The AmeriCorps | Florida VISTA Network partners colleges, universities, and community-based organizations to place AmeriCorps members throughout Florida. The program provides networking opportunities, resources, and training for those participating in our VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) network to combat poverty through engaging students and leveraging higher education resources to build the capacity of communities, colleges, universities, and local non-profits to alleviate poverty. AmeriCorps members are successfully building bridges between classrooms and communities by connecting educators, students, and community partners to improve education and address societal needs through campus-community partnerships, applied civic education, and engaged citizenship. Students are learning from being engaged in meaningful service opportunities that create positive change in communities.
Local projects are developed in accordance with AmeriCorps VISTA’s core principles: an antipoverty focus, community empowerment, sustainable solutions, and capacity building. In alignment with this mission and Florida State University’s goal to bolster education across Florida, our VISTA program concentrates its capacity-building efforts in the following education-based focus areas: Education, Economic Opportunity, Healthy Families, Veterans & Military Families.
The AmeriCorps | Florida VISTA Network is a program of Florida State University’s Center for Leadership & Social Change.
Potential Engagement Strategies for VISTA Projects
- Community-based learning and/or civic engagement experiences for students
- Symbiotic campus-community collaboration/partnerships and research
- Advancing racial equity and increasing opportunity
- College Access & Success programming/mentoring
- Collective Impact
- Social Innovation and/or Social Entrepreneurship
- Eligible Project Host Sites include colleges, universities, and community-based organizations in Florida. Proposed projects should clearly describe how the proposed VISTA Assignment Description (VAD) and position description relates to the partnerships between higher education and local communities to address poverty. All VISTA host sites must be a public sector organization or private organization designated as non-profit by the IRS.
- Faculty and staff designated as the VISTA Site Supervisor are required to participate in a Site Supervisor Orientation.
- Project proposals must adhere to the guidelines of appropriate tasks for an AmeriCorps VISTA. AmeriCorps VISTAs are different from AmeriCorps members. VISTAs do not provide direct service, but indirect service. (Direct service for purposes of training volunteers or for short-term projects is permissible.) VISTAs serve as coordinators and capacity builders. They are not the ones doing service, but the ones making service possible for others. This may include (but is not limited to) the creation of new campus-community partnerships, recruitment and coordination of volunteers, and grant writing. VISTA members may not lobby, engage in religious activities, or provide administrative support.
- Each proposed A|FVN project/position should engage college students, faculty, or staff and leverage other “Higher Education Resources” to address one primary CNCS Priority Area. Refer to the FY 2021 VISTA Guidance for additional details. VISTA position descriptions should focus on building long-term relationships with community organizations. Specifically, A|FVN AmeriCorps positions should focus on building the systems necessary to connect institutions of higher education and their resources with low-income communities. For projects proposing AmeriCorps members be placed at a community non-profit organization, applications should demonstrate how higher education partnerships will be leveraged to benefit low-income communities.
Become a Project Host Site
Project Host Site Applications are now available for new and renewing Project Host Sites for the 2021-2022 program year!
- Sign up for a required Technical Assistance Webinar. (Click date to register.)
- Review additional resources, including the Application Resource Guide, Frequently Asked Questions, Sample MOU, and common questions & answers.
- Complete the online Project Host Site Application by May 7 at 5 p.m. Eastern time.
- Program Requirements – upload signed form to Qualtrics as part of application (also include any letters of support)
- VISTA Assignment Description – upload completed template to Qualtrics, one VAD for each unique AmeriCorps position
- Project Sponsor Application Narrative – MSWord template to assist/complete prior to uploading narrative
Anna King Mitas
A|FVN Program Manager