Frequently Asked Questions

join-serve-faq

What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps is a national service program, often called the “Domestic Peace Corps.” AmeriCorps provides opportunities for members to give back to the community and gain valuable skills in return. Each year, AmeriCorps offers 75,000 opportunities for adults of all ages and backgrounds to serve throughout the United States

What is the CalSERVES service philosophy?
AmeriCorps is much more than a job—it is a service opportunity where AmeriCorps members are able to meet the needs of the community by “Getting Things Done.” Consistency is extremely important in the lives of children, which makes it vitally important that AmeriCorps members working with CalSERVES remain committed to their term of service. AmeriCorps members must have a strong desire to work in the community and make a difference in the lives of children.

How are CalSERVES AmeriCorps Members selected?
The selection process for our programs is very competitive. Previous community service and youth development experience will improve your chance of selection. AmeriCorps positions through CalSERVES begin in August, and are 10-12 months in duration. In order to qualify for AmeriCorps service, you must:

  • Commit to serve the entire length of your term
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States
  • At least 17 years of age
  • Agree to and successfully pass criminal and sexual offender background screenings

What are the benefits of AmeriCorps service?
Benefits of serving as an AmeriCorps member include:

  • Receiving a monthly living stipend
  • Qualifying for an Education Award
  • Professional Development Opportunities
  • Student Loan Forbearance
  • Medical Insurance
  • Alumni Connections

Is there an education award available through AmeriCorps?
Yes. Once you have successfully completed your term of service, you will qualify to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. The amount of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is tied to the maximum amount of the U.S. Department of Education’s Pell Grant. This education award can be used to pay education costs at qualified institutions of higher education, to pay for educational training, and to repay qualified student loans. You can make payments from your award in full or in part, and you can take up to seven years after your term of service has ended to use your award.

Does CalSERVES provide housing?
AmeriCorps members serving with CalSERVES are responsible for finding their own housing, however CalSERVES provides a list of housing resources to search from.  Staff and current members are also available to consult with regarding the area. Members have opportunities to connect with other new and returning members who may also be looking for housing.

Do I need a car?
Because public transportation is limited, we strongly encourage applicants to have a vehicle during their term of service. However, a car is not required.

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.

Can I defer student loans during my service with AmeriCorps?
You may qualify for postponement, or forbearance, for the repayment of your loans during your service. Forbearance is subject to approval by your lender. Contact your lender for more specific information or to confirm your loan status during your AmeriCorps service.

Will I get any training before I start?
Absolutely. All AmeriCorps members receive training at the beginning of their service, as well as ongoing training and professional development throughout their term of service.

How do I apply? 
The process for applying to our AmeriCorps positions includes an application and two references, attendance at an informational meeting, either over the phone or in person, and an interview. Applications may be completed on-line. See Apply Now.

 

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