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The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is the federal agency created to connect all Americans with an opportunity to serve their communities and country. CNCS does this in partnership with state service commissions, like Serve Colorado. AmeriCorps provides thousands of Americans of all ages and backgrounds with intensive full- and part-time opportunities to serve their communities and help organizations meet local needs.
AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs, made up of three primary programs that each take a different approach to improving lives and fostering civic engagement. Members commit their time to address critical community needs like increasing academic achievement, mentoring youth, fighting poverty, sustaining national parks, preparing for disasters, and more. AmeriCorps offers a variety of service opportunities, from the classroom to the outdoors, and everything in between. Last year, AmeriCorps grants brought nearly $17,000,000 in federal funding to Colorado.
AmeriCorps pairs participants with nonprofits, public agencies, and faith-based and community organizations to help them tackle social challenges in Colorado. AmeriCorps participants (called members) dedicate a year of their lives to service for a small living allowance and an educational award upon successful completion of their service. Over their year of service, AmeriCorps members gain valuable job skills, professional development, and personal growth.
AmeriCorps members serve on the front lines of education, the environment, public safety, emergency management, and other human needs, using the tremendous power of citizens as change agents in their communities. Since 1994, more than 35,000 Colorado residents have served approximately 34 million hours and have earned education awards totaling $87,000,000.
AmeriCorps consists of three different branches of service. Click on each name below to learn more:
AmeriCorps State & National is broken into two categories:
AmeriCorps State & National programs support a variety of local service programs that engage hundreds of Coloradans in intensive service each year. Serve Colorado and CNCS provide member positions and program operating cost grants to a network of local organizations and agencies committed to using national service to address critical community needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.
Serve Colorado, Colorado's state service commission, provides AmeriCorps State funding to organizations throughout the state in order to promote national service and volunteerism as sustainable solutions to Colorado's growing and diverse needs. Each of these organizations and agencies, in turn, uses their AmeriCorps funding to recruit, place, and supervise AmeriCorps members.
Serve Colorado administers 11 AmeriCorps State programs with nearly 800 members at over 150 service sites statewide addressing various community challenges. Click here to learn more about our AmeriCorps programs.
In 2018, there were more than 700 AmeriCorps National members serving at 135 sites in Colorado. Serve Colorado consults with these organizations to ensure meaningful service in Colorado.
AmeriCorps NCCC strengthens communities and develops leaders through a team-based residential program for 18-24 year-olds. In partnership with nonprofits, local municipalities, state governments, federal government, national and state parks, Indian tribes, and schools, members complete service projects throughout the region they are assigned.
Loosely based on the depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps, AmeriCorps NCCC is built on the belief that civic responsibility is an inherent duty of all citizens and that national service programs work effectively with local communities to address pressing needs.
The Southwest Campus, housed in Denver, serves an eight state region which includes Colorado. Last year, more than 500 members served across Colorado. Visit NCCC Southwest Region's Facebook page to learn more about their efforts.
Click here to learn more about AmeriCorps NCCC.
AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) members bring passion and perseverance where the need is greatest: to organizations that help bring individuals and communities out of poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA members serve as a catalyst for change, living, and working alongside community members to meet our nation's most pressing challenges and advance local solutions.
VISTA members makes a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. Last year, 225 AmeriCorps VISTA members were placed in Colorado at 110 locations. Click here to learn more about AmeriCorps VISTA.
CNCS also oversees programs like Senior Corps, which taps the skills, talents, and experience of Americans age 55 and over to meet a wide range of community challenges. Last year, more than 4,700 Colorado seniors answered this call through Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions, and RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) volunteers. Click here to learn more about CNCS.
Colorado is uniquely situated in having the regional NCCC Campus, State Commission, and Corporation State Office all headquartered in the metro-Denver area.
This geographical proximity has fostered a strong spirit of collaboration (or COllaboration), which has led to unprecedented cross-stream communication, outreach, and program development.
Because of this strong cross-stream partnership, Colorado is able to strategically leverage its federal AmeriCorps funding to target underserved geographic areas of the state and address our most pressing issues.
Staff from all three types of AmeriCorps service attend annual strategic planning meetings and support program-specific events!