About AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps

For decades, Americans have been called to national service. During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps served as an early example of what dedicated citizens could accomplish. The creation of the Peace Corps in 1961 provided new avenues for service. Since the 1960s, an expanding network of national service programs has developed into present-day AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors. Service members in these programs commit their time and talents to addressing critical needs such as addressing issues of poverty, sustaining national parks, improving disaster resiliency, assisting seniors, mentoring students, and increasing academic success. Many thousands of Americans throughout the country participate in these programs every year, taking on the responsibility of tackling many community needs. You can learn more about the history an purpose of national service at AmeriCorps.gov.

Montana Campus Compact

Since the early years of the 2000s, Montana Campus Compact has placed nearly 1,000 individuals into AmeriCorps service. As an intermediary, we help our affiliate campuses and nonprofit partners to develop service placements that will meet community needs by alleviating poverty and improving educational equity. We then work to enroll excellent candidates into service. Over the years, AmeriCorps members from 48 states and diverse backgrounds have mentored high school seniors, strengthened campus food pantries, expanded museum programming, increased student mental health resources, offered new paths to college attainment for Native American students, and much more. One former member even created a podcast about Montana small business resources! Our programs receive funding through AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps State & National grants.

Through our partnerships, we offer full-year positions, as well as short-term summer opportunities, and options for college students to complete service during the school year.

Year-Long Service

Our AmeriCorps College Coaches serve full-time for one year (or sometimes a half year) to increase college and degree attainment in the state of Montana. Our AmeriCorps VISTA members also commit to a year of service, and apply a systems-level approach to strengthening antipoverty initiatives from the ground up.

In 2020-2021, we placed 19 College Coaches and 21 VISTAs with service sites.

Service Story from Andrea Aviles-Cigarrostegui, AmeriCorps College Coach 2020-2021

“One of my students inquired about a Spanish grammar question. We were able to successfully arrive at a pattern for her to recognize and adequately learn/answer the question. She was also able to confide in me her career aspirations and worries as she is unsure of her future purpose. I was able to walk her through some online resources that can help her explore different options, as well as notifying her of an online webinar addressing the relevant issue. Then, two weeks later, she participated in Global Youth Service Day by making encouraging cards to hospitalized kids.”

Service Story from Robyn Michalec, AmeriCorps VISTA 2021-2022

“We had a holiday social at the Center where we made decorations and had cocoa and snacks. There is a trans airman at the airforce base here in Great Falls, and he shared a letter his daughter wrote to Santa, which asked if Santa Claus supported the LGBTQ+ community. We invited their whole family to the social and had a volunteer make an appearance as Santa and brought the kids gifts and a letter that shared of course Santa supports the LGBTQ+ community.”

Part-Time & Summer Service

Our AmeriCorps Team Members (part-time, college student participants) and Summer Members help to support and expand our upon the activities performed by our full-year members. Our Team Members most often perform near-peer mentorship with high school and college students. Summer Members frequently help deliver learning opportunities through summer camps or alleviate food insecurity through youth meal programs.

In 2020-2021, we placed 28 Team Members and 30 Summer Members with service sites.

Service Story from Zach Torgerson, AmeriCorps Team Member 2020-2021

“I engaged with a TRIO student more closely than I had in the past months. While talking with him and asking how his week had gone, he mentioned that he made it through the week to get to Friday.  I made a joke about the weekend and he said, ‘No, I live for the TRIO days.'”

Service Story from Sage Senterfeit, AmeriCorps Summer Member 2021

“I engaged with a young girl who loved birds, she was convinced she saw a new type of bird in Montana bigger than any bird in the United States. She adamantly described a bald eagle but argued that it was not a bald eagle. I aided her in the construction of the bird out of paper mache, while we worked, she sang songs about a monster bird. In the end I showed her numerous images of a bald eagle, and we discussed the physical traits, so she was able to learn about birds in Montana. She had so much fun with the bird discussion and creation that her parents asked to sign up for the next camp. It was deeply inspiring to have made a girl feel inspired and artistic enough to want to come back.”