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AmeriCorps FAQ

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What is the AmeriCorps Promise Fellow program?

AmeriCorps Promise Fellows assist youth in reaching their full potential and set them on a trajectory for high school graduation and lifelong success. Promise Fellows serve in various schools and community organizations across the state of Minnesota to provide the right support to the right youth at the right time. These AmeriCorps members identify and work directly with students in 6th through 12th grade to provide powerful one-on-one mentorship to re-engage students with school and their community.

What do Minnesota Alliance With Youth AmeriCorps GROUNDWORK FELLOWs do?

Alliance AmeriCorps Groundwork Fellows serve at schools, nonprofits, and community based organizations across Minnesota. AmeriCorps Groundwork Fellows support and amplify the capacity of organizations to be effective and powerful solutions in addressing poverty and educational inequities. The service of Groundwork Fellows allows partner organizations to support more youth to graduate and works to close the opportunity and achievement gaps in Minnesota. Examples of past Alliance Groundwork Fellows projects include developing a strategic organizational brand, establishing restorative services within a school district, fundraising and event planning, grant writing, etc.

What is AmeriCorps and how does this relate to the Alliance’s program?

AmeriCorps is a national network of hundreds of programs across the state. Minnesota Alliance With Youth coordinates two different AmeriCorps programs: Promise Fellows and Groundwork Fellows. Promise Fellows provide direct service to students, while Groundwork Fellows focus on capacity-building efforts. Minnesota Alliance With Youth’s AmeriCorps members are eligible for service benefits including a living allowance, Education Award, health insurance, childcare assistance, and federal student loan forbearance.

Who is eligible to apply?

You must be a U.S. citizen, national, or legal permanent resident alien of the United States, over 18 years old, and have a high school diploma or GED to be an AmeriCorps member. You will be asked to provide proof of eligibility during onboarding.

When would I serve, and for how long?

AmeriCorps members serve in a full-time capacity (35 hours per week) (Part time positions for 30 and 20 hours per week are also available). Terms begin in the fall and run through the end of the school year.

Can I choose my host site?

Yes! AmeriCorps members apply for specific host sites across the state of Minnesota. Each host site provides a description of their site, what students they serve, and their specific goals for the memers at their location.

What kind of training and support will I receive?

In addition to training at their specific site, AmeriCorps members will meet with a cohort of other service members once a month for trainings held by the Alliance. These trainings range in topics from intervention strategies, data tracking/analysis assistance, education equity, service member self-care, and general youth development practices.

Will I get paid?

AmeriCorps members receive a living allowance every two weeks. AmeriCorps members who successfully complete a term of service are also eligible to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. Additionally, AmeriCorps members are eligible for student loan forbearance, health insurance, and childcare assistance to help offset living expenses.

What is the Segal Education Award and how can I use it?

The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is a post-service benefit for participants who successfully complete their full service term. It may be used to pay educational costs at eligible post-secondary educational institutions, as well as to repay qualified student loans. The Segal Award is subject to income tax. Learn more here.

What is student loan forbearance?

AmeriCorps members are eligible to postpone payments on qualified federal student loans during their term of service (called a forbearance). Upon successful completion of service, members are also eligible to have all or a portion of the interest that accrued during their term paid off. Learn more about forbearance.

What are “qualified” student loans?

A “qualified” student loan is any federally backed student loan in the AmeriCorps member’s name. If you do not know if your loans are qualified, ask your lenders. There should also be a citation on the loan papers, referring to Title IV of the Higher Education Act or Title VIII of the Public Health Services Act.

Will I receive health care benefits?

Full time AmeriCorps members will be given the opportunity to enroll in a health insurance plan through the Alliance. AmeriCorps members who already have insurance and do not wish to enroll will need to provide proof of active health insurance during the onboarding process.

Does AmeriCorps provide child care benefits?

To qualify for the child care benefit, the AmeriCorps member must be enrolled in a full-time position and meet the following requirements:

  • The State and National member’s household income must not exceed 75% of the state’s median income for a family of the same size; this limit is different for each state and may change annually. The total household income is used to determine your income eligibility excluding your AmeriCorps State & National living allowance.
  • The member must not currently receive a child care subsidy from another source at the time of acceptance into the program (including a parent or guardian) which would continue to be provided while the member serves in the program.
  • The member must be the parent or legal guardian of a child under the age 13.
  • The child must reside with the member. The member must certify that he or she needs child care in order to participate in the AmeriCorps State and National program.

For full information on the AmeriCorps childcare benefit, click here.

Will I qualify for public service benefits (food stamps, energy assistance, etc)?

While many service members may apply for and receive public benefits, AmeriCorps cannot guarantee eligibility. Use this Bridge to Benefits tool created by Children’s Defense Fund to determine what public benefits you may be eligible for.

Can I hold another job during my service?

Yes! AmeriCorps members may hold part time outside employment while serving. Many AmeriCorps members hold part time jobs that do not conflict with their service.