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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Americorps VISTA's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
8:50 pm
Americorps VISTA Handbook & State Approval Process
Hi all!

Is there any way that I can get a hold of the Americorps VISTA Handbook in PDF form? Also, how long does the state approval process take?

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
8:34 pm
need help with housing
I will be relocating to Moreno Valley, CA from Chicago next month. I was wondering if anyone had any leads on affordable housing in the area? I've looked into roommates online, but it seems pretty pricey and I have loans I can't defer while I serve. I won't be in california until one week before I serve so i want to plan as much as possible.

Thursday, June 27th, 2013
7:47 pm
Whats Next
I was offered a Vista position on the phone and accepted over the phone. Then the organization that I will be working with sent me an email saying "we are glad that you have accepted our offer... etc". My question is Now What? I have not received any written notice nor a notice on my AmeriCorps log-in.

#2 I will be moving across the country for Vista and will not be able to look at places to stay. Would you all recommend staying in off campus student housing to be on the safe side?
Thursday, June 20th, 2013
5:42 pm
What happens after acceptance?
How do you guys get beds to sleep on? do you guys usually just move in with a roommate?
Tuesday, June 18th, 2013
9:37 am
Originally posted by lovemore1 at Help
Hi, I have a second interview for a Vista program. After reviewing the foundation I don't believe that it will be a good fit for me. What should I do?? Should I cancel the 2nd interview and inform vista of why or should I wait until after the interview to do so. I don't want someone that really wants the spot to miss out. Also what will vista think on me?
Monday, June 10th, 2013
8:03 pm
Searching For an Opportunity!
Hi All!

I've been wanting to join an AmeriCorp program since 2010, when I was volunteering for an Alternative Spring Break trip in NOLA. Now I'm a year away from graduation and the possibility to do so seems largely in my favor. My question is...there are so many opportunities to choose from, where do I start?!

I already know I'm too old for NCCC (I'm going to be 26 the summer after graduation), but the State/National and VISTAs alone have so much too offer in-and-of themselves. The main thing I want to do is volunteer in programs that help low-income families and individuals. As long as I don't have to work with tiny kids, I think I'll be happy. I've even narrowed it down to 4-5 states (just because I'm semi-familiar with them). My biggest limitation is that I don't have car. It seems almost requisite to have one with a few of the programs. Can anybody recommend any areas that don't necessarily require cars (Aside from Cali, NY, and Portland OR)?

Also, if I can't narrow it down to 4-5 programs, is there a way to apply for more than one? I may seem overly ambitious, but I REALLY want to make my first post-graduate year as meaningful, challenging, and interesting as possible.
Sunday, June 9th, 2013
5:29 pm
Living On Campus During Your Service

I am currently trying to figure out my living situation with VISTA. I was assigned to a program in large urban city. I don't want to say more than that because I'd like to remain relatively anonymous.

At first, I tried to apply for low income housing through the county but the list is pretty long and the county that my program had to close the list again, so I'm kind of in a bind with getting housing assistance. It's also a very bureaucratic system and I was warned that it can take months for anything to resolve even if I get into the system.

My program is tied to university and it says in the handbook you can try and secure housing with the school. Has anyone else lived on campus during their service? I don't mind this. I just don't know if its possible? Or how I would go about asking my supervisor before I start if this can be looked into. I honestly don't know what else to do because if I can't find housing before I start then I'll have to drop out and I really want to make this work.
Thursday, June 21st, 2012
5:31 pm
I am watching the online course for terms, benefits and conditions. In one example, they talked about a "Joe" talking to Seven Corners and/or the supervisor if his asthma (a pre-existing condition) becomes an issue instead of quitting for a job that offers better health benefits.

I am wondering if this is even something that VISTA can address or take care of, when the health benefits clearly state that they do not cover pre-existing conditions. I doubt it. Although I am excited about my upcoming VISTA year, I think I will crumble without adequate health care. I am not sure what to do about this, and am pretty terrified. I have considered taking a second job (I know this is prohibited) to help cover expenses. I have read about VISTAs taking second job and "getting away with it" and am considering doing the same. 

Many say that this goes against their perspective that you should live in poverty...but I know that many families in poverty often have many jobs. I think I can work a little on the outside without it interfering with my duties. Do they ever "check" through taxes, the IRS, etc? How would they know?

I have an active eating disorder, which means that any mental health visits and doctor visits for the illness are not covered. Community health sliding scales are great in theory, but the wait list is long (4-5 months for the city I am in now) for one appointment. I will be serving in another state, which I feel like just...complicates everything. The thought of no monitoring or support going into this is pretty scary. I know, it's my fault for applying...but I've taken time off to deal with this and see Americorps as a stepping stone to get myself back into the real world. I'm older, have attended graduate school...so I'm not the typical recent college grad. 

EDIT: I do not want to jeopardize my position so I'm not going to get a job. However, I am thinking about applying for state assistance programs. Thank you for everyone's comments.
Friday, June 15th, 2012
2:14 pm
Approval Question
Once you have been selected and accept offer, normally how long is the state approval process? Would anyone recommend continuing to search for employment while waiting for acceptance. I have had two hour interview at site, and phone interview with Americorp Vista. Any information is greatly appreciated.
Friday, April 27th, 2012
11:29 am
Question about State/National programs?
I am currently a Vista serving out my term but am feeling like I would of had more fun doing a State/National program. After checking the americorps website it seems as though vista programs are the only ones reimbursed for travel arrangements. This is important to me since I'd like to stay out west. I traveled from Indiana to Utah for my vista assignment with all my expenses covered.

Do State/National programs not offer to pay for travel expenses like Vista? If not, what is the point of listing the projects on a nationally known website? The majority of people would not travel to a job across the country to make an impoverished salary.
Tuesday, January 10th, 2012
2:00 am
Strange question
Okay, so, I want to start an entrepreneurship program for high school students. I live in an area with a very high poverty rate and very little industry. I'm big into economic development. My main problem right now is how to fund such a program. I know that I would work with an area high school (or a few schools.) Other than some various supplies, really all I need to fund is my own salary. Obviously I'm not greedy if I'm considering being a VISTA, but I can't work for free either. I would LOVE to make this my fulltime job.

What is the likelihood that a principal in the area could take my lesson plans and apply for a VISTA to come to their school and work the program, and that I could take on the position, work the year, and be applying for grant funding throughout the year?

Am I insane to even think this could be possible? Thanks for any input. :)
Monday, January 9th, 2012
9:31 pm
A Few Questions about Americorps
Hello all - I am 28 years old, living in the Chicagoland region.  My family thinks I am crazy, but I think that I might apply for Americorps.  I have a few questions, and I would greatly appreciate any help.

1. There are some programs that I am interested in that are still taking applications, but the end date shows that the program will end soon.  Does this mean that another year long program will start?
2. Is there anywhere to see how many VISTAS a particular program will take?  (I know that you can look at reports of past years)  Are you better off in a program with a lot of people?
3. What kind of notice do they give you before the program starts?  How long are you given to accept? 
4. There are some programs that are starting very soon.  Would it be a waste of time to apply for them - i.e. have they likely already been filled?
5. Are there any medical restrictions?
6. Is there a particular time of year when more opportunities are posted?

Thank you in advance!

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
9:15 pm
Los Angeles PSO in November
Does anyone know exactly where this will be? I assume its a fairly big gathering, at a hotel or convention center maybe? Anyone in this group going to be there or am I the only excited new kid?
Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
10:18 am
Nebraska VISTA Blog
We have a new blog entry to announce from Omaha’s own Summer Lamb. In this installment, Summer gives us a preview into the work she does in the field of Ex-Offender Re-Entry and provides insight into the direction of her project moving forward into the future. Enjoy!
And if haven’t yet “Liked” us on Facebook, why not give us the ol’ thumbs up? 

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
8:48 pm
 Having some doubts about becoming a VISTA. Is there anyway to unlock the americorps system to apply for other programs? Love my assignment, but I have reservations about a couple of things. I know it's messy, but I gotta go with my gut, right?
12:37 pm
After AmeriCorps....
So I finished my first AmeriCorps VISTA year as of May and started a second year as a AmeriCorps National/State member -  the VISTA Program was not renewed at my original site and was offered to be placed and sent to another site that had their AmeriCorps National grant renewed.

I decided to accept the offer  but with increased and new responsibilities. Originally I was creating and facilitating after school youth programing and doing community presentations. Added on this year to my original responsibilities  is sourcing, interviewing, back grounds checks, training and supervising volunteer mentors, tutors, cooks and drivers - we are aiming to have by the end of October,  40 volunteers.  In return for taking on more responsibilities my program will let me leave at the 10 month mark pending completing all my hours - which is April.

I have started to work on my resume and have had a bit of trouble describing AmeriCorps in my resume.

I am also applying to jobs that are recruiting for positions that start late spring and early Summer  of next year- some will start interviewing in the next month or two.

1- How did you describe or put AmeriCorps Years of Service on a resume?
2- How would you describe what AmeriCorps is to a  perspective employer?
3- How do I calculate a good starting salary for my first non AmeriCorps Job?

Salary seems a bit tricky for me - my understanding is that employers usually ask about what you are interested interns of salary. Friends have told me just to add on a bit more than what you previously made. My stipends were 10, 400 and 12, 100 respectively. I don't think that calculation will work here.

I have three years experience working for a non profits in college and will have two years AmeriCorps experience by next March. I'm going to apply to work for non profits doing the same work as I do now. Taking into account my  AmeriCorps responsibilities, previous non profit experience, what should I ask for?
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
6:01 pm
Travel Arrangements

I'm new and I'm confused. Does the organization you are going to be working for make all of the travel arrangements for your arrival and departure? 

All I was told was to send in a travel preference form, and I havent heard anything. No flight number, nothing. 
Friday, July 8th, 2011
6:57 pm
 Do VISTAs share rooms during PSO? 
Thursday, June 30th, 2011
3:20 pm
Northeastern region PSO August 16-19, 2011
I am just curious if anyone knows the locations for the August 16-19, 2011 PSO for the northeastern region. I know the dates but not sure of the location. I have heard Chicago or maybe Illionios area somewhere.
Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
7:06 am
having an outside employment as a VISTA
Hi there,

So this question is just out of my curiosity.... I got accepted to a VISTA position, and I understand the regulations and rules of NOT being allowed to have any kind of outside employment during your service year. However, I'm wondering how would they find out? Do they go through my social security or bank account?
For example, if I would get p/t job, I would probably do tutoring for a couple of hours on the weekends - which won't interfere with my particular VISTA assignment. I will probably get the pay via check, although I could ask for cash payment/ under the table.
Anyways, does anyone have answer for this - whether how VISTA would "find out" about holding an outside employment....or even going to school?

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