AmeriCorps

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AmeriCorps Reviews

Updated 20 September 2014
Updated 20 September 2014
265 Reviews
3.6
265 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
AmeriCorps Director Rosie K. Mauk
Rosie K. Mauk
76 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You get a lot of training that will prepare you for another non-profit or government job (in 22 reviews)

  • toward student loans, and meet others with similar interests (in 17 reviews)


Cons
  • The mediocre living stipend is not enough to live on, you have to have another job to support yourself (in 12 reviews)

  • I was a member of AmeriCorps state through a very disorganized non-profit (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Life changing experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - National Civilian Community Corps Member  in  Sacramento, CA (US)
    Former Employee - National Civilian Community Corps Member in Sacramento, CA (US)

    I worked at AmeriCorps as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    I was given the opportunity to travel the country, gain new skills, and work with like minded people. I gained a wealth of new skills in a short amount of time. They provide training, support and education.

    Cons

    You are not compensated very well. You receive a very modest stipend (they do pay for food, work based travel, and living expenses). The education award is not very much and is taxed if you don't use it correctly (overtime as opposed to all in one go), you will lose most of it to taxes. The working conditions are not necessarily glamorous and you may experience things you don't want (sleeping in tents for weeks at a time, sharing a bedroom with 4 other people). It's a rigorous experience and you really need to prepare yourself for it. (But it's totally worth it!)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Very rewarding experience while attending college

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA  in  Sarasota, FL (US)
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA in Sarasota, FL (US)

    I worked at AmeriCorps full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Extremely satisfying experiences, great opportunity to help improve local community, ability to work idependently, and offers grants for education

    Cons

    Working environments can be challenging (in my case, I worked with many children with behavioral problems), compensation is little, and sometimes can get "stuck" without much guidance

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    AmeriCorps: Project 4-H CAPITAL

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member  in  Austin, TX (US)
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member in Austin, TX (US)

    I have been working at AmeriCorps part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Excellent training. Wonderful values. Education Award. $600 stipend per month for 1/2 time. $1200 per full time.

    Cons

    Low compensation for the quality of education we provide for children (thought I do understand why).

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great Learning Experience-- depends entirely on your nonprofit site

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA  in  New York, NY (US)
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA in New York, NY (US)

    I worked at AmeriCorps full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I learned a huge amount in just one year and am much more confident in myself professionally. I was well supported and encouraged at the social service nonprofit where I spent the year, and accomplished a great deal.

    Cons

    As everyone so far has mentioned, the living stipend is not enough to live on and the benefits are nonexistent. In addition, the online resources for VISTAs are not particularly useful. The organization is vast and bureaucratic, leading me to rely entirely on the nonprofit I was placed with for support rather than Americorps itself. I do recommend Americorps if you have the resources, but be sure that the nonprofit you are going into is prepared to treat you as a de facto employee rather than a "volunteer."

    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    It's not about the money

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Site Coordinator  in  Bellingham, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Site Coordinator in Bellingham, WA (US)

    I worked at AmeriCorps as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    You are able to get a great position without having that much experience in the field, training, education award, flexible hours, you are able to take vacation if you make up your hours, health care coverage,

    Cons

    Stipend is at the poverty level- it's almost impossible to live on the stipend I had to get a second job and I was exhausted because I was working a full time and a part time job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increasing living allowances, and make sure non-profits are following the AmeriCorps practices

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Corps Member

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at AmeriCorps

    Pros

    End of service Education Award, Work experience

    Cons

    Pay, hours, lack of professionalism

  8.  

    Careful where you serve, but great learning opportunity!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA  in  Phoenix, AZ (US)
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA in Phoenix, AZ (US)

    I worked at AmeriCorps full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The best reason to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA member is the incredible job experience in a nonprofit setting. There is no way that I would have been given such a high level position in such a large organization if I hadn't gone through VISTA. I learned a huge amount about working in a nonprofit and working with volunteers. There are a lot of career growth opportunities and there is a lot of support for VISTAs in most communities.

    Cons

    The biggest challenge I faced was that I didn't have enough work to do to occupy my time. Often, VISTA supervisors aren't sure exactly what to do with "their" VISTAs, so it may take time to find a rhythm and find your place in the organization. Another con to keep in mind is the low stipend. Technically, you are considered a volunteer, but you do receive a poverty level stipend - usually just enough for you to scrape by wherever you're living. Also, you are not allowed to work a second job or earn money outside VISTA. Be sure to pick your organization carefully when applying, because while there are certainly good positions out there, there are also many that will not result in a good experience.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  9.  

    Americorps...I worked with California Dept. of Veterans Affairs with county veterans services.

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

    I have been working at AmeriCorps part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    -Decent coworkers- they will train you if you ask (this will depend on where you work though). I will meet with veteran service reps to enhance my knowledge. Most were willing to train me on their spare time.
    -Make your own hours (this depends on the organization and your boss though).
    -Able to build a good network, I got a referral from my boss and several coworkers for other positions.
    -This particular organization didn't care if I had another job.
    -Being able to help veterans and their families.
    -Some travel reimbursements and health care. There is some cost of living allowance at 500-600/month (part time) and a education grant. How much you get depend on your status of full time/part time. Also for the education grant, you must complete the required hours within you term.

    Cons

    -The pay and benefits is not worth it. If you are a service member or dependent looking to help Veterans, go through the GI Bill work study program. It pays better and you get a good feel for how benefits work. Once you have this knowledge, you can help people better. Since I worked through the VA work study program until my GI Bill expired I was able to land this position since I was in between jobs and was on military reserve status.
    -Americorps Vista in general 'don't' allow you to hold another job in order to experience poverty for yourself. Personally, that's a dumb idea. The organization I worked with didn't care though.
    -I wanted to know how to be a veterans service rep and wanted information about the tests but my boss (who works at the California Dept. of Veterans Affairs) wouldn't provide me the information despite reminding him. He just wanted to put me in that position or was told by his boss not to give it. The boss was seldom around.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Instead of having members cold calling and contacting veterans who wanted to be contacted years ago, put them through a training program on veteran's benefits. Set them up to be certified veterans services representatives. Let people hold other jobs. This way, food stamps and other social benefits go to those who really need it. Why put newly graduated college kid who is likely in debt already through this? If they can work, volunteer and not take social benefits from those who need it isn't that a good thing? Even my boss and I think the outlook of the program is bleak because no one can afford to work with this low of pay and not be allowed to work in other paying jobs.

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    VISTA year service

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA  in  New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps VISTA in New York, NY (US)

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

    Pros

    Great experience, great look on resume, doorway to public service, non-competitive eligibility for federal jobs one year after your service ends, get to actually help people in need, work with and meet the greatest people.

    Cons

    one year commitment with poverty-level stipend pay while being prohibited from outside income in any capacity. many different levels of oversight from all over the country and frequent check-ins. being limited to one project only can be socially isolating at particular sites and makes networking much harder.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Dedicating your time to service

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member  in  Knoxville, TN (US)
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member in Knoxville, TN (US)

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

    Pros

    Americorps is great way to start post-grad life without making an extended commitment to a company or place. While in Americorps, you qualify for student loan forbearance or are eligible for an educational grant which you can use for furthering your education. In my experience, Americorps will help to set you up with a living situation and roommates.

    Cons

    You receive an almost unlivable monthly stipend. Also, there is very little direction between Americorps and the site supervisors that manage the programs.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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