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What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps is a national service program that is similar to the Peace Corps. Citizens agree to serve a term of service and, after successfully completing service, they receive an educational award. There are AmeriCorps programs across the country meeting all kinds of community needs, ranging from tutoring children to refurbishing houses for the needy to doing environmental work. Besides “Getting Things Done” (the AmeriCorps motto), Members also try to encourage citizens to give something back in their own community.
Who are Guiding Ohio Online AmeriCorps Members?
Guiding Ohio Online Members serve through the AmeriCorps*State program. These Members have committed to a term of service. Full-time Members commit to 1700 hours to be worked over an 11 month period and part-time Members commit to 900 hours over the same time period. In return for their service they will receive an education award and a small living allowance.
What are the qualifications to join Guiding Ohio Online?
Candidates must be 18 or over, U.S. citizens, have a valid driver’s license, and able to pass a background check. Additionally, for this program candidates must be able to use and understand a PC desktop and/or laptop computer, including a mouse, printers, scanners and other peripherals. In addition, they must have a working knowledge of Microsoft Office products, common communication technologies such as email and social media, and internet browsers. There are a variety of people who can be successful in our program, so if you have questions about a potential Member, just ask!
When does the Member’s term of service start and end?
The term of service for Guiding Ohio Online is 11 months. It starts in the fall and end in the summer of the next year.
Do AmeriCorps Members get paid?
Not technically. AmeriCorps Members receive a living allowance intended to help sustain them while they are committed to community service. This monthly stipend is not considered a wage because Members are not considered employees.
What other benefits do AmeriCorps Members receive?
In addition to the living stipend, full-time members receive health insurance, child care paid direct to their care provider, an education award on successful completion of the program, and forbearance on federal student loans. Part-time members receive a living stipend, an education award on successful completion of the program, and forbearance on federal student loans.
How is an AmeriCorps Member different than a volunteer or employee?
AmeriCorps Members are different than volunteers or employees because the expectation for their work is different. Their mission is to improve digital literacy in rural Ohio, and they are prohibited from taking on duties outside that scope or displacing staff in any way.
Will I be trained?
Absolutely! All AmeriCorps Members will receive a three day orientation at the State Library of Ohio. In addition, there will be continuing education through in-person meetings and webinars.
I know someone else who I think would make a great AmeriCorps Member. How can he or she sign up?
Unlike the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps Members apply to a specific program, meaning that applications will go directly to the Guiding Ohio Online program and Members will not be considered for other AmeriCorps programs. An application form for Members will be made available soon. For more information, have potential Members contact project coordinators Mandy Knapp (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Evan Struble (email@example.com).
Are there activities that Guiding Ohio Online Members are prohibited from undertaking?
Yes. Guiding Ohio Online Members are governed by the Hatch Act, which means they cannot take part in political or faith-based activities when perceived as an on-duty Member. For more information, please contact project coordinators Mandy Knapp (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Evan Struble (email@example.com).
Can a Member serve more than one term?
Yes! Members are encouraged to spend more than one term in our program, provided that their work has been satisfactory. While members can serve up to four terms, it’s important to note that Members can only earn two education awards. If you’re interested in retaining your Member for another year, let the project coordinator know.
How long can I be a member?
AmeriCorps programs are granted for three years at a time. State Library of Ohio is currently entering its second year of the program.