FAQs

  • Have questions about AmeriCorps or the VHCB AmeriCorps Program?

    We'll do our best to answer those most frequently asked:

    What is the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB) AmeriCorps program?

    VHCB AmeriCorps is a statewide AmeriCorps project of the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB). VHCB AmeriCorps places 36 AmeriCorps members with non-profit affordable housing and land conservation host site organizations around the state. Our dual goals are to create more stable affordable housing opportunities for Vermont residents while preserving the natural and working landscape by fostering a greater appreciation of and responsibility for the environment. VHCB AmeriCorps helps to support AmeriCorps members and their host sites with hiring, onboarding, training, and more!

    Why should I join?

    Because we get things done! The mission of AmeriCorps is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. You’ll get on the ground experience directly supporting communities and/or doing what's needed to improve our environment. Plus, you get some great benefits while you serve!

    Read member testimonies and find more reasons why AmeriCorps may be a great program for you on THIS PAGE

     

    Who is AmeriCorps for? Do I need a degree? Am I too old?

    AmeriCorps is a great program for almost anybody who is interested in supporting their community through service! You do not need to have a degree to serve, and there is no upper age limit for AmeriCorps members! Read below for more information on qualifications, and eligibility for those that have not graduated from High School.

    What are the benefits of being an AmeriCorps Member? Do I get paid?

    AmeriCorps Members receive a modest living allowance. The amount fluctuates each year, currently full-time members receive $20,400 for 11 months of service.  The living allowance paid on a biweekly basis. The stipend is non-negotiable and every member receives the same living allowance. You may not save much money during your year of service, but most members find the living allowance to be adequate to cover their needs.  Plus, AmeriCorps members who complete a term of service also receive an AmeriCorps Education Award.

    On top of that, AmeriCorps Members can opt in for healthcare coverage at no additional cost to the member, put a “pause” on repaying any federal student loan debt, and receive tons of training on a wide variety of topics such as CPR, non-profit management, diversity-equity-inclusion, professional development, and other position-specific topics

    What is an Education Award?

    After successfully completing a term of service, AmeriCorps members are eligible to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. You can use your education award to pay education costs at qualified institutions of higher education, for educational training, or to repay qualified student loans. The award value fluctuates each year but is equivalent to the maximum amount of a Pell Grant, and is prorated for part-time. You can use your award all at once, or use it over time and you can take up to seven years after your term of service has ended to use your award.  Learn more about it here: https://americorps.gov/members-volunteers/segal-americorps-education-aw…

    Am I qualified to be an AmeriCorps Member?

    Each service site has different requirements, so you should check the position description for more information. Some require specific skills or experience while others just require your commitment and motivation! However, there are some minimum qualifications that you should keep in mind:

    • Members must be US citizens or have permanent resident status;
    • Members must be at least 18 years of age upon entering the Pre-Service Orientation or 17 years of age  with verified parental permission;
    • Members must be a high school graduate, have a GED certificate, or be willing to work towards a GED as part of the service-term. A member cannot have dropped out of high school to join AmeriCorps; ∙ 
    • Members must have not been convicted of murder or sexual assault and be willing to undergo a National Service Criminal History Check;
    • Members must be committed to the VHCB AmeriCorps program’s ethic of service, appreciation of diversity, and personal and professional development of its participants;
    • Members must be able to regularly serve 40 hours per week

    How long will I be serving with AmeriCorps?

    That depends! Most positions are 11-month commitments or 6-month commitments. Check the specific position description to see the dates of the term. You may also have the option of repeating your service for up to 4 years!

    Can I join if I'm not a U.S. Citizen?

    You must be a U.S. citizen, national, or legal permanent resident alien of the U.S. to be an AmeriCorps member.

     

    I may have to move, is there any assistance available for relocation?

    Unfortunately, we do not have any financial assistance available for relocation expenses. However, if you are selected for a position, you can speak with your supervisor and the VHCB AmeriCorps team and we will be happy to support your housing search.

    Do I get any time off or sick days?

    Yes and no. To complete your term, you must complete a specific amount of hours. For the most part, 11-month terms are around 1720 hours while 6-month terms are around 915 hours. If you get sick, you should take the day off - but you won’t be able to log any hours. The duration of your term typically allows you to complete all of your hours while also allowing room for sick days and time off. This can also sometimes allow for a flexible schedule - if your term has a busy summer with long days and weekend service, then you may be able to take some extra time off in the spring.

    Will I be with other AmeriCorps members?

    This also depends on your placement. Many host sites have multiple AmeriCorps members, but they do not always serve “together” necessarily. However, in all cases you will have co-workers and supervisors that will be alongside you in your service. Plus. VHCB AmeriCorps staff create opportunities for you to connect with other AmeriCorps members around the state through trainings, casual gatherings, and more

    Can I serve from home?

    In general, VHCB AmeriCorps positions are designed to provide direct service, and as such much of the service will be conducted in person. However, each host site has different regulations and expectations. In response to COVID-19, many host sites have included remote options or hybrid service. This is a good question for the position supervisor, whos contact information can be found on the position description.

    How do I apply?

    1. Read the list of host sites and the positions descriptions and decide where you would like to apply.

    2. Complete an online application for the position you are interested in at My AmeriCorps Portal. You can use the same application to apply to multiple AmeriCorps positions.

    If you have questions about the position, you'll find contact information for each site provided on the position description.

    Ready to Apply? Click here to see our list of available positions.

     

    I’m having issues with my application, what should I do?

    If it is a technical issue with the portal, our staff have little control over applications and what happens in the portal. In the My AmeriCorps Portal, on the top right of the screen is a button for “Site Help”. There is also a hotline that you can call during business hours to answer most questions (1-800-942-2677) or you can submit your question here: https://questions.americorps.gov/app/ask

    However, if you are confused about a specific question or want to talk about the content of the application, you can reach out to @email

     

    I submitted an application. Now what?

    It may take some time for your host site to process your application along with those submitted by other applicants. If you have specific questions, comments, want to make sure your application was received, or need to get in touch with somebody about your application or the position you should contact the person listed in the position description.

    I am currently participating in AmeriCorps and have a question about my education award. Who should I contact?

    For general questions about the Education Award and student loan deferment, contact National Service Trust at 1-800-942-2677.  If you have successfully completed your AmeriCorps service, you can view your AmeriCorps Education Award account balance and activity online.  To request a copy of your AmeriCorps Education Award voucher or report a change of address, you can visit https://questions.nationalservice.gov/.

    For general information on student financial assistance, you may contact your high school guidance counselor, the financial aid officer at the post-secondary institution you plan to attend, the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243), or consult the Student Guide issued by the U.S. Department of Education.