AmeriCorps Employee Reviews

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Not for me
Community Parks Team Member (Former Employee) –  New York, NYJanuary 17, 2017
I felt cheated in a way because I only had the chance to get one interview for one worksite which was Partnerships for Parks. Partnerships for Parks is a great organization but only for those who really love parks or don't mind working in any environment. However, Partnerships for Parks was only my assigned work site. In my opinion, Americorps/NYC Civic Corps need a lot of changes. They need to better assess the worksites that they assign their participants to. The government should also raise the stipend that is given to individuals. It is not possible to live in NYC off the little bit of money that they give people.

Overall, I would say it is still good to try if you truly wish to volunteer. Just make sure you are comfortable with the site that you are assigned to.
Pros
Free Metro Card
Cons
Management
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The pay and money were great, but the job was not as advertised
Mathematics Research Assistant (Former Employee) –  Provo, UTJanuary 6, 2017
The salary and the benefits included were spectacular, well above what I would expect from an equivalent job elsewhere. This being said, the expectations were higher than advertised. When I was first hired, I was assured that this job would not interfere with my school schedule. I was fine as long as I was finishing the expected deliverables. After working for about a month, many various mandatory meetings and travel trips kept coming up, the worst of these being in the middle of finals week.
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Not for me
Math Tutor (Current Employee) –  Oil City, PADecember 16, 2016
I enjoy serving others and they offer a lot of helpful benefits, but its not enjoyable for me at this point in my life.
It's nerve wracking worrying about whether I'll meet my hour requirements and I'm not fit to be a teacher. I'm glad I tried it out and gained experience to realize I wouldn't want to do another job like it.
AmeriCorps isn't bad though, it's simply bad timing for me in my life.
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Best Experience of My Life
Corps Member (Former Employee) –  McClellan, CA 95652January 15, 2017
AmeriCorps NCCC- FEMA Corps was the best experience! I rated compensation/benefits low because of the small living stipend. However, this program isn't about getting paid. It's about national service and helping those in the community. Also, you do get an Education award for a little over $5,000 when you graduate the program. If you're in FEMA Corps it may be a little harder to balance your work and social life if deployed on a disaster. Sometimes you're working 12 hours shifts on a disaster and I do admit that it gets tough. However, the benefits and experience completely outweigh the toughness of long hours and sometimes little sleep. In ten months, I have lived in 4 different states, traveled in 14 others and met some of the most amazing people who are forever a part of my family. I've worked in many federal facilities, partnered with voluntary agencies and networked with many people. I've experienced Easter in New Orleans, LA, Memorial Day in Austin, TX, and Fourth of July in Dallas, TX. I've seen places that I never thought I could afford to see nor did I think I'd ever want to go to. If you love to travel for free ( they pay for you airfare to your campus, gas, housing, food) and helping people, consider being a part of the AmeriFam and proudly wear that A!
Pros
paid travel, food, housing, uniforms. CPR/First Aid/AED trained. FEMA trainings, networking, memories and a family for life
Cons
long hours
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America Reads Coordinator
America Reads Coordinator (Current Employee) –  West Chester, PANovember 21, 2016
This position (at West Chester University) is fulfilling and impactful in the community. As coordinator, I have gained experience in interviewing, mentoring, supervising, managing, training, and much more.
Pros
Trainings, Webinars
Cons
Low compensation
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Residential, team-based service program
FEMA Corps Member (Current Employee) –  Vicksburg, MSDecember 6, 2016
Being an AmeriCorps NCCC team member is interesting if nothing else. Every day is an adventure when you live, work, eat, and sleep with the same 9 or so people. Things can change in an instant with no warning and you generally have little to no say in that. You may depart for your project without even knowing where you're going to be sleeping that night. All that being said, it's a truly unique and rewarding experience. It's a fantastic way to build connections and looks great on a resume.
Pros
Health Coverage, Food, Lodging, Transportation
Cons
Long hours, Unpreditability, Rules
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Americorps, Service you will not forget
Administrative Aide and Support (Former Employee) –  East Saint Louis, ILJanuary 18, 2017
I had a blast working for AmeriCorps. I really liked by Supervisors, my Instructors, my secretaries, and my Principles. I was an Administrative assistant/ Teacher Assistant. Each day I was responsible for assisting with their daily task, with a big part being, assisting with classroom and child management. In liberal terms, meaning behavior, which was very helpful, concerning that about 80 percent of the staff was female. In adding, it brought its challenges. However, I had a team of parents, co-workers, friends, and colleagues, where we made it all happen, and we had fun doing so. The most memorable part about this opportunity was the time we assisted with the devastation after Hurricane Katrina. Alongside of my director and group of members of my AmeriCorps team, we headed en route to something more challenging.
Pros
Eduction Award
Cons
NOTHING
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stressful but a good experience
AmeriCorps Support Tutor (Former Employee) –  Forest Grove, ORJanuary 3, 2017
A great experience after graduation. The pay is low and in my experience its annoying when people assume you'll do anything for little pay or nothing. Lots of condescending questions. Great cultural experience. You get see parts of the country you might not otherwise get to witness. Plus they pay your loans. Depending where you live it may be impossible to find adequate housing
Pros
ability to travel the country, great intro to nonprofits and public service, loan forgiveness
Cons
low pay, long hours
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Amazing group of people out to change the world for the better
Youth Advocate (Former Employee) –  Portland, ORAugust 5, 2016
It was amazing to get great training from the start, to work with like minded professionals, to get to know your peers and extend help with the problem solving sessions.
The school I worked at was amazing and I think the hardest part was that I was so sad at the end of the contract that I had to go back and look for another job, the kids were amazing, the staff at the school were amazing.
Working in the college and career center helping homeless high schoolers look for employment, apply for colleges, and apply for job corps and the military was interesting, fun, challenging, and overall a fantastic experience.
Management was great, coworkers were great, the students of course were great.
The most enjoyable part of my job was getting an invitation to a college graduation a couple of years later and seeing how the hard work that the student pored into his life ended up with him being a huge success and being able to help support his family.
Pros
Students, staff, managers, coworkers, learning something every day
Cons
the living stipend was minimal
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Very Beneficail
Customer Service Representative (Former Employee) –  Bridgeport, CTApril 8, 2016
I was able to obtain compensation on my own terms with americorps help.


The people there including the supervisor, were very welcoming when I first started working there.


What was needed of me to be done came to no problem with the help of my co-workers during my first week.


Overall,

My experience working at Americorps was a good experience.
Pros
socialble
Cons
commissions money base
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Productive workplace with great people, however at times felt as if there was no down time
Corps Member (Former Employee) –  Sacramento, CASeptember 21, 2016
In AmeriCorps NCCC, you would go on month to two month long projects where you would work everyday except Friday-Sunday. But even on our days off we still had work to do for every project that we went on. our typical day of work would last roughly ten hours depending on weather, because of being a trail crew if it was raining terribly we would only work maybe eight hours or so .Management was fair at times however, when we would request new supplies or gear they would supply us with out of date or old stuff that needed to be replaced.
Pros
free food, traveled to great places, wonderful experience
Cons
pay was poor, living conditions at times were bad, miscommunication throughout the program from superiors to corps members
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AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordinator
Volunteer Coordinator (Former Employee) –  Raleigh, NCNovember 29, 2016
I loved my time serving in AmeriCorps. I got to work at an amazing nonprofit that really benefited the community it served. My site was the best part about the job- I loved my coworkers, our clients, and the mission and vision of the nonprofit. That being said, it was a nonprofit and was often hectic and understaffed, meaning I did more than just my job as a Volunteer Coordinator. However, I think that gave me better time management skills and helped me get even more job experience.
Pros
work site, education stipend, easy to make hours requirement
Cons
low stipend
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Rewarding, but Sub Poverty Compensation
State and National Program Member (Former Employee) –  Miami, FLSeptember 8, 2016
First off, AmeriCorps is an amazing, life-changing experience. There is no questioning this fact. Teaching kids to read, meeting people from all over the country, cleaning beaches and holding premie babies... it's wonderful.

You are going to be driving around... a lot. Drive to your main service location, drive to special event locations, drive to third party volunteer locations to supplement yours hours (school literacy hours throughout the school year are fewer than the hours you are required to fulfill in your service year), and the hosting institution is sure to take advantage of you at some time or another with an event of their own. I had to drive from North Miami to one of the Keys for a 12 hour day of basically hard labor for a non-AmeriCorps related art auction. At $188 every two weeks, my car was not in very good shape, so it cut off on me on the way back and nearly flew off a ramp. I still have panic attacks on highways to this day, and it's been over ten years.

AmeriCorps is not possible if you don't live rent free (ie with parents or at least a ton of roommates), don't already have the means to move to the new area, or have any fiscal obligations in general.

The moving allowance is typically less than half of what you would need to secure a place to live in. It's usually $500, but every rental place I've ever lived in requires first and last month's rent, in addition to a security deposit, in advance. A few programs do have dormitories, but not many. You are mostly expected to become roommates with one another. Not really a possibility if you have a spouse,
  more... unless they join the program too, or if you both already live in the service area.

You receive a stipend instead of a paycheck for a couple of practical reasons. If you divide up the hours in your service year with the total stipend, you would actually earn less than minimum wage. It also keeps you from actually being an employee of AmeriCorps, the NCoPS, and establishes you as a volunteer, which gives you fewer rights. You can't claim unemployment, you can't get overtime, you can't get insurance. You may be told a grand, philosophical reason as to why you are paid poverty wages... it's part of the spirit of sacrifice and volunteering, knowing the pains of the people you are serving... Feel free to buy into it if it makes you feel better. It's really just a funding thing. Paying people who help the poor well has never been something the federal government has been very good at, if social workers and teachers are any indication.

You don't pay into any health insurance policies, which is nice, right? It's technically accepted everywhere, but it is up to every doctor's office to decide whether or not they take it. If they've never seen it before, it may weird them out. The health insurance they give you really isn't health insurance, but it does work. It's very odd. It's a company that pays for the care you need, up to an extent (there is something in the way of copay, but I don't remember what it was or if copay was the word they actually used), but the doctor's office has to call them and set up payment. It's kind of like going to a doctor that'll let you put something on the company tab.

You actually qualify for food stamps if you get this job. I suggest you get them, even if you don't think you need them. You're going to need that stipend money for things that come up with your transportation, clothes you're sure to ruin, or materials you may need for your service.

The educational reward at the end is awesome. You just have to know how to use it. It doesn't work the way they claim it does. In theory, it's an amount of money available to you for the purpose of higher education. In practice, it's an amount of money they hold tightly that you can ask for, up to a certain awarded amount, that is extremely hard to use for anything besides tuition.

I desperately needed an Apple computer for design school, and I was told that I couldn't just buy a computer. I had to get a list of specific specs from the school, submit it to AmeriCorps, verify that they deemed it a necessary educational expense, and wait. The entire process would have taken over a whole semester - which defeated the entire purpose. I had to take out a line of credit, when I supposedly had an education voucher.

What you can do is get your school registrar or bursar to add your school expenses to your tuition bill, and then use the voucher to pay the registrar/bursar. The bursar then gives you the actual cash you need to buy your stuff, or puts the credit on your school card to use at the school supply store. Just keep your receipts to prove you only bought educational things you needed, in the event that your voucher redemption comes into question.

TLDR: Life changing and awesome, but you will be poorer than the people you serve during your service. Health benefits are weird. Voucher is tricky. Only do it if you are really young or high energy.
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Pros
Experiences, Loan Forbearance, Some Freebies (hat, shirt, etc)
Cons
Sub-Poverty Stipend, Education Voucher Red Tape, Hard to Use Health Benefit
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Getting Things Done For America!
Corps Member (Former Employee) –  Denver, CODecember 8, 2016
I enjoyed serving my country as well as traveling. The hours are long and the work is tough. It is a service job so the paycheck is pretty much nonexistent, but you will gain extensive professional experience and make lifelong friends and help some of the most poverished communities in our very own country.
Pros
Dedication to service
Cons
Long hours, back breaking work.
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Fun Experience
Literacy Tutor (Former Employee) –  Austin, MNJanuary 19, 2017
A typical day at work would be getting greeted at the door by many students, tutoring sessions on average about 15 minutes depending on where you are placed, and overall every day is fun and exciting because of the wonderful environment you work in.
I learned how to manage my time wisely and how to handle difficult situations.
The hardest part of the job for me was to put in enough hours because I at the time, I was a full time mom and student, getting volunteering hours was beyond difficult.
I enjoyed everyone I worked with, the good and bad, I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in the education of elementary students.
Pros
Great trainers, excellent support, and help
Cons
Short breaks
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Great Experience
Construction Crew Leader (Current Employee) –  Oakland, CADecember 5, 2016
As an Americorps, I had the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others the way I've never had before. I enjoyed meeting home owners, I loved working with volunteers, and I now have a knowledge of construction that I would never even have dreamed of.

The hardest part is finding a reason to get up in the morning when the weather is bad, your job is hard, and you aren't making very much money. You have to push yourself.

The most enjoyable part of the job is knowing that this matters to someone else - yes, I've taken a year to work, but most of all I get to watch the lives of deserving families get something they have worked towards for so long. So wonderful.
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Foster Children
Mentor/Assistant Instructor (Former Employee) –  Escondido, CAJanuary 20, 2017
I decided to work for this company because I wanted to give back being as through this company worked with foster children, However my experience with the Children and also teaching the children I loved. However the job itself was that the children we just a number and that is something that didn't sit well with me. I became emotionally invested which i knew I would. And my bosses didn't like that. However I still tried and put my best effort into the job. eventually I had to move on. However I am still grateful that I did pursue the job.
Pros
Wanted to work with foster children
Cons
Children should have been treated better.
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Well organized and supporting environment with a great vision and purpose.
Project Leader (Former Employee) –  Los Angeles, CADecember 19, 2016
City Year is an amazing organization that strives to increase graduation rates in high need schools. They provide personalized teaching, mentoring, and coaching to students who need the most help in their classroom studies.
Pros
Guaranteed hours
Cons
Long hours
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Excellent Opportunity
Support Specialist (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAFebruary 17, 2016
I had a great time in this position and treasure the experiences and the people I met along the way. I rated compensation/benefits lower because obviously the pay is minimal and health benefits nonexistent; however, it's an enriching experience that has a lot of nonmonetary benefits.
Pros
Amazing people you will meet who are dedicated to service.
Cons
You might be treated like an intern or less-than by agency staff.
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Urban Youth Fellowship
Tutor Corp V Service Member (Former Employee) –  Newark, NJSeptember 28, 2016
My year of service was an excellent experience. But it was also a learning experience. Being an AmeriCorps member takes the typical community service idea to another level. Serving a community outside of my own was pretty enlightening and rewarding. I was a tutor at a charter school for 11 months. It was probably the most thankless(on the behalf of the children), but rewarding job. My day typically started at 5:15 am, I had to be to work at 7am, I would return home by 6pm, if not later, and still had work to complete after hours. Despite the long days and other issues that arose, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I would recommend giving a year of service to everyone.
Pros
Impacting the lives of children
Cons
Long days
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Overall rating

4.4
Based on 1,317 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
4.1
Compensation/Benefits
3.4
Job Security/Advancement
3.5
Management
4.0
Culture
4.4