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Career Opportunity Details

AmeriCorps VISTA Positions Available
Location: Varies
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. generally

What is AmeriCorps VISTA?

The AmeriCorps VISTA program is a national service program in which individuals commit to a full year of full-time service to help fight poverty. In return for their service, members are provided with orientation and training, a living stipend of about $970 per month, childcare benefits, and a basic healthcare plan. Upon completion of their one-year term, VISTA members have the option of receiving a small stipend or an education award of $5,645.

There are a variety of other benefit potentials including special consideration for federal employment. While these benefits are useful, the real benefit of the VISTA program is the real-world experience making a difference in the community.

VISTAs in Prairie State Legal Services

Prairie State Legal Services is a non-profit organization providing civil legal aid services at no charge to low-income persons in northern and central Illinois. Prairie State has offices in Bloomington, Joliet, Kankakee, McHenry, Ottawa, Peoria, Rock Island, Rockford, St. Charles, Waukegan, and Wheaton, Illinois. Some of our VISTA positions are specific to certain offices; and for other projects, we have more flexibility where to place the VISTA.

VISTAs come from a variety of experiences including recent college graduates, lawyers, retired professionals, and persons re-entering the workforce. While the positions have specific goals and objectives, VISTAs bring their unique talents and creativity to the position. It is the energy, creativity, and talents of our VISTAs and great teamwork that have made for very successful programs.

Development and Communications Coordinator

This VISTA will help our development team in its effort to raise funds and gain community support for civil legal aid services. The VISTA will assist in database work to make sure our records are up to date on donors, assist in event planning, and help with communications. College education required. Great attention to detail.

Outreach VISTAS: Location Rockford

This VISTA position is focused on engaging in extensive outreach in our communities to help low-income persons access legal services and learn about their legal rights. The VISTA will coordinate efforts to gather community input on the most important legal needs and provide feedback to staff. VISTAs will help schedule programs for local residents to learn about the laws affecting housing, debt issues, and overcoming legal barriers to jobs. This position requires extensive work within low-income neighborhoods. High school degree or GED required. A valid driver’s license is required and/or ready means to travel to various neighborhoods within Rockford.

VISTAs must have good organizational and communication skills, be competent with computers and online tools, comfortable meeting new people and speaking in front of small groups, and a commitment to serving the community.

Advocacy Project for Persons with Disabilities

This VISTA will continue an exciting project in which volunteers are trained to assist persons with disabilities in their applications for disability benefits. The volunteers help collect medical evidence to document the disabilities of the clients and their success has helped a number of clients obtain benefits years sooner than they would have on their own. The VISTA helps evaluate cases, recruit volunteers, coordinate assigning cases to volunteers, and providing support to the volunteers. We have had attorneys and non-attorneys in this position over the past few years. This position is likely to be located in St. Charles.

Veterans Outreach and Services Coordinator

This VISTA will build on the work started by previous VISTAs and help Prairie State engage in outreach to members of the armed forces - both in active duty and veterans. The outreach will inform low-income veterans of legal services available and help expedite those services. A valid driver’s license is required as well as the ability to travel within the Prairie State larger service area. Mileage reimbursement is provided, but you must have access to a reliable vehicle.

VISTAs must have good organizational and communication skills, be competent with computers and online tools, comfortable meeting new people and speaking in front of small groups, and a commitment to serving the veterans.

APPLY FOR THESE OPPORTUNITIES

Register for VISTA at:
https://my.AmeriCorps.gov/mp/recruit/registration.do

Apply for these positions at:
https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=58754

(Positions are listed under Prairie State Legal Services Community Impact Project. Look for positions under State of Illinois and housing for the topic area.)

If you have questions, contact Gail Walsh at gwalsh@pslegal.org.

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