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 for Applicants (click here for Host Site FAQs)

What is AmeriCorps?

AmeriCorps (pronounced Ameri-CORE) is a network of national service programs, made up of three primary programs that each take a different approach to improving lives and fostering civic engagement. Members commit their time to address critical community needs like increasing academic achievement, mentoring youth, fighting poverty, sustaining national parks, preparing for disasters and more. Team members in our program are matched with a host partner agency to serve in a variety of roles over a one-year full-time term. Click here to watch a short video from the Corporation for National and Community Service to help you understand more about what AmeriCorps does nationwide.

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 $14,279 per year
  • Education award of $6,195 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?

Our application opens in the spring of each year and stays open until all positions are filled or for one month after orientation, whichever occurs first. If our application is not currently open, send your resumé to apply@americorpsupstate.org.

  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.

To help guide you through the application process, download this step-by-step tutorial.

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?

Team members serve directly at a partner site for an 11.5-month term helping individuals and families on the road to economic mobility. You would serve full-time coaching clients in ways to increase their personal income, build savings, and gain and sustain assets. Your daily duties could vary widely depending on your host site placement. In general, you would be spending time on the following three focus areas:

  • Resource Navigation | Case management, crisis assistance, connecting clients with community resources, and helping people apply for benefits through Thrive Hub
  • Financial Literacy | Teaching financial literacy to clients individually or in a classroom setting
  • VITA: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance | Free tax preparation

Our entire team is trained on tax preparation and is mobilized during the 10-week tax season to help at local free tax clinics through the VITA program. During this time (late January–mid-April) team members schedules vary from the norm; they may have some evening or Saturday morning service hours depending on their placement.

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, including some evening and Saturday morning hours.

VISTA Bridges terms run from July–July. 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, Monday–Friday.

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 2019–2020 service year:

AmeriCorps Upstate:

  • United Way of Greenville County (grant holder)
  • Dream Center
  • Goodwill Berea
  • Goodwill Easley
  • Goodwill Simpsonville
  • Greenville Technical College
  • Greer Relief
  • Mill Village Farms
  • Rebuild
  • SC Empowerment Centre
  • Self Help Federal Credit Union
  • United Ministries
  • United Way of Anderson County
  • United Way of Laurens County
  • United Way of Pickens County
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program
VISTA Bridges:
  • United Way of Greenville County (grant holder)
  • Able SC
  • Goodwill Greenville
  • Greenville Technical College
  • Hispanic Alliance
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Rebuild Upstate
  • United Ministries
  • Upstate Warrior Solution
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program

Sites for the upcoming 2020–2021 service term:

  • United Way of Greenville County (grant holder)
  • United Way of Laurens County (partner)
  • United Way of Pickens County (partner)
  • Anderson Interfaith Ministries
  • Family Promise of Laurens County
  • Goodwill (Berea, Simpsonville, Phyllis Wheatley, Easley)
  • Greenlink
  • Greenville Free Medical Clinic
  • Greenville Technical College
  • Greer Relief
  • Hispanic Alliance
  • Mill Village Farms
  • Rebuild Upstate
  • SC Empowerment Centre
  • United Ministries
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program
     

Frequently Asked Questions for Host Sites

 

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

Visit our website: americorpsupstate.org or email us at info@americorpsupstate.org.

Connect with us on Facebook | Instagram @americorpsupstate | Twitter @ACUpstate