AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet community needs in education, the environment, public safety and other areas of human need. Members serve with national nonprofit organizations like Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, and FoodCorps, as well as with hundreds of smaller community organizations, both secular and faith-based. Other members serve with AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps), a team-based residential program for adults 18 to 24 years old, or in low-income communities with AmeriCorps VISTA in Oregon.
In exchange for a year of service, AmeriCorps members earn an education award that can be used to pay for college or to pay back qualified student loans. AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, which also oversees Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America. It is part of a White House initiative to foster a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility, and help all Americans answer the President’s Call to Service.
In Oregon during the 2014-15 program year, about 500 full and part-time AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA members of all ages and backgrounds are serving communities across the state through local nonprofits, schools, religious organizations and other groups. They are tutoring children, coordinating volunteer programs, providing risk prevention presentations, removing non-native species, performing trail and stream bank restorations and accomplishing other goals to improve our communities.
AmeriCorps State and National
Nationally, more than three-quarters of AmeriCorps State and National grant funding goes to Governor-appointed state service commissions, like Oregon Volunteers, which in turn distribute and monitor grants to local nonprofits and public agencies. The other quarter goes to national nonprofits that operate in more than one state.
In Oregon, local organizations and government entities such as the Forest Grove School District receive AmeriCorps funding through Oregon Volunteers. They in turn manage and coordinate a local AmeriCorps program. These are called AmeriCorps State programs.
National organizations operating an AmeriCorps program in more than one state are called AmeriCorps National programs. Examples of AmeriCorps National - or national directs - in Oregon include Habitat for Humanity and Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest.
Organizations receiving grants, both locally and nationally, are responsible for recruiting, selecting, and supervising their own AmeriCorps members.