United Way of Greenville County furthers its work in financial stability through the AmeriCorps Upstate program. Every year, our program staff recruits, trains and supports a team of 23 AmeriCorps members in the Upstate of South Carolina. Each member is matched with a host nonprofit for a year of full-time service. Our team helps those in need navigate community resources, teaches basic financial literacy and prepares income tax returns through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
Benefits for members include the Segel education award, health insurance, childcare assistance and a monthly living allowance. We also provide professional development training each month. Fight poverty and find your path with AmeriCorps Upstate!
Frequently Asked Questions for Applicants (click here for Host Site FAQs)
What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps (pronounced Ameri-CORE) is an opportunity for individuals of all ages and backgrounds to give their time and talent to strengthen communities. 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 $15,100 per year
- Segal Education Award of $6,345 at the end of service year (toward existing student debt or continued education)
- Health coverage
- Childcare benefits
- Federal student loan forbearance
- Payment of student loan interest on eligible loans
- Monthly professional development training
- Skill-building opportunities
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, please fill out this information form and we will contact you when it re-opens.
- Create a profile and application on my.americorps.gov.
- Complete and save your general application in the MyAmeriCorps system.
- Submit your application to our specific program: AmeriCorps Upstate
To help guide you through the application process, download this step-by-step tutorial.
What about after I apply?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Enrollment | Applicant submits paperwork to staff and completes background check process.
- Begin Service | New team members attend orientation with the team in Greenville, SC in August.
- Make a Difference! | Start at your host site and give a year of service to the community!
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 at community locations
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 2020–2021 service year:
- United Way of Greenville County (grant holder)
- Anderson Interfaith Ministries
- Family Promise of Laurens County
- Goodwill Berea
- Goodwill Simpsonville
- Greenville Free Medical Clinic
- Greenville Technical College
- Greer Relief
- Mill Village Farms
- Rebuild Upstate
- SC Empowerment Centre
- United Ministries
- United Way of Laurens County
- United Way of Pickens County
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program
How can I learn more about the AmeriCorps and VISTA experience?