United Way of Summit County has begun a search to fill eight new AmeriCorps VISTA positions for 2017. The eight VISTAs will serve a collective 16,000 hours over the course of a year on three different service projects throughout the Greater Akron community.
Started in 1965, the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) program engages more than 7,000 Americans in more than 1,000 service projects annually. VISTA members work to fight poverty throughout the United States by partnering with schools, public agencies, faith-based groups and nonprofit organizations such as United Way.
Five of the new VISTAs will work within the Akron Public Schools system as part of United Way’s iC.A.R.E. in-school mentoring program. Two will assist the Bridges Summit County initiative, which works to build a path to financial stability for local families living in poverty. Another VISTA will work with United Way’s engagement team, helping to plan volunteer events throughout the community, and providing assistance to the Imagination Library program, which mails free books to local preschoolers.
In the past, the hard work of dedicated AmeriCorps VISTAs has been invaluable to United Way as it grows its impact across Summit County. Last year, 11 VISTAs helped United Way expand its iC.A.R.E. mentoring program within Akron Public Schools. By the time they complete their one-year commitment to the VISTA program, they will have provided 22,000 hours of service at no cost to APS.
United Way has already begun recruiting for the new openings, with applications due by May 13. Prospective applicants can learn more on the United Way website at www.uwsummit.org/vista. The starting date for all eight positions is June 27.
“In Akron, we’re fortunate to have so much local talent and passion to draw from,” says Jim Mullen, president and CEO of United Way of Summit County. “Finding ways to engage talented individuals and get them to channel their passion into action that advances the greater good is one of the best ways to invest in the future of Summit County.”