Have you ever thought about becoming a volunteer? Volunteering allows giving back to the community and a chance to make a difference in the lives of the people around you. After making up your mind to become a volunteer, consider an opportunity with AmeriCorps VISTA. You can join this program whether full-time, during your gap year, or when planning to switch careers.

Americorps Vista

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Volunteering with AmeriCorps VISTA

AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) aims at alleviating poverty in society through capacity building. It is a branch of AmeriCorps with several branches across the country offering youth several opportunities. AmeriCorps VISTA accepts volunteers for placement in non-profit organizations around the country. Today, you’re about to discover the various opportunities of joining the organization.

Here are the opportunities available

AmeriCorps is a nationwide organization that works with nonprofits and other organizations. The organization places members in areas where their services are needed most. When you become a volunteer, you might work in your community or other areas across the country. Besides, you can opt for a full-time or part-time position. The programs have different periods including 8-10 weeks or year-long. When selecting a program, it is very important to consider the start and end date to ensure that it fits your schedule.

Opting for a position in your area can sometimes make you feel like a 9 to 5 job. Luckily, you can opt to work in a brand new community for a chance to experience a new environment. Making an impact in a new community is very exciting and allows discovering new things such as the local culture and language. You have to check a site with the best AmeriCorps Vista programs to select one that piques your interest.

Benefits of volunteering through AmeriCorps Vista programs

Develop professional career

Volunteering with AmeriCorps Vista encourages the development of your professional career. Look forward to training and opportunities for professional development. Here, you will learn new skills to make serving easier during the program. There is also an opportunity to practice workplace skills including organization, task management, teamwork, problem-solving, and project planning. Honing these skills as a volunteer will make you prepared and confident once you hit the job market.

Honing current skills

Experience as a volunteer allows giving you a chance to improve your professional skills outside a regular learning environment regardless of your profession. If you’re a sales executive, here’s a chance to improve your skills while improving society. A volunteering position is likely to enhance skills such as communication, marketing, and public speaking.

Gaining industry experience

Planning to switch careers? Volunteering is a wonderful idea to gain experience in the new industry. Relevant industry experience is important when applying for most positions . There’s a chance of joining a program from AmeriCorps Vista in a field matching your career. When you work as a volunteer, there’s a chance of getting exposed to internship opportunities in professional organizations from where to grow your career.

Building connections

Working as a volunteer exposes you to various people in society. Here, you can make lifelong friends and make important professional connections. These will become very valuable in the future. With the variety of programs available, you have to ensure that you join one matching your professional career. This will give you more chances of meeting like-minded professionals.

Leaning frugal living

With the scarcity of resources in the world, frugal living is necessary. Although AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers get a stipend, it only allows living frugally. Keep in mind that the allowance depends on the poverty rate for a person in your desired location. So, taking up the volunteering opportunity will teach you to stick to the standards of living of that geographical area.

Frugal living allows focusing on people, not material things. Besides, you get a better understanding of your wants and needs. Volunteering allows trying values to match regular consumers in that society. By the time the program ends, you are likely to be better prepared to join the real world where there’s efficient optimization of available scarce resources.

Additional financial benefits

Apart from the fuzzy feelings you get about improving the lives of others and the stipend, there are more perks for AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers. Service members without health insurance are eligible for a basic medical plan to cater to emergencies. Child care assistance is available for those who are eligible. When you have to move to a new place, you qualify for travel reimbursement. When the program ends, you can expect an education award. You can use this to cover student loans or pay for expenses concerning your higher education.

Here’s your chance to become a volunteer and enjoy the various benefits from the experience. Take time to select the best program to match your interests and professional career. This way, you will be contributing to improving the lives of people in the community while gaining practical skills and industry experience. You will be grateful you took the plunge.