AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty.
Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for more than 50 years.
VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency. During service, VISTAs receive a modest living allowance, health care, and other benefits. And, upon completing their year of service, VISTAs can choose to receive either an education award worth $5,775 to pay for college, or $1,200 in cash.
- Goodwill VISTA Partnership
Counties Served: Androscoggin, Aroostook, Sagadahoc, Kennebec, Cumberland, Hancock, York, Penobscot, Washington, Lincoln
Primary Contact: Steve Niles
Goodwill Industries of Northern New England
190 Lancaster Street, Suite 200
Portland, ME 04104
web site: goodwillnne.org/services/workforce/americorps/
The Goodwill VISTA Partnership is an intermediary model VISTA Project focused on poverty reduction throughout the state of Maine. Goodwill partners with Maine based non-profits to meet some of Maine's critical community needs. Forty AmeriCorps VISTA members and Leaders are placed in 12 counties around the state serving at nonprofits that focus on a variety of priority areas. Goodwill VISTA Partnership has been at the forefront of providing national service resources to organizations working on New Americans and Refugee Resettlement services. AmeriCorps VISTAs are also focusing on building the capacity of essential services around success in school, access to healthy food, senior services, and housing development.
Apply on Service Year.
- Maine Campus Compact VISTA
Counties served: All
Maine Campus Compact (MCC) is a statewide coalition of colleges and universities established to encourage and enhance campus engagement in the community.
The MCC AmeriCorps VISTA program is part of the Northern New England Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA collaboration among the Campus Compact state affiliates in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
MCC VISTA Members collaborate with college students, faculty, staff, and community partners to develop programming focused on improving college aspirations, increasing the belief that college is an option, and increasing access to higher education for low-income K-12 youth.
From 2013-2016, MCC VISTAs organized:
- 31,969 recruited volunteer hours
- 5,884 low income youth served
- 335 community projects
Apply on Service Year.
- YouthBuild VISTA
County served: Cumberland
Primary Contact: Stephen Dosch
58 Day St.
Somerville, MA 02144
Youth Build Alternatives
181 Brackett Street
Portland, ME 04102
phone: (207) 775-0105
The mission of YouthBuild USA is to break the cycle of poverty by unleashing the intelligence and positive energy of low-income out-of-school young adults to rebuild their communities and their lives. In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16 to 24 spend a year building affordable housing for homeless and low-income people and work toward their own high school diploma or GED while learning leadership skills and internalizing the ethic of service.
This AmeriCorps VISTA project works to increase the number of YouthBuild students gaining a high school diploma/ high school equivalency, entering college, and or gaining employment. VISTA members primarily build capacity for the YouthBuild program by securing funding, developing partnerships with local business, recruiting volunteers, and strengthening internal systems.
Apply on Service Year.
- Maine Afterschool Sustainability VISTA
County served: Serves the entire state of Maine, office based out of Kennebec County
Primary Contact: Marisa Paipongna, Field Outreach Assistant Afterschool Alliance
1101 14th St NW, Suite 700
Washington DC, 20005
Phone: 202-347-2030 x118
The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality afterschool programs.
The Afterschool Alliance’s National 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Sustainability and Food Access VISTA Project focuses on helping create community conversations about the value of afterschool programming. VISTAs provide communities that struggle to overcome barriers—like generational poverty, remote locations, lack of social services, and lack of community resources—with the tools to strengthen their children’s access to high-quality afterschool and summer programs.
The Maine After School Network (MASN) serves as a hub for collaborative efforts that enable every child to have access to quality, inclusive, affordable after school programming that meets the needs of the child, the family and the community. The Maine Afterschool Sustainability VISTA establishes strong community outreach and engagement strategies that communicates the benefits of afterschool programs and creates a strong statewide collaborative network to increase support and awareness of afterschool and summer learning programs.
- Boys and Girls Club of Indian Country VISTA Project
Counties served: Aroostook
Contact: Nichole Francis
Boys and Girls Club of Presque Isle
7 Northern Road
Presque Isle, ME 04769
Phone: (207) 764-1972
Members who serve in the Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country AmeriCorps VISTA Project (BGCIC VISTA ) build the capacity of Native Clubs through activities such as: grant writing to bring equipment, additional staff, and cultural programs into Clubs; grants management processes; evaluation of programs and policies, and adaptation for cultural relevancy & maximum impact; and recruitment of volunteer coaches and mentors. Members strive to improve programs related to increasing physical activity and improving nutrition for youth with the purpose of reducing childhood obesity. VISTA members also assist local Clubs in developing or improving programs designed to improve educational outcomes for youth.
- Ending Hunger in Maine VISTA
Primary Contact: Elizabeth Holt
Program Coordinator VISTA Program
State of Maine - Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
18 Elkins Lane
Augusta ME, 04333
phone: (207) 592-3503
application: access on My AmeriCorps Portal here
Please note: Program to begin in early 2021
The VISTA Project will seek to support the development of Maine's roadmap for ending hunger, and build the capacity of public and private entities implementing that plan. All 185,000 of Maine's food insecure people stand to benefit from this work. Two VISTA leaders and 23 VISTA members will contribute to the goals of the project by performing activities such as developing the State's anti-hunger metrics and supporting planning to meet them; developing educational, health, and housing programs that foster economic stability; and helping harmonize Maine's anti-hunger efforts.
The VISTA Project is part of the Hunger Free Maine initiative. which is housed within the Commissioner's Office of Maine's Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry (DACF). It is guided by a broad-based Advisory Group of public and private agencies that are working to ensure all Maine people have consistent access to healthy food today and to eliminate the root causes of food insecurity for the future.