College is not the only path to success.

One alternative option is AmeriCorps (pronounced "Ameri-Core"). This is a national service organization, where members volunteer their time to help others.

There are 3 main programs:

  • AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps)

  • AmeriCorps State and National

  • AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America)

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What Will You Do?

AmeriCorps members "get things done" by working in one or more of these focus areas:

  • Disaster Services

  • Economic Opportunity

  • Environmental Stewardship

  • Education

  • Healthy Futures

  • Veterans and Military Families

Members work with different organizations in the community to help improve people's lives.

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Quiz

Which program provides an education award at the end of service to help pay for college/student loans?

NCCC

State and National

VISTA

All of the these

Who, When, And Where

Who - For NCCC, there is an age range of 18-26 years old; for others, you just need to be at least 17 or 18 years old.

When - Usually about a 1 year commitment.

Where - For VISTA, State and National, you will apply to a specific organization/location; and for NCCC, you'll travel to different projects.

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Quiz

Which program involves living, working, and traveling as a team of 8-12 people??

State and National

VISTA

NCCC

All of these

How Do You Know If AmeriCorps Is Right For You?

If you want to work hard for a cause you are passionate about at a non-profit organization, this may be a good path for you.

If you are looking for a high salary, keep looking; many members will live at home with parents or with roommates because the living allowance is not very high.

If you are excited to travel around the country, consider NCCC - which can also be better financially, because food and housing are included.

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Quiz

Which program do you NOT get to choose your location?

VISTA

State

NCCC

National

Summary

AmeriCorps is just one of the many alternative options to a 4 year college experience.

If you are trying to figure out whether this is right for you, try one of these:

  • Check out their website.

  • Reach out to program alumni to talk to people who have done it already.

  • See if there are any local programs near you that you could visit and observe.

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This Byte has been authored by

HF

Heidi Fleming

EHS Professional & Trainer