You are joining a movement and becoming part of history: VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) was envisioned by President Kennedy to be a domestic Peace Corps. President Johnson enacted VISTA as part of the War on Poverty. VISTA is over 50 years old and by joining, you are entering a community with more than 200,000 passionate individuals who have gone on to careers in every sector of this economy. President Johnson’s words are as relevant today as they were when the first class of VISTAs were sworn into service: “Your pay will be low; the conditions of your labor often will be difficult. But you will have the satisfaction of leading a great national effort and you will have the ultimate reward which comes to those who serve their fellow man.”
VISTA is more than a service opportunity, you will also build valuable leadership and project management skills. You will start service with an orientation and have access to professional development opportunities throughout the year. As a capacity-builder, you will be focused on sustainability supporting local organizations and agencies. You will be gaining professional experience and building skills as you learn, experiment, and adapt to a new environment while delivering outcomes. Many alumni have said that their year of VISTA service afforded them managerial responsibilities they wouldn’t have found in an entry-level job.
VISTA members earn a Segal Education award which can be put towards future higher education expenses or to pay off student loans. Members who successfully complete a year of service can opt to receive either the education award (approximately $6,000) or the end-of-service cash stipend ($1,800). Use your VISTA service as a gap year to pay off loans or save for school as your plan your next move whether that’s graduate school or entering the workforce. Also, VISTA members receive one year of Federal Non-Competitive (NCE) hiring eligibility, which provides advantages in the federal hiring process.
For a complete list of benefits, please visit this link.