AmeriCorps

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AmeriCorps Reviews

Updated October 13, 2014
Updated October 13, 2014
279 Reviews
3.6
279 Reviews
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AmeriCorps Director Rosie K. Mauk
Rosie K. Mauk
79 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Non-profit based projects in numerous different states (in 23 reviews)

  • toward student loans, and meet others with similar interests (in 19 reviews)


Cons
  • living within the budget set by the living stipend (in 16 reviews)

  • I was a member of AmeriCorps state through a very disorganized non-profit (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

12 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    one of the biggest mistakes of my life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member With Tutoring Program in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member With Tutoring Program in Dallas, TX

    I have been working at AmeriCorps full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Doing work that helps others, but at the expense of your own security.

    Cons

    Felt completely misled by my supervisors regarding the job, the benefits, insurance and most of all the education award.

    It has been a year and a half since I completed my service with Americorps, after applying my entire education award (which is taxed), I still owe $3500 more than I ever took out to go to school. The interest I accrued in the year I served was not fully reimbursed and the money I used to pay my loans for the next year didn't make up for how much interest I continued to accrue.

    I would have been much better off doing any other kind of job that would have allowed me to make enough money to continue making loan payments and gradually lowering my capitalized interest. Additionally, the organization I worked with, Reading Parnters, completely abused the Americorps program. We were extremely overworked and not paid enough for any of us to survive in the city we lived in. Everyone on my team was dissatisfied with our experience and felt completely used.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want to pay people such a low salary, improve their benefits at the very least. Allow them sick days and maybe even the occasional vacation day. This job is extremely stressful, but with no payoff other than knowing you are helping others. That is great, but not when it makes you miserable each day you are doing it because you are so stressed out about how you are going to survive.

    Work out the education award so that it is not just a line you give to people to convince them to do Americorps. Make it actually as beneficial as you promise and find a way not to tax people for student loan money when they will have no realistic chance of having set money aside to pay this during their period of service.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Literacy Tutor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Literacy Tutor in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Literacy Tutor in Denver, CO

    I worked at AmeriCorps full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Opportunity to work with children.

    Cons

    Over worked, abused, forced to work through lunch without regard to hours. Dishonest misrepresentation on the part of management without consequence.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Being a non profit is no excuse.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3.  

    If you're thinking about AmeriCorps VISTA- DONT DO IT!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA

    I worked at AmeriCorps full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    My host site was absolutely amazing! They made my year from hell totally worth it. They were the only ray of light in my whole crappy AmeriCorps VISTA year. I gained great experience and the connections and growth i made there definitely helped me get my job once my year of service was over.

    I will say the team VISTA leader I had was GREAT!! She seemed to actually care, but the people above her who actually handle my files and info were not as wonderful as her.

    Also they were very understanding when i had a death in the family and gave me a full week of bereavement time, which i great appreciated.

    BUT.....

    Cons

    Even thought my host site was the BEST working with AmeriCorps and Points of Light was TERRIBLE!! They are SO disorganized. There are so many rules and regulations they dont tell you about the educational award until you're already committed and months into your year of service. They never respond to emails in a timely manner. They have horrible retention and always have new employees who dont know what they are doing. In short they are jerks who honestly do not care about you or how youre living.

    Even worse I was a VISTA during the government shutdown for two weeks of work i got paid like 160. They tell you its a fixed stipend but its not, and i got ripped off like 30 bucks on my last living allowance because it ended a day early. I know 30 dollars doesnt sound like a lot, but when you're living in poverty and only get paid 400 bucks for 80 hours of work thats a lot of hard earned money. Also take into perspective that i only made 30 dollars a day to work my butt off.

    They are just using you to get research and work for (almost) free. I had to work on christmas eve and new years eve but everyone at americorps/points of light was on vacation for those whole two weeks and i need assistance with one of my projects.

    In short, they are unprofessional, unsympathetic, sloppy, disorganized, and the people higher up dont even really care about you.

    DONT DO IT IF YOU HAVE OTHER OPTIONS!!!!!!!!! NOT WORTH IT.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respond to your emails and get your stuff together.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Poor experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at AmeriCorps

    Pros

    Experience teaching. Do not pay student loans while working.

    Cons

    Horrible pay, must complete 1700 hours in a school year and can only gain hours within the school. Anything outside the school you do does not count towards your hours. A lot of work, and mandatory trainings for little reward. All of the mandatory orientations, meetings and trainings are all very, very unorganized. It takes forever to get any type of answers to questions you may have. And when you do get an answer they are often very vague and dont really answer your question.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Training sessions do not need to be as long as they are, orientation needs to be more well thought out with less "get to know you" games. And now with limited ways to gain hours, the total number of hours either need reduced, or volunteer hours should be allowed to be included like they once were.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    One of the worst experiences ever! Do not do it!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tutor in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Tutor in Denver, CO

    I have been working at AmeriCorps full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You get to work with kids and help them to learn how to read.

    Cons

    You are over worked, under paid, not insured (they lie about the nature of the insurance), want you to work non stop without breaks, no sick time, no benefits of any real kind, poor training, poor management, poor support, toxic environments for staff, promises of work turning into networking opportunities are false, actual skills do not translate into real job opportunities, but advertising for how great Americorps is; bad end of employment grant translates to fewer opportunities than described, a pittance of salary: $1100 per month, a subsidiary insurance plan, negative software program that has you repeating your labor 10 or more times while they blame the staff for poor data input; gossiping, telling tales out of school the 3 stooges for management, dishonesty, blatant lying, disrespect and more - it is not worth it!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please stop misleading these good hearted people who are looking for a way to translate volunteering into a future of paid employment; that their (new) skills will translate to viable employment. Instead of giving an 8 hour professional development session on how to create a resume, or write an email -- try getting employers to come in and tell them what their chances are of a job - along with recruiters for employment? Please stop misrepresenting the grants - 5500 - if they get to the end and earn them - they can be applied with a great deal of effort and barriers - to fewer resources than described; the training? Fire your trainer and get a real trainer in there who can teach the program properly; stop kissing the butts of school staff and networking for jobs for your friends - and not insisting that the school staff - do their part - that would be read the materials - and do what they claim they are doing - this is unethical and abusive of the grantors intentions -- stop sending out accidental messages of your 401k's to the over worked under paid field staff; while the grunts in the trenches are encouraged to collect welfare, and food stamps; even Walmarts pays better than this so called job where you tell one lie after the other - we expect that from corporate America - we do not expect that from a grass roots group pretending to care about people - when in reality - you are getting paid more, and off the backs of these financial slaves all the while objecting to capitalism and encouraging people not to seek viable income paying jobs so that they remain at your disposal. And stop lying; it's unbecoming and just makes the whole idea of volunteering a real turn off.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Government bureaucracy at it's worst

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA in Indianapolis, IN
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA in Indianapolis, IN

    I worked at AmeriCorps full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good cause, but horrible execution

    Cons

    I was chosen to be an AmeriCorps Vista member by an org. However, AmeriCorps would not let me work for them because at the time I lived 40 minutes away from where I worked. I was the best member for this assignment by far, but they were interested in immersion: aka my experience rather than what is best for the people I would have been serving.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    First of all, get better at communicating. No where was I told about the distance requirement. Second of all, realize that this program should be about helping real people in need, not teaching rich kids what it is like to be poor.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    I am not sure how I feel about this program

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at AmeriCorps full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    It is a job that pays money

    Cons

    You make very little money, and it is unorganized.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Failed to take care of their own.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at AmeriCorps full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Generally rewarding work, some great people

    Cons

    Barely livable stipend - was injured on the job and missed week resulting in denial of my education award

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10.  

    Good hearted organization with some issues.

    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps Member in Sacramento, CA
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps Member in Sacramento, CA

    I worked at AmeriCorps as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good team based atmosphere, Good mid/upper level management, Felt like you made a difference sometimes, The members were dedicated to making a difference

    Cons

    Some of the sponsors did not need help, Felt like cheap or free labor at points and sometimes were treated that way

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your workers like adults with an education. Be more selective with project choice.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Do not join Americorps

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at AmeriCorps full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    -Career opportunities by gaining references at the work site
    -Education stipend (thats IF you complete the program)

    Cons

    -Bureaucracy
    -Disorganization
    -Mental stress caused by fellow core members and staff on purpose
    -Health insurance doesn't cover your bills you have to pay
    -Lack of respect for daring to disagree with a leader, staff or a unit leader
    -Selective enforcement and malicious prosecution in who gets punished
    -Monotonous meetings for half of the day during CTI and transition weeks
    -Staff can be extremely rude in addressing a so-called problem by yelling and using insults
    -Deceptive advertising in how the program is ran
    -Micro management
    -Feedback is often dismissed and joked about behind core members backs.
    -Core members are treated like slaves.
    -Wages are far below minimum wage
    -SPIKE teams often run into conflict to the point of core members bullying one another and team leaders being very selective in who they handle.
    -Complaints are barely if ever addressed and instead leave one unfairly punished for the errors of others.
    -Poor nutrition
    -Vacations are not payed for. We have to pay for them ourselves.
    -Cultural diversity is not valued
    -Extremely inflexible and rigid procedures
    -Uniforms can be very uncomfortable and pointless
    -PT isn't taken seriously
    -CTI is basically a 30 month trial where we're deindividuated and treated as fodder for the program to use.
    -CTI has hardly anything to do with actually working on SPIKE.
    -Huge core member cutback
    -Team leaders and unit leaders can get away with abusing us underneath the radar.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to listen to what others have to say who have left americorps. At minimum, you'd have to take into account the mental stress and activities that staff and leaders do under the radar that go undisclosed and leave others victimized. This program has so very questionable practices in how it conducts itself.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

AmeriCorps Photos

Fire Team 10 Mural The Funky Bunch Commandos (Photo thanks to Flickr user sundaykofax, available under by v2.0)
Fire Team 10 Mural The Funky Bunch Commandos (Photo thanks to Flickr user sundaykofax, available under by v2.0)

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