Frequently Asked Questions

What is AmeriCorps?

AmeriCorps, the domestic Peace Corps, engages more than 50,000 Americans in intensive , results-driven volunteer service each year. We're teaching children to read, making neighborhoods safer, building affordable homes, and responding to natural disasters through more than 1,000 projects. Most AmeriCorps members are selected by and serve with projects like Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Clubs, and many more local and national organizations.  Others serve in AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and AmeriCorps*NCCC (the National Civilian Community Corps). After their term of service, AmeriCorps members receive an education award to help finance college or pay back student loans. To find out more information about AmeriCorps, visit their website at www.americorps.gov.

What do AmeriCorps members do?

AmeriCorps members train volunteers, tutor and mentor at-risk youth, build housing, clean up rivers and streams, help seniors live independently, provide emergency and long-term assistance to victims of natural disasters, and meet other community needs.

AmeriCorps*VISTA members have served economically challenged communities for more than 35 years. The program is dedicated to increasing the capability of people to improve the conditions of their own lives. Members of AmeriCorps*VISTA serve full-time and live in the communities they serve, creating programs that can continue after they complete their service.

AmeriCorps*NCCC is a ten-month, full-time residential service program for men and women ages eighteen to twenty-four. Members help meet the nation's critical needs in the areas of education, public safety, the environment, and other human needs. AmeriCorps*NCCC combines the best practices of civilian service with the best aspects of military service, including leadership and team building.

How do I become an America Reads - Mississippi member?

To become an America Reads - Mississippi member, contact a program staff member to locate the Regional University office in the area you are interested in serving.

What training do AmeriCorps members receive?

All AmeriCorps members receive training at the beginning of their service, as well as project-specific training during service. America Reads - Mississippi AmeriCorps members attend a mandatory Member Orientation in August, at least one monthly member training at the regional university centers, other school sponsored trainings, and at least one Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service Volunteer Orientation Conference.

What is the AmeriCorps Education Award and how can it be used?

The AmeriCorps education award is a $5,550 (dollar value can differ depending on length of service term) award that you can use to attend qualified institutions of higher education or training, or to repay qualified student loans. To qualify for an education award, you must successfully complete the required term of service for your program. You can use your education award for up to 7 years in the following ways, or a combination of them:

  • to repay qualified existing or future student loans;
  • to pay all or part of the cost of attending a qualified institution of higher education (including certain vocational programs); or
  • to pay expenses while participating in an approved school-to-work program.

Click here to find out more about the AmeriCorps Education Award.

Are there other AmeriCorps programs in Mississippi?

Yes. More than 44,000 people of all ages and backgrounds are helping to solve problems and strengthen communities through 68 national service projects across Mississippi. Serving through local nonprofits, schools, religious organizations, and other groups, these citizens tutor and mentor children, coordinate after-school programs, build homes, organize neighborhood watch groups, clean parks, recruit volunteers, and accomplish other things to improve communities. For more information, visit the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service (MCVS) website.

How do I become a School Partner?

ARM School Partners

  • Apply by contacting the regional program office in their area to get and submit a school partner application;
  • Are lower academic achieving schools that are selected on a "first come - first serve" basis, with current school partners receiving first priority;
  • Fund a $5,300 cas match with at least 70% ($3,710) from non-federal sources and 30% ($1,590) from federal sources to cover a portion of the living costs associated with each stipended Corps member placed with your organization, and pay this within 60 days of the member start date;
  • Provide on-site supervision and support for AmeriCorps members to assist them in effectively performing as reading tutors.

For further information regarding America Reads - Mississippi, contact a program staff member in your area.

Are there specific requirements to join?

You must be at least 17 years old, although some service opportunities require you to be at least 18. Some programs have specific skill requests in certain areas, and others look for a bachelor's degree or a few years of related volunteer / job experience. For others, your motivation and commitment may be the primary requirement.