AmeriCorps is looking for people who are ready to get out and serve their country.
“It’s a life-changing opportunity,” said Rich Smith, AmeriCorps deputy region director for programming in Vicksburg. Smith took advantage of the program back in the ’90s. “It’s an adventure,” he said, getting to travel the country on various two-month projects and make a difference in people’s lives.
“We know people are at home and spending a lot of time in front of computers,” right now, he said, and this is a perfect opportunity to do something to help the community while learning skills and building a resume for future employment.
AmeriCorps is accepting applications from young people from 18 to 24 years old. No special experience is needed, Smith said, and there aren’t any educational requirements, making it a perfect gap-year opportunity. Successful applicants only have to pass a background check.
During the 10-month commitment, all of the volunteers’ living expenses are taken care of, including room and board plus transportation. “Nobody needs to have a car or anything,” Smith said. Volunteers also get an allowance of $4,000 for the duration.
At the end of their commitment, volunteers receive $6,195 that they can apply to existing college loans or to future opportunities in trade schools or two and four-year colleges and universities. The educational applications are nearly limitless.
Even with the current virus crisis, Smith said there is plenty to do for AmeriCorps volunteers from cleaning and repairing trails and campsites in the nation’s parks, building homes for low-income families to assisting in other disaster situations including floods and fires. The need doesn’t stop because of the virus.
AmeriCorps NCCC is accepting applications for its summer class, starting in July and ending in May 2021. Applications are due March 31 and must be submitted online at AmeriCorps.gov/NCCC (scroll down to the Apply Now button and follow the steps to apply for Traditional Corps – Summer 2020).
If you’re interested, join the free webinar on Tuesday, March 24, at 3 p.m. Central (register here), or call 601-630-4070.