to $4,725.  An application is necessary (with fixed, not rolling,
deadlines... this year's was April 24, 1995), and the materials imply
that admission into the programs is rather competitive.  Projected
participation in these two programs for early 1995 is 20,000.

The National Corporation for Service also administers the in-school
Learn and Serve America program and the National Senior Service Corps.
Some literature mentions AmeriCorps*USA, for part-time volunteers
participating in programs in part set up by state or regional
organizations; however, information on this program is very incomplete.

Example: What is life like in AmeriCorps*NCCC
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Combining the best of the community service world and military life,
Corps Members take advantage of the military's extensive facilties on
downsizing or former military bases across the country to live and
train.  Training focuses on leadership, team building, citizenship, and
physical conditioning.  Skills for specific projects are taught before
the Corps Members begin their community efforts.  Corps Members work
in teams of ten and have leadership responsbility to identify, plan,
and complete their national service projects.  AmeriCorps*NCCC
provides Corps Members the opportunity to serve their country and to
tackle some of our nation's most serious and challenging problems."

Example: VISTA Program Emphasis Areas
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Literacy * Public Health * Economic Development * Food/Hunger *
Employment * Housing * Prevention of Substance Abuse * And More...
VISTA volunteers typically work in capacity-building activities;
for example, setting up programs to accomplish immunization or
tutoring of children rather than actually immunize or tutor.

Contact: Corporation for National Service 1-800-84-ACORPS.
AmeriCorps*NCCC: 1201 New York Avenue NW, 9th floor, Washington DC 20525.
AmeriCorps*VISTA: 1100 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington DC 20525.

[Source: various brochures and applications.]

The National Association of Service & Conservation Corps serves as an
umbrella organization for over 100, mostly locally-based, youth corps
in many states.  The organization provides planning materials,
maintains a clearinghouse of information, sponsors conferences,
organizes development workshops for corps staff members, publishes
newsletters and information bulletins, and develops policy and public
affairs activities.  In addition, it helps corps find funding through
funding grant proposals.

Contact: 1-202-737-6272, FAX 1-202-737-6277, 666 Eleventh Street, NW,
Suite 500, Washington DC, 20001.

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