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What is VISTA?

Volunteers In Service To America, or VISTA, is the national service program that strives to eliminate poverty. VISTA was launched by President Lyndon Johnson as part of the “War on Poverty” in 1965. Since then, over 220,000 VISTA members have served in all 50 states and U.S. Territories, in tribal, rural, suburban, and urban communities. Poverty can take many forms, which is why VISTA’s model is driven directly by communities in need. The AmeriCorps VISTA mission is to strengthen organizations that alleviate poverty through volunteering and the mobilization of resources.

What does a VISTA member do?

Being an AmeriCorps VISTA member is about making a tangible difference for communities and individuals dealing with some of our Nation's biggest challenges: poverty, inequity, homelessness, and lack of access to education and health care.

  • VISTA members help to build the capacity of organizations that are working to alleviate poverty all across the country. A VISTA member serves in a project identified and managed by the community while earning a modest living allowance that reflects the income level of the community where serving. 
  • The VISTA member service term is one year, with the chance for renewal upon completion.
  • FYI:  According the Hatch Act, VISTA members are not permitted to engage in political, religious pro or anti union activities during service hours. To find out more, go to 

What are the benefits of serving as a VISTA member? 

  • In addition to the gains of hands-on experience and intrinsic rewards of helping improve the lives of others, the following benefits are available for Step by Step VISTA members: 35 hour service week.
  • Living allowance: $473.52 every two weeks (Total $12,311.45). 
  • End of service award option upon completion:  $5,815 Segal Education Award or $1,803 cash stipend.
  • Professional development training
  • Opportunity for help with childcare
  • Qualified student loan forbearance
  • Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE): earn federal non-competitive eligibility in the federal hiring process
  • Travel reimbursement with approval
  • Relocation Allowance (if 50+ miles away)  

Visit for more info.

Contact: Marta Pate, National Service Program Coordinator   

or Kandi Workman, VISTA Leader 304.855.5402 of 304 414 4452