Become a VISTA Member

Do you want to make a difference in your community?

Maybe you come from D.C., or maybe the thought of serving in the nation’s capital inspires you. Maybe you’re trying to gain real-world work experience, or you’re looking for something more meaningful than what you’re doing now. Whatever your story, VISTA Strong Communities can help you write the next chapter.

AmeriCorps VISTA has programs all across the US, placing committed individuals like yourself with non-profits, state and local governments, and educational institutions. The VISTA Strong Communities cohort focuses on housing and economic development for low- and moderate-income DC residents, with an end goal of fostering just and equitable communities.

Are you a CNHED member or a local nonprofit looking to increase your capacity by hosting a VISTA Member? Apply to become a VISTA Strong Communities Host Site!

"I will be studying law at NYU...I believe the skills and interests I developed as a VISTA at CNHED will serve me well as a student. "

Cameron Hub, TOPA Research VISTA 2021 - 2022

VISTA members serve full-time, for a full year, on a specific project within one sponsoring organization. They earn a modest stipend that places them at the economic level of the people they serve, and at the end of their year they earn either a cash stipend or a Segal Education Award. Using their passion, commitment, and simple hard work, they create or expand programs that serve low-income individuals and communities.

Generally, VISTA members do not provide direct service – that is, they do not tutor children or weed community gardens. Instead, they design the tutoring or community garden program– completing projects that build the capacity of the organization they serve. VISTA members may develop volunteer programs, improve services based on best-practice research, or find funding to allow the organization to expand. Through their service, VISTA members gain hands-on experience and invaluable skills for future careers.

With VISTA Strong Communities, CNHED is committed to developing a strong cohort of VISTA members that will have wide-ranging impact. The VISTA members will attend regular group professional development events and spend time together, allowing the sharing of knowledge across organizations and the possibility of collaboration between projects.

VISTA members must be over the age of eighteen (18) and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Some sponsoring organizations require special skills or degrees, but others have no restrictions. Successful VISTA members are self-motivated, passionate, and committed to a year of service.

The VISTA experience is a full-year commitment. Some organizations may allow a VISTA member to work a part-time job or go to school while others may not. Before you commit to a program, be sure you’re okay with the time-frame and work hours that they will require.

All applications must be completed through the MyAmeriCorps portal in order to be considered. Read through the position descriptions first, then apply to the organizations that best fit your interests.

VISTA members receive a wide variety of benefits depending on their situation. All VISTA members receive:
  • Living stipend of $24,053 per year, distributed biweekly
  • Healthcare allowance and eligibility for Medicaid
  • Child care
  • A relocation and settling-in allowance (if relocating more than fifty miles)
  • Loan forbearance for the duration of the program
  • Cash stipend or education award Access to the AmeriCorps Alumni community
In addition, VISTA members who participate in VISTA Strong Communities will receive:
  • A housing allowance of $1,000 per month in rental assistance or in-kind housing
  • Monthly professional development, training, and networking events
Some organizations offer additional benefits, such as:
  • Transportation stipend
  • In-kind parking near the organization
  • Professional certification
  • Gym access
  • Rewards

At the end of the service year, VISTA members may choose either a $1,800 cash award or a $6,095 Segal Education Award. The education award may be used only for student loans or continuing education expenses, and some educational institutions match the education award to effectively double the amount. In addition, VISTA members who complete a year of service are eligible for Federal Non-Competitive Eligibility status.

The benefits of national service extend far beyond the year spent serving. The skills and connections gained during your year of service will make you more competitive when applying to jobs or schools. They will strengthen your bond with your VISTA community and the DC area. Many participants say their year doing VISTA changed their lives. What will VISTA do for you?

Meet our Current VISTA Cohort

CNHED is proud to welcome these amazing VISTA members to the sixth VISTA Strong Communities Cohort. We’re impressed by the skills and passion they all bring to their respective positions, and we look forward to their growth and achievements!

Edward Socker

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Eloisa Pleters-Escobar

Peer Leader VISTA at Community Solutions and JJKC
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Kadasha Hershey

System Change VISTA at NACEDA
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Nykos V. Padula

Communications Coordinator VISTA at Capital Clubhouse, Inc.
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Shayna Orensztein

Grounding Values VISTA at NACEDA
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Sojung Kim

Advancing Communities VISTA at CNHED
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Solomon Broadnax

Research VISTA at Walker's Legacy
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Yasmeen Herb

Community Assessment VISTA at Mi Casa, Inc.
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Upcoming VISTA Positions

2023-2024 Cohort applications are now closed.

Interested in becoming a VISTA?

AmeriCorps VISTA is an amazing experience, but it is also a year-long commitment. Make sure VISTA is the right thing for you.

Is VISTA for me?

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!

June 7, 2023

VISTA Spotlight: Josh Bloom

Josh Bloom is currently serving with the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) as their Systems Change VISTA. His service is coming to an end this July, and NACEDA reached out to us with some praise for him that we would like to share.

VISTA Strong Communities Program
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May 9, 2023

VISTA Spotlight: Sierra Meyer

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Sierra Meyer works with Capital Clubhouse Inc., a nonprofit organization that offers people whose lives have been disrupted by mental illness the opportunity to demonstrate that they can and do lead productive, happy lives.

VISTA Strong Communities Program
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December 30, 2022

CNHED 2022 Impact Report

The Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development (CNHED) is excited to share our 2022 Annual Report, which outlines not only our accomplishments throughout the year but also forecasts our future work in 2023.

Advocacy Capacity Building/Training CNHED Updates Community Engagement DC Community Anchor Partnership DC Landlord Partnership ELEVATE Events Housing Impact/Case Study Public Policy Small Business VISTA Strong Communities Program Workforce Development
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July 14, 2022

VISTA Spotlight: Desmond Stuart

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Desmond Stuart works with the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED), a nonprofit organization that advances equitable community economic development solutions in the District of Columbia.

VISTA Strong Communities Program
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July 11, 2022

VISTA Spotlight: Victoria Perez

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Victoria Perez works with MiCasa, Inc., a nonprofit affordable housing developer committed to providing quality affordable housing to low and moderate households in the Washington DC area.

VISTA Strong Communities Program
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July 8, 2022

VISTA Spotlight: Maggie Kentilitisca

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Maggie Kentilitisca works with the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations NACEDA, an organization that works to develop a stronger, and more unified community development field.

VISTA Strong Communities Program
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