AmeriCorps Reviews | Glassdoor

AmeriCorps Reviews

Updated March 16, 2017
30 reviews

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AmeriCorps Director Rosie K. Mauk
Rosie K. Mauk
14 Ratings

30 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great program to kick start a career in volunteer or non profit areas (in 57 reviews)

  • Working with an organization that strives to make a difference in communities (in 22 reviews)

Cons
  • You get a living stipend which differs depending on which section of AmeriCorps you serve in (in 42 reviews)

  • As a part of their mission, the VISTAs are only paid as much as the people they are helping ie minimum wage (in 31 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "VISTA"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AmeriCorps full-time

    Pros

    I got volunteering out of my system.

    Cons

    The work goals are nebulous and not clearly defined, so the "contractual" agreement you sign may be void to the point of being a scam. You are very often given menial work and work you never agreed to perform. You work very hard for no pay and little appreciation, and can easily end up working for people who are less qualified than you and threatened by your presence. The work rarely transfers into a full-time position, and if it does it is in a very remote and low-income local.There is virtually no recourse for problems you may be facing, and are left to cope on your own with things as severe as harassment, under-utilization, and extreme overwork.

    Advice to Management

    Make this program honest and accountable. Demand host sites are trained and informed regarding AmeriCorps, and have written a factual job description.Insist that host sites treat volunteers as the very special resource they are, instead of a cheap labor source. Institute program over-site, protect your volunteer assets, and provide recourse for your dedicated AmeriCorps volunteers when things go amiss.


  2. "Attandence Mentor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Attendance Mentor in Orem, UT
    Former Employee - Attendance Mentor in Orem, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at AmeriCorps part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Fun environment working with kids in school

    Cons

    So many extra things you have to do, pay is terrible.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great grant recipients, broken national program"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps Member in Portland, ME
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps Member in Portland, ME
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AmeriCorps full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The one upside is that there are countless amazing organizations that benefit from the funding and increased manpower that AmeriCorps provides...

    Cons

    ... but the downside is that temporary funding and horrible oversight leads to broken organizations and potential damage to the students participating in those programs. Many of the programs, especially with youth, benefit from the consistency of staff, but with AmeriCorps, students develop important bonds with members who leave after 12 months.

    Organizations also come to rely on this free labor, bringing on AmeriCorps members to do work that requires employees with better credentials. When the money goes, the programs collapse.

    Also, your education award is TAXABLE INCOME. No one can afford a $500 hit at the end of a year where you make well below the poverty line.

    Surely granting organizations this money without the stipulation of bringing on AmeriCorps branded volunteers would do less harm than this?

    Advice to Management

    Shut this down, use the funds better. This is a PR stunt with good intentions and horrible execution.


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  5. "Americorps- Does it lie and can its team members improve?"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Safety Coordinator in Sacramento, CA
    Former Employee - Safety Coordinator in Sacramento, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AmeriCorps full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Americorps has "good intention" but it needs alot of moral reconstruction.

    Cons

    I was treated awful by my coworkers. I was so upset about the amount of drinking that went on campus. Some of my coworkers were wicked irresponsible, and they tend to bully and talk about you from behind. They treat yankees awful- I litterally thought that they might actually be terrorist,

    Advice to Management

    The whole program should not have even been started by the Clintons- His whole sex scandal and numerous sexual assault allegations really undermined the Corps validity. Also they should screen management to make sure they are not stealing. I felt wicked unsafe with them.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Don't even bother"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Community Health Corps Member in Quincy, MA
    Former Employee - Community Health Corps Member in Quincy, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    -depending on your placement you may learn a thing or two and meet some great people. If you're lucky.

    Cons

    -supervisors (THEY ARE TERRIBLE/don't know what to do with AmeriCorps members so end up giving you projects which under contract you are not allowed to complete
    -terrible stipend. AmeriCorps is basically indentured servitude
    -lack of support

    Advice to Management

    -Give a damn about your americorps members. They are NOT employees and they are NOT interns. They are looking to learn something from this experience, this is not a one-sided relationship where you get to throw whatever task you like at the AmeriCorps and not have to pay them for it
    -Learn about the AmeriCorps program and the restrictions placed on members


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Student Mentor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Berea, KY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Berea, KY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AmeriCorps full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Flexible Schedule
    -$5,500 grant, with completion of 1700 hours in a 10 month period.
    -Great Co-workers
    -Snow days

    Cons

    -Terrible management
    -$1,200 living stipend (without tax)
    -A caseload of 30-40 students, became 40-50 when management was unable to hire more employees
    -Management never referred to the position as a "job" but would constantly require "volunteer hours" in order to not be reprimanded.
    -Whenever an employee would ask about a new (possibly better) position opening up, management would tell them that they were automatically "disqualified" because of their current position.

    Advice to Management

    Hire Managers who care about their employees and students, more than their own, selfish agenda.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Project More"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at AmeriCorps (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Gaining transferrable skills
    -networking
    -meeting new people
    -various volunteer opportunities
    -learning to adjust to terrible attitudes and terrible supervision

    Cons

    -terrible supervision
    -no personal days or sick days
    -easy to fall behind in hours, hard to catch up
    -too much clerical work and not enough getting things done

    Advice to Management

    be careful who you hire to supervise your AC members. some supervisors make member feel unappreciated, which later leads to them not enjoying nor recommend

    others to serve.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Support from National Organization awful"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Neighborhood and Youth Enrichment Leader in Springfield, OH
    Current Employee - Neighborhood and Youth Enrichment Leader in Springfield, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The sites are generally in charge of your day to day tasks and responsibilities. I was fortunate to get a supervisor that was passionate and helpful in allowing me to do my best work. It's all about the supervisor you get, because the support from AmeriCorps directly is limited after they "train" you for a 3-day stint before you start service.

    Cons

    AmeriCorps support, especially through the so-called "VISTA Member Support Unit" was terrible. These folks get paid actual salaries to assist VISTAs but rarely take their jobs seriously. It took me 4 phone calls and a host of emails to get an issue solved that they identified as "not an issue." At first they were unwilling to pay a travel stipend for me to return home, since I relocated to serve with AmeriCorps. They finally saw the light after 3 phone calls, but then chose to give me the absolute lowest mileage possible from zip code to zip code. It was literally a measly 15 dollars that they weaseled their way out of. Sad that an organization that pays it's employees less than 3 dollars an hour (legally somehow) is able to act like a corporate entity in doing the absolute minimum to support it's members. I certainly wouldn't recommend this to anyone as a result of this experience.

    Advice to Management

    Take some time to reevaluate the purpose of the program - they recently changed a regulation that allows VISTAs to seek outside employment, making their philosophy that VISTAs should be at the level of income their populations receive void. This means that a pay increase should happen ASAP. It's unethical for the government to allow organizations like this one to place people, often recent college graduates, into indentured servitude in order to pay off federal student loans. That truly is the only benefit to my two years of service, sadly.

    Look deeply before you choose to be exploited by AmeriCorps.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Absolutely horrid"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Volunteer in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Volunteer in Phoenix, AZ

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

    Pros

    There are really very few pros. This company provides a resume builder and an opportunity to do valuable work. That's it.

    Cons

    wages are below the poverty level, high expectations, strict management, ridiculous hour expectations, too many hours, too much work for the pay


  11. Helpful (4)

    "one of the biggest mistakes of my life"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member With Tutoring Program in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member With Tutoring Program in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at AmeriCorps full-time (Less than a 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 Management

    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.



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