What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps is a national service program that provides thousands of Americans of all ages and backgrounds with educational awards in exchange for a year or two of community service. AmeriCorps members help meet the nation’s critical needs in the areas of public safety, education, human needs, and the environment. AmeriCorps was created in 1993 with bi-partisan support by Congress, the President, and community groups nationwide. Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia utilizes AmeriCorps members from the AmeriCorps National Direct program and the AmeriCorps VISTA program.
What do Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia AmeriCorps members do?
- To get things done by building and renovating houses with low-income families
- To strengthen communities by enabling the affiliates to use more volunteers more effectively, bringing together diverse partners in a common cause
- To develop skills in construction and leadership by serving as crew leaders
- To develop a sense of citizenship through service, reflection and the inspiration gained by working alongside hundreds of volunteers
National Direct AmeriCorps members do direct service and help use volunteers effectively. We receive AmeriCorps members through Habitat for Humanity International. Most members help in construction – building and renovating homes and leading volunteers.
What are the Benefits of the AmeriCorps program?
- Living allowance of $12,100 paid over 46 ½ weeks (National Direct) or about $890 per month over a year (VISTA.)
- Health insurance and workers compensation insurance (or equivalent)
- Child care, if eligible
- Education award of $5,500. The education awards are paid as vouchers by the National Service Trust, and may be redeemed within seven years to pay for current education costs at qualified colleges, universities, other post-secondary institutions and approved school-to-work programs, or to pay back qualified student loans already incurred.
- Skills and experience to help with future school and/or employment opportunities
- Forbearance of qualified student loans and payment of interest that accrues during the term of service
What is Habitat looking for in an AmeriCorps member?
We always have more applications than positions, so the process is competitive. Strong candidates will have several of the following characteristics.
- A want to serve combined with an understanding of why one wishes to serve
- Past history of service participation with Habitat or other non-profits
- Leadership experience and ability
- Good communication skills
- Ability to work individually and on a team
- Patience and flexibility
- For construction positions – construction experience or experience that required significant time spent outdoors
- For office positions – experience with Microsoft Office programs, excellent written and oral communication skills.We recommend that you highlight these attributes in your cover letter and interview.