AmeriCorps

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Americorps VISTA review

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

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

Pros

- Get to work in a low income community and give back
- There is usually a lot of autonomy
- Definite resume builder for college grads with little experience
- See a new place, meet new people

Cons

Heres my advice, research a lot before going in. Make sure you know the people you are working with and that they know what a VISTAs role is before you accept. As a VISTA you have to understand that you are going to be put in a unsustainable situation and you are going to be paid basically nothing... thats the point of VISTA... its going to be frustrating and you may not get done everything you want to get done, but if you work hard usually you are rewarded. Also make sure you are OK with the fact that you are going to have to be a self starter. A lot of VISTA supervisors have many other responsibilities and VISTA is low on their totem pole, you aren't going to get a to do list everyday. Obviously every situation is different but I think this is good general advice.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

I think generally Americorps VISTA does a good job, maybe do a better job of making sure supervisors don't take advantage of their VISTAs.

No opinion of CEO

325 Other Employee Reviews for AmeriCorps (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    be sure this is something that you want to do (this review is for NCCC)

    • 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 (less than a year)

    Pros

    Professional development opportunites.
    Lots of travel.
    Could potentially meet lifelong friends
    Legitimate gap year option after undergrad

    Cons

    Low living wages.
    Housing situations aren't always ideal.
    Work is not always hands-on (depends on the particular track)
    Could be stuck with clashing personalites for the duration.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We understand that we're not doing this for the money but little upgrade to our food budget and housing allowance would be nice.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Americorps VISTA is idealistic and fair, but they need to screen the nonprofits they grant volunteers to more closely.

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

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

    Pros

    Administrative, capacity-building experience.
    Assist volunteers with making their programs better.
    The projects can be so awesome that you want to come back another year.

    Cons

    Volunteers were more energetic about the mission than the staff.
    Supervisors that don't supervise, and see you as a gopher.
    The first few months are just getting to understand the project, but we work for 1 year.
    If people don't disrespect you as "just an intern", they treat you like you promised to fix their whole program single-handedly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please screen your nonprofits more closely. TWO nonprofits that I worked with were lazy and without any vision. They didn't understand that I was there to help them grow their farmer's market and community gardens and tried to use me as a gopher and extra set of hands for anything they wanted. "Could you watch the computer lab this afternoon? Oh, be a team player." And both of my supervisors went out of their way to ignore my progress on my actual job so that they could claim to their ED that they didn't know what I was doing.

    My 2nd supervisor didn't fill out the grant to get your support because that co-worker had quit by then, so he felt that he shouldn't have to learn what I was doing. Have you ever thought about asking for a back-up supervisor in the application? He also tried to turn in my VAD as the Year 2 VAD. He didn't even ask me to help him update it based on what I'd accomplished! Thankfully, my VISTA liaison noticed this blatant laziness and made him redo it.

    And how are volunteers able to give you feedback on VISTA's work? The community residents that ran the community gardens or were vendors at the farmer's market were far more enthusiastic and integral to my progress than either of my supervisors were. Granted, it was one--but only one--of my residents who treated me like I was there to fix everything and that she didn't have to do anything, but overall, I feel that getting the residents, volunteers, clients or what-have-you's feedback would be better than relying solely on the supervisor.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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