Foster a culture of service to strengthen communities and solve local problems.
The Governor's Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism is a bipartisan commission made up of passionate commissioners who believe that volunteers are vital to creating strong, vibrant communities. Each commissioner is appointed by the Governor and together they assist EngageAR with determining community needs, setting policy and program priorities, ensuring national service funds are used effectively, supporting national days of service, and promoting national service and volunteering throughout their communities.
Arkansas Service Commission-EngageAR seeks to empower communities through service. In addition to managing the State AmeriCorps sub-grant program, the office works to build collaboration across federal and state agencies, community-based organizations, and national streams of service programs, improving lives and strengthening communities. The EngageAR office is housed in the Department of Education, Division of Higher Education as of July 2019.
AmeriCorps, also known as the domestic Peace Corps, engages more than 80,000 Americans of all ages in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. AmeriCorps members serve with local nonprofits and community agencies, where they have the opportunity to teach adults to read, make neighborhoods safer, teach children how to be healthier, as well as respond to and assist in natural disasters.
Since the program’s founding in 1994, more than 800,000 AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1 billion hours in service across America while tackling pressing problems and mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.
A Unique Opportunity
While national service is not generally viewed as employment, AmeriCorps programs offer skills training, continuing education, living stipends, and other benefits. These opportunities enable members to better serve local needs while gaining work experience. After their term of service, AmeriCorps members receive the Segal Education Award to help finance college or pay back student loans.
AmeriCorps in Arkansas
AmeriCorps members serve with local nonprofits and community agencies, where they have the opportunity to teach adults to read, make neighborhoods safer, teach children how to be healthier, as well as respond to natural disasters. In Arkansas, AmeriCorps members have been able to serve over 80,000 people. Most of these AmeriCorps members serve with projects like Arkansas GardenCorps and Arkansas Literacy Councils, as well as many others. AmeriCorps members train volunteers, tutor and mentor at-risk youth, build housing, clean up rivers and streams, help seniors live independently, provide emergency and long-term assistance to victims of natural disasters, and meet other community needs.
Learn more about AmeriCorps in Arkansas
Is there more than one type of AmeriCorps program?
Yes, there are three main branches of AmeriCorps: AmeriCorps*State, AmeriCorps*VISTA, and AmeriCorps*NCCC.
AmeriCorps State members serve in the programs sponsored by the Arkansas Service Commission.
AmeriCorps VISTA members have served economically challenged communities for more than 35 years. The program is dedicated to increasing the capability of people to improve the conditions of their own lives. Members of AmeriCorps VISTA serve full-time and live in the communities they serve, creating programs that can continue after they complete their service.
AmeriCorps NCCC is a 10 month, full-time residential service program for ages 18 to 24. Members help meet the nation’s critical needs in the areas of education, public safety, the environment, and other human needs. Members in this program travel throughout a specific region working with a variety of nonprofits and community agencies.
Learn more about Key Differences in AmeriCorps Programs
Which agencies oversee AmeriCorps?
All national service programs in the United States of America are overseen by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). CNCS works with governor-appointed state commissions, nonprofits, faith-based groups, schools, and other organizations to provide opportunities for Americans of all ages to serve their communities. EngageAR oversees AmeriCorps Arkansas programs.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is committed to improving lives and strengthening communities through service and volunteering by empowering citizens to solve local problems, expand economic opportunity, and encouraging personal responsibility. Based on principles of local control, competition, accountability, and public-private partnership, CNCS is a cost-effective investment in America’s future that provides vital services to underserved communities and generates dividends that far exceed the original investment. Through strategic and evidence-based grantmaking, we partner with thousands of nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, schools, and local governments to solve tough problems and meet local needs.
Learn more from the Corporation for National and Community Service
National Service News: When Disaster Strikes, Count on National Service
National Service programs are available to all, without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression, political affiliation, marital or parental status, genetic information, and military service.