Become a VISTA Host Site

Welcome to the VISTA Strong Communities Program!

VISTA Strong Communities is a capacity-building partnership between CNHED and the AmeriCorps VISTA national service program. VISTA members are people from all walks of life who commit to serve for a full year with the end goal of finding long-term solutions to poverty. In pursuit of this goal, they work full-time at a community-based organizations creating ways that address the needs of low- and moderate-income residents.

CNHED launched VISTA Strong Communities in 2018 and welcomed our first cohort of ten VISTA members in the spring of 2019.

Why should a CNHED member participate in VISTA?

VISTA members are talented, passionate, civic-minded individuals your organization can use to turn its dreams into realities.

  • Not just an extra pair of hands, VISTA members work to make their host organizations’ programs sustainable, ensuring that the benefits continue after they leave
  • Each year, VISTA members nearly double every dollar invested in them
  • The VISTA program cultivates a new generation of community leaders – 70% of VISTA members serve in their hometown

Interested in hosting a VISTA?

What would your organization do if you had more time? More hands on deck? What could you do better, and what new and exciting projects might you take on? If you have an idea, then:

  • Look through our questions to consider page for eligibility
  • Review the pre-application document
  • Submit your application to our online portal!

The application period for the 2021-2022 program year is open. Click here to apply. If you have any questions or concerns, contact our VISTA Leader.

Questions to Consider

Are you interested in hosting a VISTA?

A VISTA can be an incredible capacity-building asset for your organization, helping you
make lasting change that endures long after their term of service. If you believe you
would benefit from a VISTA, there are a few steps you’ll need to take.

First, learn about the program by reviewing the VISTA Strong Communities Program Overview
and the What is a VISTA? handout, as well as the AmeriCorps website.

Here are some other questions to consider:

Think about the project you’d like the VISTA to support.

  1. What are your main project goals and desired outcomes?
  2. How can the experience and knowledge of a VISTA member help you reach those goals?
  3. Does my organization have the resources to sustain the project, even after they leave?

What support can I provide to a VISTA candidate in return?

  1. The AmeriCorps program provides a living stipend, health care, and training, as well as an education stipend awarded after the VISTA completes their term of service
  2. VISTA Strong Communities host sites are asked to provide $1000 per month to offset the high cost of housing in DC. Is your organization able to provide this support?
  3. Can you organization provide workspace and internet access?
  4. Can your organization offer professional development opportunities?

Who will supervise the VISTA?

  1. Each VISTA is paired with an organizational supervisor who helps them fulfill their duties – who at your organization will take that on?
  2. Can you guarantee ongoing support from a direct supervisor?

Meet our current VISTA!

As part of this program, CNHED is hosting a VISTA Leader.
Learn about what they bring to our organization here.

CNHED is proud to announce that in addition to the VISTAs hosted by our member nonprofits, we have one VISTA member also working in CNHED’s office to help us better serve our members. Read about her below:

Samara Bharath

VISTA Leader

Samara Bharath is the Program Planning VISTA Leader at CNHED. During her service year, she plans on continuing the VISTA Strong Communities initiative by engaging and supporting current members as well as pioneering an alumni network project to ensure sustainability of the program. Before serving with Americorps, she was a community economic development volunteer with the Peace Corps in Central America. Her unforgettable experiences abroad, matched with her passion to serve, is what drives her commitment to further the work of community development with Americorps. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry, reading and spoiling her nephews.

Email: vistaleader@cnhed.org   |   Phone: 202-745-0902 x210

Meet our VISTA Cohort

CNHED is proud to welcome twelve amazing VISTA members to the VISTA Strong Communities Cohort. We’re impressed by what they all bring to their respective positions, and we look forward to being inspired by what they achieve.

Not pictured: Martin Sakansong from Douglas Community Land Trust.

Keep reading to learn more about each of our VISTA members:

Anna Gallicchio

Employment and Educational Coordinator, Capital Clubhouse
Read More

Alexis Smith

Peer Leadership Program volunteer, Community Solutions
Read More

Sheila Naya

Youth Membership Advisor, DC Credit Union
Read More

Jacqueline Vélez Lippman

Peer Leadership Program VISTA, Diane’s House
Read More

Erin Doolin

Research and Marketing associate, Manna, Inc.
Read More

Brandi Muller

Data Impact Specialist, Mi Casa, Inc.
Read More

Susanna Penfield

VISTA for the National Alliance for Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA)
Read More

Selena Duvivier

VISTA with the National Housing Trust (NHT)
Read More

Thomas (T.J.) Worthington

Recruitment & Outreach Assistant, So Others Might Eat Center for Employment Training
Read More

Kirami Bah

Programs, Marketing and Communications Assistant VISTA, Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF)
Read More

Rachel Wertz

Eco-System Entrepreneurship Research and Best Practices Support Analyst, Walker’s Legacy
Read More

Further Reading

October 2020

VISTA 101: Understanding VISTA

An online orientation to help you decide if VISTA is right for your organization.

October 2020

VISTA Strong Communities Program Overview

AmeriCorps VISTA at a glance – in partnership with CNHED.

October 2020

What is a VISTA?

Learn about what a VISTA can do to help your organization.

October 2020

VISTA 201

Once you’ve decided to apply for a VISTA project, see VISTA 201 for an overview of the application process.

October 2020

Is VISTA Right for Your Organization?

A Guide to Becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA Project Sponsor.

October 2020

AmeriCorps VISTA: 30 Years of Research

30 years of research show that AmeriCorps VISTA members are talented, dedicated individuals whose service builds the capacity of community nonprofit organizations to improve economic outcomes.

October 2020

Equal Opportunity Hiring Requirements

AmeriCorps Civil Rights/Equal Opportunity policies and guidelines.

October 2020

VISTA Pre-Application Document

Please read through this document prior to submitting a proposal to the online portal below.

Read through the pre-application document prior to submitting a proposal to the online portal below. Applications are considered on a rolling basis. The final deadline is 5:00 pm on Friday, November 15th.

Read The Materials? Ready To Apply?

Click Here Now!

Program Updates & VISTA Spotlight

Curious about what our VISTA members work on?

Each month, we’ll profile one of our VISTA members here, shining a spotlight on the amazing work that they do for the community. Check back regularly for more updates!

November 17, 2020

VISTA Spotlight: Erin Doolin

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Erin works with the Corporate Development Team at Manna, Inc, a nonprofit, affordable housing developer.

VISTA Strong Communities Program
Read More

November 17, 2020

VISTA Spotlight: Susanna Penfield

Susanna began her AmeriCorps VISTA term at the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA), in anticipation of the NACEDA Summit 2020.

VISTA Strong Communities Program
Read More

October 20, 2020

VISTA Spotlight: Brandi Muller

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Brandi works on the Housing Development and Genesis Intergenerational programs at Mi Casa, Inc., to establish and manage a database that tracks outcomes for the affordable housing work of each program.

VISTA Strong Communities Program
Read More

October 15, 2020

VISTA Spotlight: Rachel Wertz

In her work as an AmeriCorps VISTA, Rachel started her service with Walker’s Legacy as their Eco-System Entrepreneurship Research and Best Practices Support Analyst to work on bringing more efforts around multicultural women in entrepreneurship.

VISTA Strong Communities Program
Read More

September 15, 2020

VISTA Spotlight: Selena Duvivier

In her work as an AmeriCorps VISTA, Selena works with the Resident Services team at the National Housing Trust (NHT) to develop and implement onsite services for families living in NHT-owned affordable housing communities.

VISTA Strong Communities Program
Read More

Become a member of CNHED today

and join the fight for a District where all residents can live in thriving communities that are racially, economically and socially just!

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