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MCC AmeriCorps*VISTA Program

MCC VISTA homepage
 
What is AmeriCorps* VISTA? 
AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) is a full-time national service program for men and women ages 18 and older interested in developing lasting solutions to the problems of poverty in America. AmeriCorps* VISTA members address the problems of poverty in communities by mobilizing community resources and increasing the capacity of the low-income communities. Members are driven and strive to create positive, long-term, sustainable change. AmeriCorps* VISTA is part of the AmeriCorps national network of service programs within the Corporation for National and Community Service. The AmeriCorps* VISTA program has been addressing the needs of impoverished communities since 1965.

What is the MCC AmeriCorps* VISTA Program? 
The Michigan Campus Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA ( MCC VISTA) program was created in 2003 through a partnership between MCC and the Michigan Corporation for National and Community Service state office. This program was developed in response to the needs of MCC member campuses and the potential for higher education institutions to address the needs of those in poverty in Michigan communities. MCC AmeriCorps* VISTA members act as transformative agents between institutions of higher education and their surrounding communities. AmeriCorps*VISTA members build, support, and develop the capacity for MCC member institutions and their students to be better stewards of the community, and to gain a richer and more valuable experience outside the classroom. The role of the AmeriCorps*VISTA member is primarily to build sustainable programs on campus and lasting partnerships between community organizations and the host site campus. MCC AmeriCorps *VISTA members enhance the quality of campus community service and service-learning programs, and encourage increased involvement in the civic life of the community.

The MCC VISTA program represents an innovative partnership between national service and higher education. This model has been replicated in numerous other Campus Compact state network offices. State Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA members have proven to be effective in several important areas: the building of relationships with community organizations; the development of a permanent position related to service; supplying the human-based resources and skill-based actions necessary for making service happen on campuses; their presence connects campuses to a broader network of service and service-related knowledge; and they act as representatives of a national service model that endorses and legitimizes community service.

Michigan Campus Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA Activities:
Michigan Campus Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA members coordinate and provide service opportunities for college students addressing the needs of the community. MCC *VISTAS build relationships with community organizations linking the colleges and universities to the community.  MCC *VISTAS provide leadership in the community and on campus promoting community involvement, service, and civic engagement.

Example Projects:
  • Recruit, train, and coordinate student volunteers
  • Provide leadership development, training, and reflection activities to volunteers
  • Participate in service-learning and co-curricular service
  • Work with and support Service-Learning Faculty members
  • Present to local businesses, community, and campus events on service opportunities
  • Match community organizations with appropriate college or university resources, projects, or personnel
  • Educate students and campuses about community needs and poverty-related issues
  • Develop partnerships with community agencies focusing on children and youth living in poverty
  • Work on creating sustainable programming and partnerships
VISTA Child Care Information:
Child care benefits are provided to qualifying members. To qualify you must have children under the age of 13 and you must be determined eligible based on certain income guidelines. Child care benefits are administered by GAP Solutions, Inc. For more information or to see if you qualify, please contact us.
VISTA Cares Phone Number: 1-800-570-4543

How are MCC VISTAs Recruited and Selected? 
MCC AmeriCorps* VISTA members are recruited, selected, and receive ongoing training by MCC staff. They are placed on member host campuses to serve as change agents at the institutional, community, and individual levels. In general, MCC recruits four-year college graduates who have committed to performing a voluntary year of national service. They come from around the country with varying backgrounds and professional goals. They are not experts in any specific field but typically all MCC AmeriCorps* VISTA members have had significant experience in college-level community service and/or service-learning programs. MCC VISTA members provide students, staff, and faculty with on-site training and technical assistance focused on the specific needs of the campus and local community. MCC AmeriCorps* VISTA members are placed on campuses and work with students, staff, and faculty on projects that are part of a work plan agreed upon by MCC and the host campus. Each MCC AmeriCorps*VISTA member remains connected to the MCC VISTA network all year.

VISTA candidates are recruited through the existing MCC network and through a national AmeriCorps website. MCC VISTA host campuses assist MCC in the recruitment process by identifying and forwarding appropriate candidates to be matched with AmeriCorps* VISTA campuses. This allows the MCC VISTA program to benefit from both local and national recruits.
VISTA Position Description
VISTA Frequently Asked Questions
How to Apply to Become a VISTA

The Michigan Campus Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA program is committed to encouraging all people, regardless of ability, race, religion, gender, age, or income to engage in service.

Contact Us About VISTA:
 
Mel Strapec
AmeriCorps*VISTA Program Manager 
517.492.2450
mstrapec@micampuscompact.org
Liz Bogner
MCC AmeriCorps*VISTA Leader
517.492.2436
mccvista@micampuscompact.org

To learn more about AmeriCorps*VISTA opportunities and to start filling out an application click here.