NH Delegation Announces More than $1.8 Million in AmeriCorps Vista Funding for NH Programs Serving Vulnerable Communities

August 13, 2021

  

(Manchester, NH) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) announced that New Hampshire has received $1,832,100 in funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs. These funds were awarded through CNCS’ Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program, which is a national service program designed to alleviate poverty in America. AmeriCorps VISTA members serve full-time for one year at non-profit organizations, schools or local government agencies to help underserved communities across the nation. The AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate program offers individuals the opportunity to become engaged in a community through an existing AmeriCorps VISTA project for 8, 9, or 10 weeks during the summer.

The funding from AmeriCorps VISTA will support 120 AmeriCorps members in New Hampshire serving through FIRST, New Hampshire Catholic Charities and the Campus Compact for NH VISTA.  

“As New Hampshire continues to recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic, the work AmeriCorps service members perform each day in our communities has never been more important,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m pleased to announce this federal funding is coming to our state to support vulnerable Granite Staters through frontline organizations like New Hampshire Catholic Charities and FIRST. I’ll continue to work in the Senate to secure strong federal funding for national service programs that help underserved communities.”

“AmeriCorps volunteers provide indispensable support to the Granite State communities that they serve,” said Senator Hassan. “I am glad to announce three new AmeriCorps awards to New Hampshire organizations that help make our state a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Our whole state thrives when we give the most vulnerable Granite Staters the tools to succeed, and I’m grateful to AmeriCorps for helping build the next generation of leaders in our communities.” 

 
“As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 public health crisis, the hard work of AmeriCorps volunteers provides crucial support to our communities,” said Representative Kuster. “The federal funding we are announcing today will support vulnerable Granite Staters and help underserved communities across NH to thrive by bolstering the important work if organizations on the frontlines. I’ll continue working to secure funding for federal service programs like AmeriCorps.”   
 
“National service programs like AmeriCorps play an essential role helping the most vulnerable in our communities by providing critical services to those in need,” said Representative Pappas. “I’m pleased New Hampshire organizations are receiving these funds so they can continue their work to improve the lives of people across our state.” 

Below is a list of the New Hampshire organizations that will receive AmeriCorps VISTA members and their project statements: 

FIRST  

The mission of FIRST® is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. The goals of this project are to 1) Engage more students by developing a broad-based awareness among youth that showcases how exciting and enjoyable being a member of a FIRST team can be; 2) Prevent academic declines in science and technology by innovatively engaging younger students; 3) Keep students involved throughout their academic careers through an effective progression of learning. The FIRST VISTA Program brings STEM access to more students. AmeriCorps members will help to create and test sustainable solutions to close the digital divide to engage students across the United States.  

New Hampshire Catholic Charities, Inc.  

Catholic Charities New Hampshire will work as an AmeriCorps intermediary agency in New Hampshire providing oversight, management, and supervision for AmeriCorps VISTA Members. As an intermediary agency, Catholic Charities NH will serve numerous communities, meeting the needs of the low-income population at a statewide level. AmeriCorps members will support the needs of local organizations including Our Place, St. Charles Children’s Home, New Hampshire Food Bank, Liberty House, and more.  

Campus Compact for NH VISTA  

Campus Compact for New Hampshire's VISTA project is designed to address both Healthy Futures and Education priorities. AmeriCorps members will serve in positions that address food security or college access and success for low income individuals. The VISTA project will seek to recruit or manage 1,500 volunteers that will increase the effectiveness of 225 community organizations. AmeriCorps members will contribute to the goals of the project by performing activities such as expanding and strengthening partnerships/networks; outreach, and program development/delivery focused on college access and success or food insecurity. 

AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 Americans every year in intensive service at places across the country, including nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups. The program is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. For more information, visit here. 

Senator Shaheen is a strong supporter of national service programs. In May 2020, Shaheen introduced the Pandemic Response and Opportunity Through National Service Act, legislation that would fund 750,000 national service positions over a three-year response and recovery period, in part to meet the projected need for as many as 300,000 public health workers. Shaheen has also cosponsored legislation that would provide tax relief for AmeriCorps members who earn federal Segal Education Awards. Earlier this year, the New Hampshire delegation announced $149,811 in AmeriCorps funding to expand community services for senior citizen volunteers. This comes in addition to $4.7 million in AmeriCorps funding for New Hampshire programs and an $360K in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in July 2020. The delegation-backed American Rescue Plan that included $1 billion in funding for AmeriCorps.