AmeriCorps*VISTA builds permanent infrastructure and capacity in non-profit organizations and communities. acvistalogoThe Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A (Brooklyn A) VISTA Project is no exception. Brooklyn A VISTA members serve for a year to help bring individuals and communities out of the cycle of poverty.

Brooklyn A, in cooperation with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), has developed a VISTA project as a way to expand Brooklyn A’s capacity to provide services to low-income Brooklynites. Current VISTA members are concentrating on sustaining and expanding affordable housing and resource development.

Brooklyn A is not currently recruiting for VISTA positions. Check back in the summer of 2017 for open positions.

How do I apply?

1. Visit the AmeriCorps site and click on “Find Opportunities Now”

2. Enter Brooklyn A under Program Name

3. Select the red “Search” button

4. You will see the Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A AmeriCorps*VISTA positions currently recruiting

5. Click on the postings you are interested in and there will be an overview of the job as well as a red “Apply Now” button for those who are interested

Brooklyn A wants to ensure that your future with AmeriCorps*VISTA service is positive and that you have all the information you need to make a well-informed decision regarding your commitment to serve. Accordingly, we are providing you with the following overview of AmeriCorps*VISTA service.

Application Process

Applications submitted via americorps.gov are reviewed by Brooklyn A. Qualified candidates will go through a 3 stage interview process: initial call, face-to-face (or Skype) interview, and then a final call interview. When final selections are decided, Brooklyn A then takes steps to approve the candidate with the State Field Office and is in contact with the candidate.

AmeriCorps Policies

1.  As an AmeriCorps*VISTA member, you will pledge to serve on a full-time basis for a term of one year. Some positions follow a standard 40 hour/week schedule; others will require you to be available to the community at all times without regard to regular working hours, except for periods of approved leave.

2.  AmeriCorps*VISTA service is a 12-month service opportunity. Therefore, VISTA members may not be employed either full or part-time during their year of service.

3.  AmeriCorps*VISTA members are prohibited from participating in political campaigns for voter registration drives, providing transportation to polls, lobbying and pro or anti-labor organizing or taking any action with respect to partisan or nonpartisan political activity while on duty or perceived to be on duty as an AmeriCorps*VISTA member.

4.  Whether or not the VISTA member agrees with a position on a passionate subject, it is best that they disengage from politics during their service year. Also, VISTA members cannot use the VISTA network to invite cohorts to a rally, attend political press conferences, develop campaign materials, work on a campaign, etc. If you have questions about whether a particular activity would constitute prohibited political activity, please contact the Brooklyn A AmeriCorps*VISTA Coordinator.

5.  AmeriCorps*VISTA members may not give religious instruction, conduct worship services, proselytize, or engage in any other religious activity as part of their duties. Members may participate in religious activities outside of their official duties.

Member Benefits

1.  You will receive a modest monthly subsistence allowance over the course of the 12 month service year. It will be paid in 26 installments (every two weeks). This allowance is subject to Federal Income Tax withholding. You will receive instructions for direct deposit at your Pre-Service Orientation (PSO). Direct deposit is required for all Brooklyn A VISTA members.

2.  Each member can choose between an Education Award or a Stipend at the beginning of his or her term of service. He or she will not receive both. To be eligible for either of these awards, the VISTA member must complete a full year of service.

3.  You are authorized to take up to 10 days of personal leave and 10 days of sick leave. Personal leave is not allowed during the first 3 months of service, or the last 30 days of service, without prior approval from your supervisor.

4.  Prior to PSO, you must choose which end of service benefit you would like to receive. Your options include either an Education Award or a year-end cash stipend. The cash stipend is subject to Federal Income Tax withholding and FICA at the time of payment.

5.  You are eligible to enroll in group life insurance for which a biweekly premium of approximately $2.07 is deducted from your biweekly subsistence allowance. An enrollment form will be included with your PSO registration information.

6.  VISTA members can enroll in the AmeriCorps*VISTA contracted health benefits plan (for yourself only). There is no charge to you for this benefit. However, there are some limitations and exclusions. The health insurance does not include dental or optical care, nor does it pay for costs related to pre-existing conditions, except for the cost of maintenance prescriptions. Another option for VISTA members is to enroll in a healthcare allowance plan. The healthcare allowance plan is for VISTAS who have health coverage but need assistance with out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. For more information on the VISTA healthcare options visit the Vista Campus website.

7.  If eligible, you may receive childcare reimbursement. Childcare benefit eligibility is based on household income, not including the VISTA living allowance. Applications will be available at PSO.

Pre-Service Orientation

After your application is approved through the CNCS New York State Office, you will be required to attend a Pre-Service Orientation (PSO). PSO is typically a four (4) day event designed to provide you with a basic orientation in several critical areas of AmeriCorps*VISTA service. PSO is for new AmeriCorps*VISTA trainees only; you should not bring any family members, friends or pets.

Additional training in the form of On-Site-Orientation is provided by Brooklyn A. PSO will be provided at the expense of the Corporation for National and Community Service and will normally require overnight travel.

Relocation Information

For travel and relocation information please utilize the following information.

You are responsible for finding affordable housing in your new location; However Brooklyn A AmeriCorps*VISTA Coordinator will be available to help you with this task.

Questions

Please direct inquiries to the office of Finance and Administration, info@bka.org.

 

As previously stated, AmeriCorps*VISTA is a one-year commitment to service. Completion of service is one year from the date that you enter service. Entry into service begins the day after you successfully complete your Pre-Service Orientation. Re-enrollment or extension beyond one year is not automatic but may be granted if you have served in an above average manner.