AmeriCorps Programs

United Way of Greenville County furthers its work in financial stability with assistance from two AmeriCorps programs: AmeriCorps Upstate and VISTA Bridges. Both programs focus on financial stability outcomes for the community, but deliver the results in different ways.

Both of our programs are full-time service opportunities.

Click on the images below to learn more about each program:

 

AmeriCorps Upstate     

AmeriCorps Upstate | VISTA Bridges

Frequently Asked Questions

What is AmeriCorps? What is VISTA?

AmeriCorps (pronounced Ameri-CORE) and VISTA are both opportunities to serve your community while gaining professional experience. VISTA stands for Volunteers in Service to America. Team members give a year and are matched with a partner agency to serve in a variety of roles. Click here to watch a short video from the Corporation for National and Community Service to help you understand more of what we do.

Why join our team?

  • Make an impact in the community while gaining valuable professional experience, training and education benefits.
  • Gain marketable skills for your resume like grant writing or tax preparation.
  • Take a gap year in a great community and be matched with an impactful nonprofit fighting poverty in the Upstate.
  • Earn valuable education benefits while earning a modest living allowance.
  • Receive monthly professional development training by staff and guest speakers. 

What are the benefits of national service?

  • Modest living allowance of up to $13,732 per year
  • Education award of $5,920 at the end of service year (toward existing student debt or continued education)
  • Health coverage
  • Child care benefits
  • Federal student loan forbearance
  • Payment of student loan interest on eligible loans
  • Monthly professional development training
  • Skill-building opportunities
  • Non-competitive eligibility for federal government jobs (VISTA only) 

How do I apply? What is the application process like?

  1. Create a profile and application on my.americorps.gov.
  2. Complete and save your general application in the MyAmeriCorps system.
  3. Submit your application to the program(s) of your choice. Our programs are AmeriCorps Upstate and VISTA Bridges.

What about after I apply?

  1. Initial Interview | Selected applicant meets with program staff. We provide a general overview of AmeriCorps and assess if you are the right fit for our program and team.
  2. Site Specific Interview | If selected to continue, you will be matched with sites that fit your interests and skills. A site partner will interview you and discuss the specifics of the role at that location.
  3. Site Match | Applicant and site will let program staff know if they feel the site match is a good fit. When all parties agree, successful applicants will be sent an acceptance letter with information about next steps.
  4. Enrollment | Applicant submits paperwork to staff and completes background check process. 
  5. Begin Service | New team members attend orientation with the team in Greenville, SC in August.
  6. Make a Difference! | Start at your host site and give a year of service to the community!

How can I choose between AmeriCorps and VISTA?

AmeriCorps members serve one-on-one with clients while VISTA members assist the agencies who serve clients.

If you enjoy interacting directly with people in need on a daily basis and like being in the midst of the action, we recommend AmeriCorps. For the position description, please click here.

If you thrive while working behind the scenes and improving systems, completing projects and building partnerships, we recommend VISTA. For the position description, please click here.

What can I do as a VISTA Bridges member?

Our VISTA members serve at partner sites around Greenville County and are part of a 10-person team. The group focuses on helping financial stability agencies become more effective and efficient through activities such as grant writing, volunteer recruitment and training, networking, database management, marketing and communications, and more. Read more about our VISTA Bridges project here.

What would I do as a member of the AmeriCorps Upstate team?

Twenty-eight team members serve directly at partner sites for an 11.5-month term helping individuals and families on the road to the Cycle of Success. You would serve full-time coaching clients in ways to increase their personal income, build savings, and gain and sustain assets. We have four main focus areas:

  • VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)
  • Workforce Development (assisting clients with job training and education) 
  • Stabilization Services (benefit application assistance and connecting clients with community resources) 
  • Financial Literacy (teach financial literacy to clients) 

The group meets monthly for professional development.

Click here for more information about the programs our AmeriCorps Upstate Team offers.

How long would I serve?

AmeriCorps Upstate terms run from mid-August through the end of July each year. Members must serve 1,700 hours over the 11.5-month service term, averaging about 36 hours per week. Time management is up to the team member and the schedule varies by site. Hours are longer during tax season.

VISTA Bridges terms run from August – August. Members serve full-time at their service site for one full year. There is no specific hour requirement and VISTAs are allowed 10 sick days and 10 personal days. Schedule depends on the host site, but is typically 36-40 hours per week.

Who are your partner sites?

We collaborate with other United Ways and partner agencies to host AmeriCorps members so they can connect with the community. Sites re-apply each year, so this list varies. Below is a list of our current partners for the 2018-2019 service year:

AmeriCorps Upstate:

  • United Way of Greenville County 
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program
  • Community Works Carolina
  • Community Works Carolina Federal Credit Union
  • Goodwill (Berea and Simpsonville locations)
  • United Ministries
  • Greenville Technical College
  • Greenville Literacy Association
  • Greer Relief
  • Rebuild Upstate
  • Mill Community Ministries
  • Life Long Learning
  • United Way of Pickens
  • United Way of Laurens County
  • United Way of Anderson County
  • Dream Center
  • Baptist Hospital Easley
  • Behavioral Health
VISTA Bridges:
  • United Way of Greenville County
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program
  • Greenville County Human Relations Commission
  • United Ministries
  • Community Works Carolina
  • Goodwill Industries
  • Upstate Warrior Solutions
  • Rebuild Upstate
  • Hispanic Alliance

How can I learn more about the AmeriCorps and VISTA experience?

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Still have questions? Contact us at americorpsupstate@unitedwaygc.org.