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.

"The AmeriCorps VISTA Program aligned with my personal and professional goals of mobilizing underserved communities...it was a perfect fit from the start."

Samara Bharath, VISTA Leader 2020 - 2021

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 $20,584 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 VISTA Cohort

CNHED is proud to welcome these amazing VISTA members to the fourth 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 acheivements!

Dez Stuart

VISTA Leader at CNHED
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Alaina Holloway-Carpenter

Capacity and Engagement VISTA at District Bridges
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Cameron Hub

Research and Development VISTA at CNHED
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Daniella Ukpabi

Stewardship & Engagement VISTA at WACIF
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Maggie Kentilitisca

Thriving Networks VISTA at NACEDA
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Nakia Sims

Economic Development Coodrdinator VISTA at Can I Live
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Quran Howard

Community Engagement Advisor VISTA at DCCU
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Renée Cordio

Employment and Education Coordinator at Capital Clubhouse Inc.
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Robert Lee

Resident Services VISTA at Wesley Housing
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Victoria Perez

Community Impact Specialist VISTA at Mi Casa
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Upcoming VISTA Positions

2021-2022 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?
  • VISTA Leader CNHED

    The VISTA Leader will lead and strengthen CNHED’s VISTA Strong Communities program; working to evaluate and improve current infrastructure, materials, and relationships with key stakeholders in order to build the capacity of the program and ensure the success of the roll-out to and implementation with CNHED members wishing to host a VISTA member.

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 3, 2021

Farewell to our 2020 VISTA Cohort

As CNHED wraps up our 3rd program year with AmeriCorps VISTA,  we say farewell to our current cohort of VISTA volunteers who have dedicated their time and energy to serve at our member organizations, empowering communities in the District. We thank you for your service and wish you all success in your next endeavor!

VISTA Strong Communities Program
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April 2, 2021

Now Accepting Applications for VISTA Members

CNHED is now accepting applications from young professionals interested in participating on our upcoming 2021-2022 VISTA cohort.

Capacity Building/Training VISTA Strong Communities Program
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March 16, 2021

VISTA Spotlight: Selena Duvivier

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Selena works with the Resident Services Team at the National Housing Trust, a nonprofit, affordable housing developer.

VISTA Strong Communities Program
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January 5, 2021

CNHED 2020 Annual Report

The Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development (CNHED) is excited to share our 2020 Annual Report that outlines not only our accomplishments throughout the year, but also forecasts our future work in 2021.

Advocacy CNHED Updates DC Community Anchor Partnership DC Landlord Partnership Events Housing Impact/Case Study Public Policy Small Business VISTA Strong Communities Program Workforce Development
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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
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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
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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!

Become a Member

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