MISSOULA – Montana Campus Compact at the University of Montana, an organization that educates students for civic and social responsibility, recently was awarded an AmeriCorps VISTA recruiter position as part of a new pilot program. UM was one of only eight universities nationally to receive the new half-time position.
The new Corporation for National and Community Service Program is designed to encourage participation in national service opportunities. Each of the universities selected will use the new recruiter in partnership with AmeriCorps VISTA to increase awareness of service opportunities on campus and in surrounding areas.
AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members work with organizations to combat poverty. Members earn a living allowance, health benefits, training, access to the MTCC network and an end-of-service benefit.
“Just like going to college, a year of service can be a life-changing experience,” said Josh Vanek, the MTCC associate director. “It’s an honor to be selected for this new pilot program, which will allow us to explore the combined power of higher education and national service.”
Other schools chosen for this pilot project include the Rochester Institute of Technology, Tufts University, the University of Hawaii, the University of Rochester, the University of Virginia, Utah State University and Wake Forest University.
Participation in this AmeriCorps VISTA partnership provides an opportunity for colleges to strengthen the civic engagement of students and promote the transformative experience of national service, all while addressing poverty in the surrounding community. Each school will conduct their own search for a part-time campus recruiter this fall to implement this work. The ideal campus recruiter is a graduate student who has served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member or completed a term of service through another AmeriCorps program.
AmeriCorps VISTA provides a pathway to employment, further advancing the hiring potential of the schools’ graduates. AmeriCorps VISTA members develop leadership skills and gain professional experience while supporting nonprofit organizations and public agencies to grow their capacity.
With more than 600 employers, the Employers of National Service program recognizes the valuable skills gained by more than 1 million Americans who have participated in AmeriCorps since 1994 and increases employment opportunities for those who join national service. About two-thirds of AmeriCorps VISTA members have a four-year degree or higher, making colleges and universities key strategic recruitment partners.
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