AmeriCorps

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AmeriCorps Reviews

Updated September 29, 2014
Updated September 29, 2014
269 Reviews
3.6
269 Reviews
Rating Trends

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AmeriCorps Director Rosie K. Mauk
Rosie K. Mauk
77 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You get a lot of training that will prepare you for another non-profit or government job (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

67 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Rewarding but extremely trying experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps Member  in  Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps Member in Raleigh, NC

    I worked at AmeriCorps as a contractor

    Pros

    You will help a lot of people. The program I did was in Raleigh, NC with Workforce Development. Mainly assisting people with computer use. A lot of grateful customers that really appreciate your time. Service projects are fun and allow you to really get involved with the community you're in.

    Cons

    Specific to the "Access JobLink" Program: Little guidance and supervision (Depending on specific worksite), Considered an "Employment Advisor" but training included half day on Resume writing and interviewing which was not enough. Requires more patience than you might have. Working with a State Gov. entity and Private Company where money seems to be the main motive, rather than actually helping people find work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend more time training members on skills required to be an Employment Advisor. There needs to be better communication between Program Manager and Site Supervisors and defined responsibilities for members so everyone knows their role.

    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Americorps...I worked with California Dept. of Veterans Affairs with county veterans services.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA  in  Martinez, CA
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA in Martinez, CA

    I have been working at AmeriCorps part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    -Decent coworkers- they will train you if you ask (this will depend on where you work though). I will meet with veteran service reps to enhance my knowledge. Most were willing to train me on their spare time.
    -Make your own hours (this depends on the organization and your boss though).
    -Able to build a good network, I got a referral from my boss and several coworkers for other positions.
    -This particular organization didn't care if I had another job.
    -Being able to help veterans and their families.
    -Some travel reimbursements and health care. There is some cost of living allowance at 500-600/month (part time) and a education grant. How much you get depend on your status of full time/part time. Also for the education grant, you must complete the required hours within you term.

    Cons

    -The pay and benefits is not worth it. If you are a service member or dependent looking to help Veterans, go through the GI Bill work study program. It pays better and you get a good feel for how benefits work. Once you have this knowledge, you can help people better. Since I worked through the VA work study program until my GI Bill expired I was able to land this position since I was in between jobs and was on military reserve status.
    -Americorps Vista in general 'don't' allow you to hold another job in order to experience poverty for yourself. Personally, that's a dumb idea. The organization I worked with didn't care though.
    -I wanted to know how to be a veterans service rep and wanted information about the tests but my boss (who works at the California Dept. of Veterans Affairs) wouldn't provide me the information despite reminding him. He just wanted to put me in that position or was told by his boss not to give it. The boss was seldom around.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Instead of having members cold calling and contacting veterans who wanted to be contacted years ago, put them through a training program on veteran's benefits. Set them up to be certified veterans services representatives. Let people hold other jobs. This way, food stamps and other social benefits go to those who really need it. Why put newly graduated college kid who is likely in debt already through this? If they can work, volunteer and not take social benefits from those who need it isn't that a good thing? Even my boss and I think the outlook of the program is bleak because no one can afford to work with this low of pay and not be allowed to work in other paying jobs.

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    VISTA year service

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA in New York, NY

    I have been working at AmeriCorps full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great experience, great look on resume, doorway to public service, non-competitive eligibility for federal jobs one year after your service ends, get to actually help people in need, work with and meet the greatest people.

    Cons

    one year commitment with poverty-level stipend pay while being prohibited from outside income in any capacity. many different levels of oversight from all over the country and frequent check-ins. being limited to one project only can be socially isolating at particular sites and makes networking much harder.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Dedicating your time to service

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member  in  Knoxville, TN
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member in Knoxville, TN

    I have been working at AmeriCorps full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Americorps is great way to start post-grad life without making an extended commitment to a company or place. While in Americorps, you qualify for student loan forbearance or are eligible for an educational grant which you can use for furthering your education. In my experience, Americorps will help to set you up with a living situation and roommates.

    Cons

    You receive an almost unlivable monthly stipend. Also, there is very little direction between Americorps and the site supervisors that manage the programs.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Challenging but fulfilling.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps Member  in  Greenfield, MA
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps Member in Greenfield, MA

    I worked at AmeriCorps as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Changing the world feels good. A good program will also give you great professional development. I'm not sure that I actually *got* really good professional development, but I also wasn't sure what I was looking for. Food stamps are pitched as a pro, however, the con is that you can't get unemployment when your term is up.

    Cons

    Long hours (sometimes 50hr weeks), low pay (less than 1k a month). Their health plan left a lot to be desired, and I hear it wasn't great even AFTER the ACA changed how we do health coverage. In any event, I went with state indigent health care instead.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I didn't expect to get rich doing AmeriCorps, but I also felt like to some extent, we were overworked beyond my expectations.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    AmeriCorps VISTA

    • 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

    The VISTA program is great in theory, and if executed correctly in site, could be a very rewarding experience...

    Cons

    ...based on my experience at my site, I'm starting to doubt the practicality of the VISTA's theory of Capacity Building. Basically, I was treated like an intern who was there as free labor.

  8.  

    Mixed bag.

    • 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 for less than a year

    Pros

    This was a job that I never felt morally conflicted about at least in regards to the overall goal of the organization. That's the primary perk of working under a nonprofit. At the end of the day, you can -independent of most other factors- be confident that you set out trying to make a difference. And for an entry level position, you are allowed a surprisingly large degree of latitude if you take initiative and play your cards right.

    Cons

    As an AmeriCorps volunteer, your pay ends up a little below minimum wage (not taking into account the Education Award you get at the end of your service) for the time you put in. It's not a salary but a living stipend.
    Seemingly arbitrary grant requirements, operating outside of the bounds of logic and reality, will often cause you frustration no matter your position. You work by the hour, trying to build up to a total of 1700 hours over the course of your term (10 months to a year typically) which can be daunting and a source of stress if you don't pace yourself.

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

    Lots of work not a lot of pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at AmeriCorps full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Help people--lots of opportunities to work in different capacities.

    Cons

    Lots of work, not a lot of pay, not organized.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More organization!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Your experience is what you make of it

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

    I have been working at AmeriCorps full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Making a difference in the Community you serve

    Cons

    Dealing with poor site supervisors

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Great people, good intentions, mixed results.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator, Non-Profit  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator, Non-Profit in Seattle, WA

    I worked at AmeriCorps as a contractor for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I have met some amazing people through Americorps: career mentors, lifelong friends, drinking buddies, etc. Most people affiliated with Americorps have high ideals and a passion to do good in the world. Many Americorps positions allow you to make what you want out of your role. You can have the freedom to try new things and fail without getting fired. It is a learning opportunity for people right out of school or for workers looking at a career change.

    Cons

    Though intentions are good, there is often disorganization in Americorps programs and sponsoring agencies. There is bureaucracy and red tape galore and it is hard to get things from CNCS without an advocate. I also question the efficacy of having one year terms of service. Often times the programs Americorps members are supporting require more of a commitment and already have issues with high turnover with staff. There can be questions of how Americorps members differ from paid staff at non-profits and I have witnessed some partnering organizations use Americorps members as cheap staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral 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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