The Utah State University Center for Community Engagement announced it was selected by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) for a new partnership with AmeriCorps VISTA designed to encourage participation in national service opportunities.
Utah State University will receive approximately $20,000 to onboard a part-time recruiter to work in partnership with AmeriCorps VISTA to increase awareness of service opportunities among the campus communities. This recruiter will host information sessions on national service, promote service opportunities at events, and develop partnerships across their campuses and within the surrounding community.
“Just like college, a year of service can be a life-changing experience,” said Desiree Tucker-Sorini, director of AmeriCorps VISTA. “With this new pilot program, we’ll be able to explore the combined power of higher education and national service. I’m thrilled to welcome USU to our national service family.”
USU currently sponsors four active AmeriCorps programs with a combined total 1,171 AmeriCorps members. There are currently three programs based out of the USU CCE (Utah Conservation Corps, Utah Food Corps, and Utah Higher Education AmeriCorps Network) and one out of the USU Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services (Public and School Partnership).
USU was selected along with seven other schools through a national competitive application process. The other schools chosen for this pilot project include the Rochester Institute of Technology, Tufts University, University of Hawaii, University of Montana, University of Rochester, University of Virginia and Wake Forest University.
Participation in this AmeriCorps VISTA partnership will provide an opportunity for colleges to strengthen the civic engagement of college students and promote the transformative experience of national service, all while addressing poverty in the surrounding community. Each school will conduct their own search for a part-time campus recruiter this fall to implement this work. The ideal campus recruiter is a graduate student who has served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member or completed a term of service through another AmeriCorps program.
AmeriCorps VISTA provides a pathway to employment, further advancing the hiring potential of the schools’ graduates. AmeriCorps VISTA members develop leadership skills and gain professional experience while supporting nonprofit organizations and public agencies to grow their capacity. With more than 600 employers, the Employers of National Service program recognizes the valuable skills gained by more than 1 million Americans who have participated in AmeriCorps since 1994 and increases employment opportunities for those who join national service. Approximately two-thirds of AmeriCorps VISTA members have a four-year degree or higher, making colleges and universities keys strategic recruitment partners.
Since 1965, VISTA has been on the frontlines of the war on poverty, placing passionate Americans where the need is greatest to serve as catalysts for change, living and working alongside the communities in which they serve. As one of AmeriCorps’ three signature programs, AmeriCorps VISTA engages approximately 8,000 Americans in service each year to help build the capacity of nonprofits across the country: helping organizations do more, for more people.