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1. AmeriCorps*Texas: Stories of Transition, Training and Inclusion Suzanne Potts, LMSW, MPH Senior Program Officer, OneStar Foundation 2.

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Presentation on theme: "1. AmeriCorps*Texas: Stories of Transition, Training and Inclusion Suzanne Potts, LMSW, MPH Senior Program Officer, OneStar Foundation 2."— Presentation transcript:

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2 AmeriCorps*Texas: Stories of Transition, Training and Inclusion Suzanne Potts, LMSW, MPH Senior Program Officer, OneStar Foundation 2

3 Agenda Welcome! Today we will.. Learn about OneStar Foundation Provide an overview of national service Discuss why AmeriCorps is a great solution for transition Hear real stories of AmeriCorps Identify what you can do to join AmeriCorps Find out what questions you have about this transition solution! 3

4 Poll Show of hands: How many of you have heard about AmeriCorps? How many of you knew you could get paid to volunteer within your community? 4

5 About the Corporation for National and Community Service Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency established in 1993 and reauthorized in 2009 with the passage of the Kennedy Serve America Act, to provide opportunities for ALL Americans to give back to their communities through service and volunteering. CNCS mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. Structured volunteer service opportunities are provided through three major programs: Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America. 5

6 6 Learn and Serve America Senior Corps AmeriCorps State and National Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) National Civilian Community Corps

7 About OneStar Foundation Mission OneStar Foundation connects partners and resources to build a stronger nonprofit sector in Texas. Vision OneStar Foundation envisions Texas having the strongest, most effective nonprofit sector in the country. Tagline OneStar Foundation is building a stronger nonprofit sector for a better Texas. 7

8 How does OneStar achieve this? Connect: OneStar connects faith-based and community organizations, businesses, government and foundations to resources and information about the nonprofit sector. Promote: We promote the nonprofit sector, innovative strategies and public-private partnerships to drive community solutions. Convene: OneStar is the statewide convener of nonprofit networks, developing a coordinated approach to building the strongest most impactful nonprofit sector. 8

9 OneStar’s Key Programs AmeriCorps*Texas Texas Connector Facilitating partnerships between networks statewide Disability Inclusion Team Austin Interfaith Inclusion Network Volunteer Center Association Nonprofit Management Alliance of Texas Cities and Communities of Service Interagency Coordinating Group Volunteer Portal 9

10 AmeriCorps Eligibility US Citizens 17 years or older, with a H.S. diploma/GED or working on one, or with an Independent Educational Assessment are eligible to apply. AC State and National members are eligible to receive a living allowance, health insurance, child care, and an education award upon successful completion of the service period. The HEART Act of 2008 made it possible for the living stipend to be disregarded as income for SSI eligibility purposes. Limited funds are available to members and volunteers in all streams of service through State Service Commissions for reasonable accommodations. 10

11 Member Benefits 11 In addition to the many benefits, in exchange for volunteering in a National Service program participants are eligible to receive: A living stipend An Education Award Health Insurance, as needed Child care benefits, as needed

12 AmeriCorps*Texas 20 programs for Programs all across Texas Emphasis on education, housing, homelessness, disaster preparedness and recovery and more AmeriCorps links on our website: AmeriCorps National website: 12

13 VISTA AmeriCorps VISTA provides full-time volunteers to community organizations and public agencies to create and expand programs that build capacity and ultimately bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA members or volunteers are eligible to receive a living allowance, health care, child care and an education award upon completion. The VISTA living allowance is not regarded as income for purposes of SSI or SSDI eligibility 13

14 National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) is a full-time residential program for men and women aged that strengthens communities while developing leaders through direct, team-based national and community service. NCCC members receive a living allowance, health care and an education award upon completion. 14

15 The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award A benefit VISTA, AmeriCorps, & NCCC members receive upon successful completion of their term of service. members are eligible for an award of up to $5,550. AmeriCorps, VISTA, and NCCC members can enroll in multiples terms of service that add up to the value of two full- time education awards. a number of colleges & universities encourage AmeriCorps alumni to attend by offering them scholarships. used for enrichment classes, course(s) through community college, junior college, or university, to purchase a computer &/or and/or buy school gear as long as items qualify as "cost of attendance" expenses at a Title IV school. 15

16 Additional Benefits Longitudinal studies show AmeriCorps alums: are more connected to their communities continue to participate in community activities choose public service careers at higher levels than their peers 16

17 Examples in Texas Kemi’s Story (video) 17

18 Examples in Texas Chase’s Story (video) 18

19 Transition Planning Great opportunity for training Pathway to long term employment Benefits for ongoing education Giving back What else ? 19

20 What are we missing? Why aren’t more youth signing up for AmeriCorps*Texas? Why aren’t more people with disabilities signing up? What are we missing? What suggestions do you have for us? 20

21 “Like” us on Facebook! “Follow” us on Check out our website: 21

22 Contact Thank you! Suzanne Potts, LMSW, MPH (512)

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