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New VISTA program offers jobs that make a difference

April 14, 2012

Sojourners recently received an AmeriCorps VISTA grant from the Ohio State Office of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The Sojourners VISTA Program will incorporate 10 VISTAs. Six VISTAs will help develop Basic Center sites in six counties for runaway and homeless youth up to age 18.  One VISTA will work with the Youthbuild program to develop social enterprise and job placement opportunities.  One VISTA will train and support foster parents to provide high quality independent living skills to foster care youth.  Two additional VISTAs will work in the Operations Department as a special events coordinator and a volunteer coordinator.

“Sojourners has a great history with AmeriCorps programs. For several years our Appalachian MentorCorps provided mentorship to young people in our Foster Care program and the Ohio Outback Conservation Corps worked with state parks on conservation projects,” said Richard Games, Sojourners co-executive director.  “VISTA members have a rare opportunity to work at jobs that really make a difference in their communities. We are very excited about the skills and energy our new VISTAs will bring to our organization, our youth development programs, and the communities we serve,” he concluded.

AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty.  Authorized in 1964 and founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993. VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for more than 45 years.

VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, strengthen community groups, and much more. During their service, VISTA members receive a modest living allowance, health care, and other benefits. And, upon completing their service, they can choose to receive either a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or post-service stipend.

For more information about the Sojourners VISTA Program call 740-357-7014. To view job descriptions or apply online, visit www.myamericorps.gov.

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