VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a non-profit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, strengthen community groups, and much more. With passion, commitment, and hard work, they create or expand programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. VISTA members generally do not provide direct services, (such as tutoring children), but instead focus their efforts on building the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic develop, and otherwise assist low-income communities. VISTAs develop programs to meet a need, write grants, and recruit and train volunteers.
As a VISTA you can:
VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) was an idea originally created by President John F. Kennedy and first implemented by President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. It was envisioned as a domestic complement to the Peace Corps, a way to fight poverty in America with the help of Americans from all walks of life who would commit to one year of full-time service. The first VISTAs served in 1965, and this year, 2015, marks the 50th anniversary of the VISTA program. VISTA became a part of Americorps when the latter was created in 1993. 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the VISTA program.