If I join the Westmoreland Volunteer Corps will I also be an AmeriCorps member?
Perhaps. Over the years the Westmoreland Volunteer Corps has offered Volunteers the opportunity to participate in the AmeriCorps Education Awards Program (AEAP) at Catholic Volunteer Network (CVN). In any given year this opportunity depends on CVN’s receiving an AmeriCorps grant and its allocating positions to the WVC. Individual Volunteers must also decide whether they wish to participate in AEAP. You may be a WVC Volunteer without participating in AmeriCorps.
What is the purpose of the AmeriCorps Education Awards Program?
The purpose of the AmeriCorps Program is four-fold:
- To expand opportunities for individuals to serve their communities as AmeriCorps members and earn educational benefits.
- To increase the number of communities across the country where AmeriCorps members are helping meet local needs.
- To broaden the network of national service program sponsors and strategies.
- To encourage new non-federal resources to support service programs. An AmeriCorps member’s service must enhance an existing program by developing a new project, offer services in a new area, or offer supplemental services which would not be provided by the service site without the member’s support.
Can I receive AmeriCorps benefits?
You may qualify for a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards are education vouchers given to AmeriCorps Members who successfully complete a required term of service for the program in which they are participating. An education award can be used in the following ways:
- To repay qualified existing or future student loans.
- To pay all or part of the cost of attending a qualified institution of higher education (including certain vocational programs).
- To pay expenses incurred while participating in an approved school-to-work program.
In the 2011-2012 Program Year Catholic Volunteer Network AmeriCorps Education Award Program members earn an education award of $5,350 after successfully completing 1700 service hours. If position allocations are limited the Westmoreland/Catholic Volunteer Network AEAP Program may offer half-time (at least 900 hours for a $2,675 award) terms of service.
Each Catholic Volunteer Network AEAP member is only eligible for two education awards in her/his lifetime, regardless of how many years she/he serves, or whether she/he has completed full or part-time terms of service.