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Is Americorps Hard To Get Into?

LessTraveledByLessTraveledBy Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
edited February 2010 in Parent Cafe
I'm considering Americorps as a gap year option, so if anyone has any insight into this that would be wonderful.

Post edited by LessTraveledBy on

Replies to: Is Americorps Hard To Get Into?

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,972 Senior Member
    You might want to send a PM to Northstarmom. Her son was an Americorps volunteer during a gap year. It was a wonderful experience for him by all reports.
  • LessTraveledByLessTraveledBy Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    Okay, thanks.
  • HarrietMWelschHarrietMWelsch Registered User Posts: 2,149 Senior Member
    How hard it is to become an Americorps volunteer partially depends on which overall program (State/National, VISTA, or NCCC) you're interested in, and what you'd want to do within that program. Some VISTA programs are extremely competitive, but if you're talking about a gap year between h.s. and college, rather than between college and grad school, then VISTA probably isn't an option for you anyway.

    Have you explored their website (Americorps dot gov)? There's a lot of good, basic information there.
  • GretaGreta Registered User Posts: 703 Member
    I have the impression, but don't have references at hand to back it up, that the post-college program(s) are much more competitive now than they once were, due mostly to the economy. (More unemployed graduating undergrads looking for something to get them through, hoping the job market is better at the end of their Americorps committment, in other words.)
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    When S did an Americorps gap year a year after graduating from h.s. in 2006, one in 4 applicants was accepted. From what I heard, the majority of those rejected were rejected because they had no prior community service experience or leadership experience and may have had legal problems and not have had records of even high school achievement. (I think Americorps will accept high school drop-outs, but would prefer people who have college degrees, high school diplomas, GED).

    Despite being young, S had a long history of community service including winning our county's youth volunteer of the year award. He applied to be the Americorps volunteer at a program that he had been volunteering with since he was a high school freshman.

    I've heard what Greta has heard: The bad economy is attracting more college grads to Americorps so it's harder to get accepted than it was when S applied. However, if you're interested, definitely apply.

    S had an excellent experience. Americorps gives excellent training. He was sent out of state to be trained in grant writing, team building, time management and other things. Americorps also lets you run with your ideas. He was the head of the youth programs for a 5-county area and also helped with disaster management.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    Yes, you also need a back-up option if you're applying to Americorps.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    This doesn't mean don't apply, but it does mean, have a back-up plan.

    "As the economy collapsed last fall, so did the job prospects of thousands of college seniors, especially those who had set their sights on Wall Street.

    But after the initial panic, some students said they felt an odd relief.

    Instead of going straight into a 100-hour-a-week job at an investment bank, they are pursuing less lucrative but potentially more satisfying opportunities in public service, enrolling in record numbers in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and Teach for America. Other students seeking refuge from the recession are flocking to graduate schools, increasing competition for admission.

    At elite universities such as Harvard, where about half the graduating class would enter finance and consulting in years past, many students say they feel liberated to consider alternative career paths, crediting not only the tanking economy but also President Obama's call for public service.

    Fourteen percent of this year's senior class at Harvard applied to Teach for America, a nonprofit organization that sends graduates to work in low-income urban and rural public schools. The proportion was 9 percent last year...."

    Economic collapse puts graduates on unforeseen paths - The Boston Globe

    "The troubled economy and President Barack Obama's call to service are helping create a surge of interest in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and other service opportunities. Meanwhile, the U.S. House last week approved the largest expansion of government-sponsored service programs in years.....

    AmeriCorps saw a tripling in the number of applications in the first two months of the year, said Sandy Scott, spokesman for the Corporation for National Community Service, the federal agency that oversees AmeriCorps and other programs. Some 9,000 people applied in February, compared with 3,000 applicants in February of last year...."
  • choctawindianchoctawindian Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    This must explain why I'm getting rejected right and left even though I have two priests as references and actually do have prior community service experience. And I'm applying for things in the bad areas of Brooklyn, the Bronx, and the Lower East Side.

    Although they also probably want younger applicants, anyway. When they say post college graduate they must really mean no older than 26. Other than the current economic situation, the Bronx should have a bad enough reputation that it shouldn't be that competitive. Back in 2003 when I was applying like crazy to teach in the areas of the city that they call "hard to staff" - again, the Bronx and the bad parts of Brooklyn - it only took me 5 applications to get invited to come audition. Now it seems this is not happening. Everyone is so desperate they'll even take the Bronx...?!
This discussion has been closed.