What is a VISTA?

AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) members in Montana are spending one year of their life to mobilize Montana communities to find long-term solutions to poverty. VISTAs are increasing the capacities of our communities to help make a better future for Montanans.

VISTAs will assist in carrying out the mission of the Montana Community VISTA Partnership to keep Montana children, communities and families strong and resilient, improve and protect the health, well-being and self-reliance of all Montanans and support the strengths of families and communities by promoting employment and providing the assistance necessary to help families and individuals meet basic needs and work their way out of poverty.

Montana Community VISTA Partnership has three primary focus areas it places VISTAs on projects for:

  • Health Futures - Access to healthcare and prevention programs. Nutrition, food security, and childhood hunger programs.
  • Education - school drop-out prevention and k-12 readiness programs.
  • Economic Opportunity - Providing services to create or strengthen opportunities for low-income individuals to develop workforce knowledge and skills that will meet the needs of employers and projects that focus on housing and addressing homeless

VISTAs do the following to help non-profit agencies enhance their prevention efforts:

  • Coalition Building: VISTAs create community partnerships to address prevention issues
  • Needs Assessment: VISTAs determine the status of prevention in the community
  • Group Facilitation: VISTAs coordinate the development of a community prevention plan
  • Resource Development: VISTAs develop and expand human and financial resources
  • Technical Assistance: VISTAs will assist the community partnership in developing a prevention training clearinghouse

These duties require a great deal of coordination and collaboration with state and local agencies and non-profit groups. Applicants should possess these qualities:

  • Excellent written, oral, and interpersonal skills
  • Experience in organizational relations and small group processes
  • Demonstrated initiative, motivation, and the ability to work independently of supervision.

Each VISTA receives...

  • A modest monthly subsistence ($1,000/month as of 07/09/2017).
  • Temporary forbearance or deferment of repayment of qualifying Federal student loans.
  • An educational award of $5,815 or a $1,800 end-of-service cash stipend at the end of the term of service.
  • Choice of supplemental health coverage (includes wellness checks, prescriptions, and emergency dental; no vision) or Healthcare Allowance up to $7,150 (can be used towards your annual deductible or coinsurance costs, co-payments for office visits, or prescriptions).
  • Relevant training and career development opportunities.
  • Round trip travel expenses including mileage and per diem to Montana from your home of record per the VISTA Relocating to Serve Fact Sheet.
  • Eligibility for term life insurance.
  • Ten days paid annual leave.
  • Ten days sick leave.
  • Non-competitive federal civil service preference (must meet all other terms and conditions under OPM regulations).
  • Through the University of Montana VISTA Program you may have the opportunity to earn graduate level credits either towards a Master's of Interdisciplinary Studies (M.I.S.) degree at the University of Montana, or for non-degree graduate credit.