Posts Tagged ‘AmeriCorps’

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Now Hiring! Summer AmeriCorps Opportunities

May 3, 2013

Looking for a great way to give back this summer?  Look no further!  United Way of Southern Nevada has just posted a number of exciting AmeriCorps positions with four local nonprofits that will give you the opportunity to make a big difference this summer.  These national service positions are volunteer-based, but each offers a living stipend and education award that can be used toward future educational expenses or paying back student loans.

Check out these fantastic opportunities and click on the link to apply for any/all of the opportunities that are of interest.

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AmeriCorps VISTA Positions

Outside Las Vegas Foundation – For many years, Outside Las Vegas Foundation (OLVF) facilitated the development of open space & trails resources. OLVF is now focusing on connecting the community, with an emphasis on children & families in less advantaged communities, to these resources. As a result, OLVF is expanding into several program areas that will need a variety of capacity building & organizational assistance. The OLVF believes that building connections to southern Nevada’s outdoor places contributes to strong community ties, better familial bonds, & increased economic vitality. OLVF provides new opportunities, inspirations & goals for children & families through outdoor experiences either by educational experiences including supplementing curriculum, stewardship & civic engagement events, or by focusing on health & fitness improvement. These experiences directly benefit young people by improving physical & mental health and have been shown to improve scholastic achievements. The Summer VISTA Member will be involved in the educational efforts of OLVF. For more information and to apply visit: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=50141

SHARE Las Vegas – SHARE Las Vegas is currently developing housing for Veterans, families, seniors and individuals with special needs who live in chronic poverty or who are homeless. The Summer VISTA will primarily be working with one of SHARE’s new initiatives, Veteran’s Village. This facility provides housing to veterans of the armed forces and brings social services from other non-profit organizations and government agencies to the veteran’s who live on-site. For more information and to apply visit: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=50142

Volunteer Center – As part of United Way of Southern Nevada’s (UWSN) national service program, the VISTA member assigned to UWSN’s Volunteer Center will design & implement signature volunteer opportunities that fall within the three impact areas of United Way of Southern Nevada: Education, Health & Financial Stability. The VISTA member will interact with schools, businesses, & nonprofits in the development of these projects. The Summer VISTA Member will also be engaged in the development of large scale service projects for groups who are interested in voluntourism. For more information and to apply visit: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=50134

Questions about VISTA positions can be directed to Jacob Murdock at jacobm@uwsn.org or 702-892-2321.

 

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AmeriCorps State Position:

Boys and Girls Clubs of Henderson Program Associate- The mission of the Boys and Girls Clubs is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring adults. As an AmeriCorps member, you will be responsible for providing educational games and activities for school-age children, most of who come from disadvantage circumstances. You will gain experience in coordinating programs, supporting a successful nonprofit team, working with at-risk youth and engaging in public speaking!  https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=36668&fromSearch=true

Questions about the AmeriCorps State position can be directed to Erick Ramirez at erickr@uwsn.org or 702-892-2351.

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My Service Experiences

March 19, 2013

By Seelypon Phanthip JFAD 1

Service is a part of who I have become. Prior to going to college, I partook in community service projects in which a few of my high school clubs participated. I would help build a house, wrap presents for the holidays, tutor kids in math, or cleanup a wash to make a walking trail. I knew it was the “right” thing to do. However, it was not until I had the opportunity to be a part of the Social Action and Justice (SAAJ) Colloquium at Pepperdine University that I began to scratch the surface of what service truly is. Within SAAJ, I got a taste of what social justice entails. It opened my eyes to the different populations that need services and the vast variety of programs that could be offered.

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In addition to SAAJ, I spent all four of my college years taking part in an AmeriCorps program called Jumpstart, which works with early childhood education. With Jumpstart, I had the opportunity to learn about the need for quality education from a young age and how a simple program like Jumpstart could help bridge the education gap. Through Jumpstart, I gained a position in the Pepperdine Volunteer Center (PVC) staff as a Team Leader for Jumpstart. As a staff member, I was able to dig deeper in social justice and how it relates to the service that I was doing. I led groups on service projects and exposed them to nonprofits in the Greater Los Angeles area. I lead groups of college students in preschool classrooms to try to bridge the education gap. I traveled to Costa Rica to help build a multipurpose center, rebuild habitats for animals, and work with children in an orphanage. I spent time on Skid Row to experience one night as a homeless person. I could not imagine what kind of person I would be if I did not involve myself in all these service projects.

 

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Service is every experience you are giving to another person. As a VISTA, living on a stipend gives me an insight of those who have to endure the struggles of everyday life, paycheck to paycheck. It provides the motivation to make any project I am a part of better than it was before. Service comes in all forms; it is all about seeing every experience in a different light.

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In Celebration of AmeriCorps Week

March 11, 2013

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AmeriCorps: Service, Sacrifice, and Solutions

The post was originally published on the White House Blog on March 11, 2013. Jonathan Greenblatt is Special Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation at the Domestic Policy Council.

Each generation of Americans embraces the belief that no problem is too big for a determined group of people to conquer. This challenge is central to national service, which gives thousands of Americans a chance to unite with like-minded people and work toward improving the lives of our most-vulnerable citizens.

Each year, we take time to honor this American tradition of service as we mark AmeriCorps Week.

During this week, March 9– 17, we saluteAmeriCorps members and alums for their service, thank AmeriCorps community partners, and communicate AmeriCorps’ impact on communities and on the lives of those who serve.

Since 1994, more than 800,000 AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1 billion hours in service to others across America. Currently, more than 75,000 AmeriCorps members are touching the lives of millions as they tackle challenges that improve lives, strengthen communities, expand economic opportunity, and bolster civic and faith-based organizations.

AmeriCorps may be one of America’s best assets, with members making an impact through organizations such as the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Public Allies, and Teach for America. In addition, AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) and VISTA, the longtime anti-poverty program, are transforming communities every day.

Service is a proven solution for our nation whether national service members are providing disaster relief and recovery services in the AmeriCorps NCCC and its FEMA Corps unit; enhancing educational outcomes through teaching, tutoring, or mentoring efforts; or supporting veterans and military families with re-entry and employment services.

The following are just a few examples of how AmeriCorps members are “working for America”:

  • In the past year, I met with and witnessed the work of the more than 2,400 AmeriCorps members who participated in relief and recovery efforts for Hurricane Sandy. Disasters require an immediate response to needs in the immediate aftermath of the storm as well as longer-term recovery efforts that benefit storm survivors.
  • More than 17,000 veterans have served in AmeriCorps since its inception, helping other veterans and military families get benefits and services; obtain job training and conduct job searches; provide safe and affordable housing; and mentor and tutor children of service members.
  • The Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service recently announced the formation of the School Turnaround AmeriCorps, a new program that will support a dedicated unit of national service members who will provide additional support and resources in the nation’s persistently underachieving schools.

Service initiatives like AmeriCorps do more than move communities forward; they serve their members by creating jobs and providing pathways to opportunity for young people entering the workforce. AmeriCorps places thousands of young adults into intensive service positions where they learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop an appreciation for citizenship.

AmeriCorps is a program that’s right for the times in which we live and demonstrates what happens when our nation invests in “getting things done.”

To find out about national service opportunities in Southern Nevada, contact Jacob Murdock at jacobm@uwsn.org or 702-892-2321.  For a national search of AmeriCorps opportunities, check out the National Service website.

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Serving Our Community

January 22, 2013

Yesterday, hundreds of volunteers came out to serve the community for MLK Day of Service.  AmeriCorps members served in many ways– including canvassing neighborhoods with fire safety information with the American Red Cross, assisting in an art program at Boys and Girls Club, and cleaning up a local elementary school with UNLV volunteers.  We were happy to make the day off a day of service!

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MLK Day Parade

One Southern Nevada AmeriCorps VISTA, Seelypon, helped spread the word about important services that her site offers to the community.  Nevada Health Centers staff and volunteers participated in the 2013 Martin Luther King Parade held in Downtown Las Vegas on January 21st, 2013. NVHC’s Mammovan was present as the organization’s float in the parade while NVHC staff and volunteers held posters about the different services that it offers as well as passed out incentives and information about NVHC.

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MLK Day of Service

January 17, 2013

The Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday is a National Day of Service, and a time to re-commit ourselves to serving each other and our communities. On MLK Day, Americans across the country will honor Dr. King by helping their neighbors and communities. Led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the MLK Day of Service will include thousands of projects spread across all 50 states. As a CNCS grantee United Way of Southern Nevada is proud to work with CNCS to honor Dr. King by creating opportunities to serve on MLK Day and throughout the year.
mlk_Day of Service LogoThe MLK Day of Service shines a spotlight on service as a powerful force to bridge economic and social divides – today and throughout the year. National Days of Service provide each of us with an opportunity to join neighbors and local leaders to tackle community challenges and strengthen the nation.

AmeriCorps State and AmeriCorps VISTA members in Southern Nevada will serve with the American Red Cross, Southern Nevada Chapter to canvass the four neighborhoods in our community who report the most house fires to distribute fire safety tips and educate residents on fire prevention.  The goal of the event is to educate residents about the danger of home fires to minimize accidents and save lives.  Please feel free to sign up and join us!

If you’re interested in volunteering on MLK Day, you can find the American Red Cross opportunity and others on the Volunteer Center website. 

You can find opportunities to serve throughout the year on the United Way of Southern Nevada Volunteer Center website through the Opportunity Calendar and Opportunity Search. Instead of taking a day off on January 21st, join volunteers around the nation to make it a DAY ON!

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In Recognition of AmeriCorps Volunteers

August 24, 2012
It’s fair to assume that we are all like-minded. Everyone either works or volunteers for a cause or an organization making a difference. Our communities’ AmeriCorps members and alums have played integral roles in all of our work. You can say that the AmeriCorps members in the Las Vegas Valley are the work horses or the backbone of our sector. I like to think of them as the trailblazers that bring our organization fresh, temporary hands or ideas.

My VISTA position description was vague, like most. On the campus of UNLV for one year, I was tasked with creating partnerships and streamlining communication. I blazed the trail of community meetings, making presentations wherever I was invited, and forged ahead in creating networking groups where ones did not exist. I felt like my VISTA position was for me to craft, for me to meet problems head on and create solutions no one had thought of.

Ultimately, I may have taken the term trailblazer too literally after my own assignment as an AmeriCorps VISTA. I actually lead walks on trails often. Shortly after my assignment ended, I was hired to lead a volunteer program with the Outside Las Vegas Foundation (OLVF), a local group that connects southern Nevada residents to our beautiful outdoor resources.

The network the AmeriCorps program creates in a community is probably more important than the work done by members individually. I don’t mean network here as the dirty word that everyone uses as a verb to hand out their business card. I mean network in the capacity of connecting ourselves to each other through various affinities and interests.

For example, I was hired by the OLVF because of my experience with the VISTA program and, upon attending the first board meeting, I ran into a member, another VISTA alum, and was greeted with open arms. That’s the network I’m talking about.

During my first month of my postion following my VISTA term, I contacted Robin and Jacob [at United Way of Southern Nevada’s Volunteer Center] about when, not if, when, I could host a VISTA. Knowing that the possibility of working with someone who had the same affinity for this community and that trailblazing attitude to think outside the box was exactly the type of person that my organization needed.

That’s exactly what we got in our first VISTA member: someone willing to ask the tough questions about why we do what we do, if we’ve been using our resources best, or if there was an alternative way to do things. Let’s face it, most of us are stuck inside the box. These are tough questions that staff won’t ask themselves. It’s that new fresh look that we need in our organizations and our communities. Because of this, the OLVF is now blazing trails, figuratively too, into new focus areas and creating new connections that will align ourselves more with the VISTA program and other community initiatives.

Knowing that this volunteer would be around to ask these questions and want to leave a mark are a few reasons why being a VISTA supervisor may be more fun than being a VISTA. Having been through the experience, I was ready to handle the questions and the creative ideas that come along with members that start in the position after the enthusiastic pre-service orientation.

The flexibility and optimism that the AmeriCorps program brings to our organizations are simply invaluable. We all apply to be a host site and quickly realize that as much as we train a new person in nonprofit skills or capacity building, that same person is teaching us about the way that we do our work and the ever-changing community around us. We are all a part of this network. Our strength lies in numbers, shared experience, and  passion.

With that, to alum: I want you to remember the pride that you feel as someone who is part of something greater than them. I want you to take that feeling and continue as you step into your next stage of career. Whether you work for a nonprofit, start your own philanthropic or charitable effort, or work for any one of the businesses in this town, the connections that you’ve made to Las Vegas and to others are ones that you should keep. Know that this network can help you. We need more active citizens like you to create a better community as we grow, as we recover, as we continue the work that you’ve done. To supervisors: let’s help them pave the way, give them skills to lead, and allow them room to take over when it’s their time.

(written by Rae Lathrop, the Outside Las Vegas Foundation)

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An Impactful Earache (by AmeriCorps member Mayra Duran)

June 19, 2012

MLK Day 2012 was an extraordinary day! I remember reading an email regarding a service project for the AmeriCorps members. Like always, I was ready to volunteer. However, I wasn’t expecting to be involved in a web of resources. The day was packed with chores and eager volunteers. Strangers became friends and smiles were simply contagious. I was sworn into a Project Leader position and I was clueless on what exactly to do; so I did what others would do in my situation, I faked it till I made it! Then, natural leadership skills kicked into gear. I had a blast meeting different members. During orientation, everyone was informed on all the services offered by or through City Impact. That particular information must have dodged my memory bank.

A couple of weeks ago, I was stationed at the Career Fair at the College of Southern Nevada West Charleston Campus, with my fellow member, Jon Park. We spoke on a million topics and one of those topics happened to be dental referrals. He casually brought up the City Impact Center and encouraged me to look into it.  I did, but wasn’t able to be seen for the particular need I was requesting. Then, something caught my eye. Their H.O.P.E medical clinic was open to low-income and uninsured residents. Let me just add that I thought I was dying of wisdom tooth pain! Then, my thoughts shifted to being 100% positive it was an earache. Point was, I just couldn’t bear the pain any longer and needed to see a doctor ASAP. I walked into a clinic that brought me back to childhood. I spent my summers in Mexico on my grandparents’ farm. I thought they would bill me later; enough to give me time to pay. I was treated by extremely motivational and happy staff composed of mostly volunteers. I was in so much pain, I was in tears; I just needed help, please! And I received much more than that.

Then the moment of truth came; my bill. I was told the cost for the services performed equaled to $200. However, I was placed in a type of payment plan; it was called “Pay-It-Forward.” My payment was community service; to help others as I was helped. I was asked to write to the clinic within one month of my appointment to share my “good deeds”. I have no concrete words to even begin to describe the feeling that overwhelmed my body.  This was sincere humanitarian work at its best. Funny how I never thought it began with an email. Networking changes lives.  This experience reminds that people never know who they help and how it helps them. Pay-It-Forward is a chain reaction!