VISTA Handbook by n04I9J


									     Making Things Happen…

The Hands On Atlanta/VISTA Handbook
       Alphabet Soup- The ABC‘s of VISTA service

  VISTA and Hands On Atlanta – Making things Happen…

              Hands On Atlanta Information

             AmeriCorps*VISTA Information

Compensation & Benefits of the AmeriCorps*VISTA Program

   What is expected From VISTA and Hands On Atlanta


                Supervisor Responsibility

               Role of the VISTA Program

        VISTA Project Work Plans; An Introduction

              Self-Directed In-Service Policy

           Mileage Reimbursement Guidelines

                    Glossary of Terms

                    VISTA Directory
Appendix 1   Mileage Tracking Form

Appendix 2   Notification of Plans to Travel Outside Project Area Form

Appendix 3   Request For Personal Leave Form

Appendix 4   Self-Directed In-Service Approval Form

Appendix 5   Tracking of Hours Worked Form
                        Alphabet Soup
These are a few of the anagrams that you will be hearing during the course of a VISTA
service year. You should be familiar with these abbreviations, as this is the “lingo” of
many VISTA projects.

1)     CAP –          Community Action Program

2)     CBO –          Community based organization

3)     CNS – Corporation for National Service

4)     DFACS –        Department of Family and Children Services

5)     EOA –          Economic Opportunity Authority

6)     ESL –          English as a Second Language

7)     EST –          Early Service Training

8)     IST-           In-Service Training

9)     HOAD-          Hands On Atlanta Day. The largest volunteer Serve-A-Thon in the

10)    LRV –          Locally Recruited Volunteer

11)    NCCC –         National Civilian Community Corps

12)    NRV –          Nationally Recruited Volunteer

13)    NYLC –         National Youth Leadership Council

14)    PSO –          Pre-Service Orientation

15)    RSVP –         Retired Senior Volunteer Program

16)    SOS –          Streams of Service

17)    VISTA –        Volunteers in Service to America


                              Hands On Atlanta

                         Making Things Happen…

                  The Goal of AmeriCorps*VISTA
Quoted directly from page one, chapter one of the AmeriCorps*VISTA handbook:

"…to strengthen and supplement efforts to eliminate and alleviate poverty…in the United
States by encouraging and enabling persons from all walks of life and age groups…to
perform meaningful and constructive volunteer service in agencies, institutions, and
situations where the application of human talent and dedication may assist in the solution
of poverty and poverty-related generate the commitment of private sector
resources and to encourage volunteer service at the local level to carry out the purposes
of the program." (42 U.S.C. 4951)

             Hands On Atlanta‟s Mission Statement:
Hands On Atlanta builds community by offering a spectrum of volunteer opportunities,
deploying a diverse, committed corps of citizens to address critical needs, and cultivating
service leaders.

  "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much.
                    It is whether we provide enough to those who have little."

                                                         -Franklin Delano Roosevelt

                      General Information and History
The Volunteers in Service To America (VISTA) Program was authorized in 1964 by the
Economic Opportunity Act, and then initiated in 1965 under Sargent Shriver in the
Johnson administration. The VISTA program was modeled after the Peace Corps, and
was often referred to as ―The Domestic Peace Corps‖. VISTA was part of our nation‘s
'War on Poverty'; and along with Head Start, is one of the few ‗War on Poverty‘
programs to survive to this day.

VISTA members are assigned to work with not-for-profit organizations that address the
issues of low-income people in communities throughout our nation. Since the goal of
VISTA is to eliminate poverty in the United States of America, VISTA members must be
involved in assignments that combat mendicancy and attempt to help ameliorate those
people who are poverty-stricken. Ideally, VISTA members should not provide direct
service, rather the function of a VISTA volunteer is to organize, facilitate, raise
awareness, network, improve systems, and generally increase community support for the
project to which they are assigned. Participation in the VISTA program is a form of non-
military national service.

In 1971, the VISTA program was transferred to the newly created federal volunteer
agency, ACTION. Other programs administered by ACTION were the Retired and
Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), the Foster Grandparents Program, and the Senior
Companion Program.

With the creation of the National & community Service Trust Act of 1993 all of
ACTION‘s programs were transferred to the Corporation for National Service (CNS).
CNS reorganized itself into three departments, these are:

   AmeriCorps- which contains AmeriCorps*National Civilian Community Corps
    (AmeriCorps*NCCC), AmeriCorps*State/National and AmeriCorps*VISTA.
   National Senior service Corps- which administers the Foster Grandparents Program
    the Senior Companion Program and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program
   Learn & Serve America- which includes K-12 school and community-based service
    learning programs and higher education service learning based programs.

During your VISTA service year it is hoped that you will work cooperatively with the
other CNS programs through Streams of Service. Streams of Service is an alliance that
has been put in place to eliminate the duplication of government services, maximize the
use of resources and to conserve money.

    “They (volunteers) are also role models in our children’s lives, and they serve as another
                         intelligent adult who loves and cares for them.”

                                                      -Ms. Williams, APS Second Grade Teacher
                                Streams of Service
Streams of Service is the name given to the interagency partnership between all agencies
sponsored by the Corporation for National Service. This includes The National Senior
Service Corps (RSVP, Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions), AmeriCorps,
AmeriCorps *VISTA, and Learn & Serve. While not limited to just CNS agencies,
Streams of Service (SoS) was originally conceived to further the understanding and
partnership between the different branches (or Streams) of the agencies (or Service
providers) that CNS sponsors. The goals of SoS are to:

1)   maximize the utilization of partner agencies‘ resources
2)   strengthen the service that partner agencies provide
3)   to collaborate on training, programmatic support, and technical assistance systems
4)   reduce the costs of providing service
5)   to work together in a day of service on Martin Luther King Day, Make a Difference
     Day, and National Volunteer Week

Streams of Service agencies attempt to address issues of social concern, empowerment
and amelioration. SoS agencies have designated the following as priority program areas:

1)      Literacy (adult and youth) and Education (technology and job-skills)
2)      Employment (welfare to work)
3)      Health for children, youth, the elderly and the disabled
4)      Housing and affordable living
5)      Public-safety and crime prevention
6)      Environmental and ecological concerns

Attending your local Streams of Service is important for many reasons. Attending is a
requirement of the state CNS office, and from my experience, SoS meetings are a
fantastic resource of people with dedication, talent and drive.

For example, I attended a SoS meeting and informed them about how my agency was in
need of a few volunteers with construction experience. The director of RSVP promised
help and within a few days had called me with the names of volunteers. One of these
volunteers even went on to win my agency‘s ―Volunteer of the Year‖ award. At another
SoS meeting, I learned of a certain for-profit company that was helping non-profits with
in-kind donations. After a few telephone conversations I was able to get my agency a
donation of a fax machine and three cell phones. All of this was because of Streams of

By attending your local meetings and networking with your fellows, you will make an
impact far greater than you ever could alone. SoS is a perfect example of the product
being greater than the sum of the parts.

            Whatever authority I may have, rests solely on knowing how little I know.

                            We expect that you will…
Commit to One Full Year

When you decide to join in the work of Hands On Atlanta (and its partner affiliates)
through the VISTA program you agree to commit one full year to performing service
with your community. If you have reservations, or are just looking to do this ―until
something else comes along‖ we ask that you not join VISTA.

Be a Full-time Volunteer

VISTA members are on call 7-days-a-week, 24-hours-a-day, though VISTAs normally
work a regularly scheduled workweek of a minimum 35 hours per week. Under the
regulations of this program, members can not hold other jobs or attend school* during
their year of service.

*VISTA members may attend school only under certain circumstances.

Know your „Employment Status‟

As VISTA members are not considered employees, the compensation received is not
considered when calculating entitlements and/or public assistance benefits. You receive
a ‗living allowance‘ not a paycheck or a salary.

Be Professional and Dedicated

VISTA is not for everyone. Unless you also join Peace Corps, VISTA will be the
toughest job you‘ll ever love. The hours are long, the pay minimal and the challenges
sometimes seem insurmountable. But even with those difficulties, there are thousands of
committed citizens who take up the challenge and succeed beyond all expectations.
VISTA volunteers are making a difference in our communities 7 days a week, 365 days a
year, by helping to mobilize community resources and empower others to be a force of
change. If you decide to commit to this opportunity, we expect that you will give it your
all and be professional, committed and energetic. Anyone can get a job; not everyone
can be a VISTA.

        “Whether they’re building playgrounds, renovating homes, or teaching children to read,
Hands On Atlanta volunteers are helping to bridge the gap between the rich and poor, young and
                         old, black and white, and city dwellers and those who live in suburbs.”

                                           -Jimmy Carter, Former President of the United States
                       Compensation and Benefits
Living Allowance

VISTA members receive a living allowance every two weeks. This allowance serves a
dual purpose; to permit people of all financial backgrounds to participate in public
service and to encourage VISTA volunteers to live at the income level of those people
they are serving. The actual dollar amount of the living allowance varies slightly from
area to area; however, your biweekly allowance should be around between $340.00and
$352.76. Federal income taxes will be deducted from your living allowance but FICA,
state taxes and unemployment compensation will not.

Health Insurance

VISTA members receive health coverage for their year of service. The insurance-
provider is Outsourced Administrative Systems, Inc. As a VISTA member you will
receive complete medical coverage including pharmaceutical with no minimum payments
and no deductible. This coverage does not extend to other members of your household
nor does it cover pre-existing conditions.

Life Insurance

Each VISTA may elect to benefit from the life insurance coverage offered through the
Corporation for National Service. Should you choose to avail yourself of this life
insurance your designated beneficiary will receive benefits in the event of your death
during your VISTA year. Election of this benefit will result in the deduction of $1.63
each pay period. The remainder of the premium is taken care of by the Corporation.


VISTA members with children who meet the qualifications for the VISTA CARE
program may be eligible to receive reimbursement for childcare expenses. In order to
participate in this program one must apply for and be accepted under the guidelines set up
for your state. Members must be income eligible, select a legal provider under the plan,
and require the childcare in order to carry out their VISTA duties.

 “Through Hands On Atlanta, our company is able to focus our energy and resources in working
         with others toward a common goal—to make our community a better place.”

                                        Arthur M. Blank, President and CEO, The Home Depot
Compensation and Benefits continued-

Education Award OR Post-Service Stipend

As a VISTA you have the option of selecting either an education award or a post-service
stipend. The education award is $4,725, payable to a school or student loan holder. This
award is not payable to the individual VISTA, nor is it transferable. The post-service
stipend is $1,200 (less taxes), payable to the individual. In order to qualify for either the
education award or the stipend you must successfully complete the required term of
service. You cannot have both; you must choose one or the other when you begin your
service. If you change your mind while serving, you may elect to change your selection
in the 10th month of your service.

       Education award

       This award in the amount of $4725 may be used to pay off student loans or
       applied toward your tuition as a student in an approved institute of higher
       education. The award will be paid directly to the institutions not to the former
       VISTA. The education award is available to the former VISTA for up to seven
       years following completion of service.


       Should you select this option, you will receive a cash stipend which accrues at
       the rate of $100 per month totaling $1200 for the year. FICA will be
       deducted and the total will be taxed in the year in which it is received.

Travel Reimbursement

Travel which meets the guidelines for reimbursable on-the-job travel will be reimbursed
at thirty cents (.30) per mile.

Personal Satisfaction

Perhaps the greatest benefit of participating in the VISTA program is the intangible,
immeasurable reward of knowing you have given the best of yourself to improve the lives
of others.

“Hands On Atlanta means people that teach students at any grade level how to read, write, and
they also teach students good things, responsibility, and most of all respect for each other.”
                                     -Chasity, 5 grade student in Hands On Atlanta’s programs
                   Reflections on the Living Allowance

As a new VISTA I am pondering the year of semi-poverty that lies ahead. By changing
my life situation and carefully budgeting of my money, I believe that I will be able to
survive economically in the upcoming 12 months. What will I gain from the new
perspectives that this ―temporary poverty‖ will bring? A sense of empathy for the people
I serve? A better understanding of myself and the needs of those I have volunteered to
serve? Perhaps, I might even gain some spiritual enrichment that a lifetime of
materialism has denied me?

Looking in the Bible last night I read a short passage I had copied down years ago. It‘s
from The Advantages of Poverty by a Catholic nun, Sister Monica Helling. It is as

       Suffering, the great equalizer, brings us to a point where we may realize our
       urgent need for redemption. Those who suffer know not only their dependence on
       God and on healthy people, but also of their interdependence with one another.
       Those who suffer vest their security not on things, which often cannot be enjoyed
       and may soon be taken away, but rather on people. Those who suffer have no
       exaggerated sense of their own importance and no exaggerated need of privacy.
       Suffering humbles the proud. Those who suffer expect little from competition and
       much from cooperation. Suffering helps us distinguish between necessities and
       luxuries. Suffering teaches patience, often a kind of dogged patience born of
       acknowledged dependence. Suffering teaches the difference between valid fears
       and exaggerated fears. To suffering people the gospel sounds like good news and
       not a threat or a scolding. It offers hope and comfort. Those who suffer can
       respond to the call of the gospel with a certain abandonment and an
       uncomplicated totality because they have so little to lose and are ready for

Perhaps Sister Helling‘s perspective, which was gained from a lifetime of poverty and
service, can be mine. The year ahead may be the opportunity I need to gain a small
portion of the wisdom she shows in that passage.

                                                         -Kelly Davis; VISTA member
                                                 Homeless Services Coordination Station
                                                                       Macon Georgia
                                Personal Budget
Kelly Davis was kind enough to put together the following budget. This is an example of
how to prepare a personal budget. This budget is not specific for any given area, and
prices will vary. The income is based on earnings of $5.00 per hour at 40 hours per week,
or $800 per month before taxes (gross income) and $674.80 per month after taxes (net

It is necessary to write a weekly and monthly budget in order to keep expenses from
being greater than income. This process is also useful for setting realistic goals.

Be very thorough when doing expenses; write down everything you can possibly think of.
This will make a big difference in the accuracy of your budget. If you can account for
every dollar, you will be more likely to stick to your budget.

Shopping for bargains is always a good idea and sometimes a necessary search. Discount
department stores and factory outlets offer good quality at low prices.

Income:                       Week:                              Month:
                              $168.70                            $674.80
1. Food                       $40.00                             $160.00

2. Rent                       $68.75                             $275.00

3. Clothing                   $3.50                              $14.00

4. Laundry                    $5.00                              $20.00

5. Electric/Gas               $15.00                             $60.00

6. Telephone                  $5.75                              $23.00

7. Household Products         $1.50                              $6.00

8. Personal Care              $3.75                              $15.00

9. Transportation             $21.00                             $84.00

10. Miscellaneous             $4.45                              $17.80

Total Expenses:               $168.70                            $674.80

                        If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
                                                                           -Fredrick Douglas
                             Health Insurance
I. Sources of Helpful Information

      1. The AmeriCorps*VISTA Handbook
      2. Medical Care Program Benefits Guide
      3. Provider Directory (Formost USA)

Other sources of information:

      1. Customer Service Number for the AmeriCorps*VISTA and *NCCC
         Health Insurance 1-800-VISTA 17

      2. Formost and CAPP CARE are the local preferred provider network. If you
         have questions regarding specific health care providers (doctors, hospitals,
         dentists, etc.), you can call 1-800-486-4220 or you can access their web site at

      3. Your on-site supervisor received information about your health insurance and
         has a written manual with some information about the health insurance

      4. Other AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteers can be excellent sources of
         information. It can be helpful to talk with your peers and see if they have any
         advice. Be sure to call customer service and verify any information.

II. General Tips for Working with Managed Care Health Insurance

      1. Before you get sick, find a doctor in your area who will accept your
         insurance. It is much easier to think clearly when you are healthy.

      2. Whenever you call for information, ALWAYS ask for the name of the person
         to whom you are talking.

      3. When you call the health insurance customer service number, keep a record of
         the day and time you called. Write down any information you are given and
         the name of the person you talked with. This may seem ridiculous, but it can
         save you a lot of time and MONEY later on.

      4. When you are told that there will be a delay, ask for an estimate of how long
         the process will take. Ask when you should check back for an update or for
         more information.

     5.    BE PROACTIVE. Do not feel that you are being a pest to the customer
          service representatives. Their job is to answer your questions. Be polite, but
III. When you need to see a health care provider, you have two options. You may see
a provider within the network or you may submit your own claim. The first option has
many advantages and is the recommended route.

Option A. Provider within the network

1)     Find a health care provider within the network (one who will accept your insurance).
      Hopefully, this will not be a difficult process. Preferred providers can be found:
          a. In the Preferred Provider Directory
          b. By calling the health care provider network 1-800-486-4220
          c. Or on the web at:

If this process is difficult, take heart. Finding a provider in the network is worth it in the
long run. NEVER ASSUME that a health care provider will accept your insurance.

2) Present your insurance card at the office of the provider.

3) Pay the co-pay at the time you visit the office. This is usually $5.00.

4) The health care provider will file with your insurance. Do not panic if it takes a long
   time for the insurance to reimburse the health care provider. Do be proactive and call
   the insurance customer service number. Ask when they expect the claim to be

Option B. Submitting your own claim

You may go directly to any health care provider, BUT
1) YOU will be responsible for any charges that are not covered by your insurance.
2) YOU will have to pay ALL CHARGES over the ―Usual and Customary‖ amount.
3) YOU will have to pay for services when you visit the office.
4) You are responsible for filing a claim form and must wait to be reimbursed. The
   reimbursement process may take many months. You will sometimes only be
   reimbursed a small percentage of what you originally paid.
5) If you choose this option, YOU must include an itemized original bill for all charges.
   Also remember that the claim form asks for detailed information, including the health
   care provider‘s tax ID number.

IV.      Pre-certification

1) Pre-certification is needed for all services which cost more than $500.00 (this
   includes both inpatient and outpatient services)
2) You can call 1-800-VISTA 17 to pre-certify the procedure. You could also have the
   health care provider call and pre-certify.
3) If you prefer, you can have the health insurance program send you written verification
   in the mail that the services have been pre-certified.
While serving in AmeriCorps*VISTA, you are eligible to receive a forbearance which
allows you to postpone payment of certain student loans. This benefit is available to you
regardless of whether you select the education award or the post-service stipend.

Your AmeriCorps*VISTA handbook covers this subject in greater detail. Your hand-
book outlines the entire process of obtaining a forbearance, lists the types of loans that
are eligible for postponement, provides the forms you will need, who you will need to
send these forms to, and other pertinent information.

The following tips are drawn from my personal experience of being a VISTA for three
years and the many occasions in which I requested forbearances for my loans:

       1) Never send in a request for forbearance more than two weeks before it is due.
          I once sent in a request for forbearance and it was returned, because my lender
          ―could not process the forbearance‖ in advance of the loan coming due. Try
          and schedule the arrival of your request to correspond to the time when the
          loan goes into repayment.

       2) Before you send in a forbearance request, make a photocopy of the original
          and then write the date that you mailed in the original across the top of your
          photocopy. Place this copy into a file folder. Do this each time you send off a
          request. Keep the file folder in a safe place. If you ever have a problem with
          either your lender or the CNS you can then retrieve a copy of your request.
          The only times that I had significant problems were the times that I forgot to
          make copies. Always make copies. When you speak with a customer service
          representative about your forbearance, always ask for the person‘s name, and
          make notes on the bottom of the relevant copy listing important topics of
          discussion, so that you can refer to this in the future, if necessary.

       3) Remember that interest on your loan will continue to accrue while the loan is
          in forbearance. CNS will pay this interest for you at the end of your service
          year, but you must submit a request in writing, and fill out an Interest Accrual
          Form. In order to get the interest paid you must write your lender and request
          that they send you a letter stating how much interest accrued on loans during
          your service year. Do this about two months before your service year is up.
          After you receive this letter, photocopy it, forward the copy to CNS, and
          request that they pay the stated amount to your lender. When CNS pays this
          accrued interest for you it will not be deducted from your education award or
          post-service award; however, you will be taxed on it.

                  No one can drive you crazy, unless you hand him the keys.
                 All About Your Education Award
                   Overview of the AmeriCorps Education Award
When you complete your AmeriCorps service, you will be eligible for an education
award to cover costs for post-secondary school education and vocational training - both
past and future costs. To qualify for this award, you must successfully complete the
required ―term of service‖ for the AmeriCorps program you serve. Under special
circumstances, you may receive a prorated award if you are unable to complete your full
                              How to use your award
Your education award can be used to: repay qualified existing or future student loans; pay
all or part of the cost of attending a qualified institution of higher education; pay
expenses incurred while participating in an approved school-to-work program.
You can divide up your award and use it any way you want, as long as it is for authorized
expenditures. You could, for example, apply a portion of it to existing qualified student
loans and save the remainder to pay for authorized college costs a few years down the
road. However, the education award must be used within seven years of the completion
of your service. You may apply for an extension if, during the seven-year period, you
perform another term of service in an approved AmeriCorps position or if you were
unavoidably prevented from using the award.

              Education Awards are considered taxable income
The amount of your award depends upon whether your term of service is full-time or
part-time. The full-time award is $4,725.00, and the part-time award is typically
$2,362.50. Note that education awards are subject to income taxes in the year they are
used. Participants in AmeriCorps*VISTA may elect not to receive the education award
but to take a post-service stipend instead.

        Vouchers and the process of receiving an education award
When you complete your term of service, the director of your project or, if you are a
VISTA, the Corporation State Office will notify the National Service Trust Fund. You
will be sent a Voucher and Payment Request form and instructions for completing the
voucher. You may then present the voucher to your loan holder or the school you plan to
attend. The loan holder or school will complete the voucher and return it to the
Corporation for National Service for payment. Payments will be made directly to them,
not to you. The Corporation will notify you that a payment has been made and send you a
new voucher showing any balance in your Trust account.
You should receive your voucher from the Corporation within 14 days of the
Corporation’s National Service Trust Fund receiving notification from your project that
you have completed your term of service. The voucher will be sent to the address that
you furnish on your end-of-term paperwork. It is important that you keep the National
Service Trust Fund informed of any changes to that address during the seven years you
are eligible to use the award.
                Forbearance and Postponement of Repayment
VISTA members who are earning an education award can postpone the repayment of
their qualified student loans while they are earning the award. When you earn an award
the Trust will pay all or a portion of the interest that accrued while you served. However,
if you end your service early, the Trust cannot pay any of the accrued interest. Student
loans in default may not be eligible for postponement.
To postpone the repayment of your qualified student loans, at the time you begin your
service you must request ―forbearance‖ for the repayment of your loan based upon your
AmeriCorps work. Ask your project director to provide you with a standardized form to
request national service forbearance, which you will fill out for each of your loan holders.
Occasionally, a lender may ask for additional information or require that you complete
one of their own request forms. Since there are several types of forbearances and
deferments, each with their own unique characteristics and possible limitations for
AmeriCorps members, make sure your loan holders understand that you are
requesting forbearance based upon your national service work in an AmeriCorps

After you fill out the forbearance request form send it to the National Service Trust at
The Corporation for National Service, 1201 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC,
20525. The Trust will complete any applicable portion of the form or enclose relevant
documentation and return it to the loan holder. Remember to send a form for each
separate loan holder. The Trust can only verify participation if it has received your
AmeriCorps enrollment form from your project. The Corporation certifies your status in
service, but the lending institution or loan servicer determines your eligibility for
forbearance. This forbearance is mandatory for qualified student loans. Defaulted loans,
however, may not be eligible for the forbearance.
While only VISTA members who have chosen to earn an education award over a post-
service stipend are eligible for national service forbearance, all VISTA volunteers may be
eligible for other types of postponements. VISTA members should check with their loan
holders to see for which type of forbearance or deferments their loans qualify and which
of these postponements is best for their situation.

               If you have come here to help me, then you can go home again.
                    But if you see my struggle as part of your own survival,
                              then perhaps we can work together.
                                                                    -Australian Aborigine woman
                          Cancellation of Perkins Loans
Of all the AmeriCorps programs, only VISTA members are eligible for partial
cancellation of certain loans under the Higher Education Act (for example Perkins loans);
but only if they do not choose the education award and only if they complete a full year
of service. VISTA volunteers should check with their lender concerning this cancellation

If you successfully complete your term of service, the Trust will pay all (for full-time
members) or a portion (for part-time Members) of the interest that accrues on your loans
while you are serving. Since these are benefits above and beyond your education award,
interest payments will not be deducted from the amount of your award.

                                  Interest payments
  The Trust cannot pay any interest accrued during the period if you do not complete your
entire term of service. (Exceptions will be made for members who fail to complete their
term of service for compelling personal circumstances.) However, it may be paid under
other federal regulations. Your lender will be able to tell you whether your student loan
qualifies for another type of deferment. The Trust will pay the interest when they have
1) verification from your project that you have completed your term of service and 2) the
bill or statement showing the total amount of interest that accrued during the term of
service. Please note that these interest payments are subject to income tax.

               What do I need to do to earn the education award?
You must complete your term of service, which varies for each AmeriCorps program but
generally is between 10 and 12 months.

               What happens to the award voucher when I finish service?
Within 14 days of receiving the End of Term of Service Form, your project director must
send it to the National Service Trust Fund. Then the Trust will send you a voucher and
letter that you must take to the school to which you will apply your award or the lender of
your student‘s loan. The actual payment will be sent directly to the school or lender; it
will not go to you.

               What is the amount of the award I will receive?
The amount of the education award depends on the term of service you complete. If you
complete a full-time term of service, you will receive a $4,725.00 award. If you complete
a part-time term of service, you will receive a $2,362.50 award. If you complete a
reduced part-time term of service, you will receive an amount that is in proportion to the
amount of service you completed.
            Where does money to pay for the awards come from?
The awards are provided for by a special account in the United States Treasury called the
National Service Trust, which is referred to as ―the Trust‖ in these questions. The Trust is
managed by the Corporation for National Service.

                  How many education awards can I receive?
Two; You may receive one award for each of two terms of service. Though VISTA
members may complete more than two terms of service, they can receive education
awards for only two terms. Both terms can be for full-time, part-time, or reduced part-
time terms or they can be for two different types of terms.

               How long do I have to use my education award?
You must use the award within seven years of the date you complete your service. You
may apply for an extension of this time period if you were performing another term of
service in an approved AmeriCorps program or if you were unavoidably prevented from
using the award during the period. You must apply for an extension before the end of the
seven- year period.

                    What can I use my education award for?
Awards can be used to repay existing or future qualified educational loans or to pay for
the cost of attending a qualified college or graduate school or an approved school/work
program, as defined by the Departments of Education and Labor. The award isn‘t limited
to one loan or one school. It can be used to help pay several qualified loans or to pay the
costs of attendance at several educational institutions, or pay for a combination of loans
and schools.

 What expenses are considered part of the “cost of attending” a school?
The Department of Education has defined the term ―costs of attendance‖ to mean tuition,
normal fees, and required material, equipment, and supplies. In addition, each educational
institution establishes allowances for room and board, books, supplies, transportation, and
miscellaneous personal expenses. These expenses, too, are included in the cost of
attendance. See your school‘s financial aid office for the expenses covered in the cost of
attendance for your academic program.

    If I have already paid for some education expenses myself, can the
                            check be sent to me?
By law, the Trust can only send checks to qualified schools and loan holders. Checks
cannot be sent to others, such as landlords, parents, or mortgage companies. However,
your school can reimburse you for expenses included in the ―cost of attendance‖ that you
paid for yourself. See your financial aid office for more information on how they handle
reimbursements and disbursements.
   What kinds of schools can I attend using the award? What kinds of
                          loans can I pay off?
You may attend an institution of higher education (including certain vocational
programs) as defined in section 481a of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.
This includes most institutions of higher education (including graduate and professional
programs) as well as some vocational schools. If in doubt, you should check with the
institution prior to making definite plans. The institution‘s financial aid office will know
if they meet this requirement.

             What does “a qualified student loan” mean exactly?
A qualified student loan means any loan made, insured, or guaranteed pursuant to Title
IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.), other than a loan made
to a parent of a student pursuant to section 428B of the Act; and any loan made pursuant
to Title VII or VIII of the Public Service Health Act (42 U.S.C. 292a et seq.). These
citations should be on your loan papers. Your lender will be able to tell you if the loan is
covered. If you are unsure whether the school or the loan qualifies, ask the school or
lender. Get written confirmation if there is any question.

        Can an education award be used to study outside the U.S.?

You may use the education award to attend many schools outside the U.S. Generally, if
Stafford loans are available to attend the school, it is a school where you can use the
education-award. Many qualified U.S. post-secondary institutions also offer educational
opportunities abroad. Before you enroll in a school abroad, you should check to see if the
school qualifies. The Trust office can provide you with additional information.

           Will the education award affect my eligibility for other
                            student financial aid?
The education award will not be taken into account in determining eligibility for any
Federal student aid. The Corporation has no jurisdiction over whether state or private
universities—or private scholarship funds—will take it into account in determining
eligibility for institutional aid; however, the Corporation has requested that institutions
not do so.

              Can cash be taken instead of an education award?
VISTA members can earn either a post-service stipend or an education award. Other
AmeriCorps Members are eligible for a cash payment if the option is provided by the
local project with non-federal monies.
        What happens if I do not complete my full term of service?
A VISTA who has served at least 15 percent of the term of service and is released from
service for compelling personal reasons is eligible to receive a prorated award. VISTAs
who quit for other reasons are not eligible for any portion of an award.

                    What are compelling personal reasons?
This is up to individual programs to determine. Examples of circumstances that might be
considered are serious illness/injury to the VISTA, the death of an immediate family
member, or early closing of the VISTA member‘s project.

       How do I get my current student loan payments postponed?
First, as soon as you begin your service, you must arrange for a forbearance with your
loan holder. You can get standardized forms to request national service forbearance from
your project. In some cases, the loan holder will want you to use their own forms. You
should complete the forms and mail them to the National Service Trust. The Trust will
verify that you are in a qualifying AmeriCorps position and will return the completed
forms to the loan holder.

   What happens if I withdraw from the school or fail to complete my
      period of enrollment for which the award has been used?
The school must have a fair and equitable refund policy that complies with the Higher
Education Act of 1965, as amended. If there is any refund owed and returned to the
Corporation, the amount will be credited to your ―account‖ in the Trust, and can be used
by you, for up to seven years.

              Will I have to pay taxes on my education award?
According to the IRS, awards are typically subjected to income taxes in the calendar year
in which they are used. The Corporation will send you a Form 1099 to be used in
preparing your income tax return. Payments made on the interest that accrued during your
service are also subject to income taxes and will be included on your Form 1099.

                            Is my award transferable?
No. Only AmeriCorps-approved Members are eligible for education awards. You may
not transfer it to a relative or any other individual under any circumstance.

             Please send questions or comments to
                         What the VISTA program requires:
1)      Commit to one year of service in the program.
2)      Work a minimum of 35 hours per week.
3)      Be an ambassador as you represent VISTA, your agency, and Hands On Atlanta
        in the community.
4)      Do not participate in political activity such as, driving people to the polls,
        conducting voter registration drives or telling people how to vote.
5)      Work towards achieving your stated goals and objectives.
6)      Complete VISTA reports and documentation in a detailed and timely fashion.
7)      Assist the low-income community you are serving to become self-reliant through
        education, example, and increased community networks.
8)      Attend all scheduled VISTA meetings and in-service training workshops.

                          What Hands On Atlanta requires:
1)      Adherence to the principles of Hands On Atlanta; and dedication to the mission of
        your sponsoring agency.
2)      Be professional. Complete tasks in a timely fashion. Present yourself and your
        work in a professional manner.
3)      Report to and work closely with your affiliate supervisor. Contact the HOA
        VISTA manager as needed.
4)      Accomplishment of the goals and objectives stated in your VISTA project work
5)      Contribute your ideas and experience to benefit the operation of the affiliate.
6)      Provide for the recruitment, cultivation and coordination of volunteers.
7)      Represent Hands On Atlanta, your sponsoring agency and VISTA to interested
        churches, community groups, foundations, civic leaders, etc. Help provide
        visibility of VISTA, Hands On Atlanta and your sponsoring agency in the local
 The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence regardless
                                   of their chosen field of endeavor.
                                                                                      -Vince Lombardi
                              Expectations Clarified

Everyone is required to work a minimum of 35 to 40 hours per week. In general, you
are encouraged to match your work schedule to the hours of operation of your affiliate.
However, it may be necessary for you to attend evening meetings, visit the work site on
weekends, etc. Therefore, it is expected that you will remain flexible in your work
schedule. This will be a matter to discuss and solidify with your site supervisor.

Compensatory Time

Compensatory or comp time may be arranged for VISTA members who work in excess
of 50 hours in one week; arrangements for comp time will be agreed upon by your
affiliate supervisor and the HOA VISTA-Leader.

Time Off Work

Should you be ill and find yourself unable to report to work, call in as soon as possible to
let your supervisor, project director or VISTA leader know. Sick days may only be used
for illness or a doctor's appointment, not for personal business or vacation.

If a person misses part of a day it will be accounted for in the following way:

        1 to 4 hours missed = 1/2 sick or vacation day used

        4 to 8 hours missed = 1 full sick or vacation day used

Personal leave (vacation) must be requested in writing before the day of vacation. This
must be approved and signed by your site supervisor then forwarded to your VISTA
Leader or project director for processing. Requests for vacation time are discouraged in
the first three months and during the last month of VISTA service.

In the event of inclement weather (hurricane, ice storm, etc.) which prevents you from
getting to work, please call your supervisor to find out if the office will be open. If the
office is closed, the day will not count against your vacation time.

Travel Notification

Remembering that VISTA members are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it is
important for your supervisor and the project sponsor to be able to contact you. With this
in mind, it is necessary for you to fill out a travel form any time you are leaving the
project area. For most, that will be any time you are traveling outside the immediate area
of your affiliate operation. This applies even if you will not be taking personal leave, for
instance, if you visit another city over the weekend.

You will be required to keep track of your job related travel by taking note of your
mileage and to track your hours of work including sick and vacation days on the forms
provided. You should make copies of these forms for your own records prior to
submitting them to your VISTA Leader or project director.

You will be asked to complete quarterly reports, which highlight your accomplishments
relating to the goals and objectives of your project work plan.

After compiling and reviewing the Quarterly Reports, Hands On Atlanta then submits
them to the Corporation for National Service state office. This documentation is
important to show the work VISTA is accomplishing nationwide and proof that Hands
On Atlanta (and its partner affiliates) is benefiting from participation in the VISTA
program. For this reason, it is of great importance that you devote the time necessary to
produce a quality report which will reflect well on your affiliate and the contribution you
are making. These quarterly reports are due to the VISTA Leader or project director
within ten (10) days of the end of each quarter.


A Hands On Atlanta VISTA newsletter will be published four times a year. You are to
submit an article each quarter. This newsletter will be sent to other VISTA members,
project directors, and CNS. The purpose of the newsletter is to facilitate communication
within our project, allowing us an avenue to share individual successes, tribulations,
events, and changes taking place in our separate affiliates.

Contributions should reach your VISTA leader no later than fifteen (15) days prior to
quarterly publication.

“UPS is invested in the future of our children and we see the absolute necessity of supporting the
 Atlanta Public School System. We believe our financial and human contributions through Hands
 On Atlanta are a uniquely valuable way of supporting the strategic vision of the school system,
 cultivating school success, ensuring student achievement and preparing the next generation of
                               citizen leadership for our community.”

                                       -Evern Cooper, Executive Director of the UPS Foundation
                      Site Supervisor Responsibility
1.    The Site Supervisor will be responsible for the overall direction and support
      of the AmeriCorps*VISTA members.

2.    Supervisors will be well informed as to the contents of the VISTA Handbook,
      Health Benefits Handbook, the project Memorandum of Agreement, and the
      VISTA members Goals and Objectives as defined in the Project work plan.

3.    A copy of the VISTA Project work plan will be made available to the VISTA
      prior to initial training.

4.    Weekly meetings between the VISTA and direct Supervisors will be held during
      the project‘s first quarter and at least biweekly thereafter. This time should be
      uninterrupted and devoted to problem solving and negotiating.

5.    Each AmeriCorps*VISTA will be provided an agency profile defining the VISTA
      members role within the agency and their relationship to the overall project.

6.    The Project Supervisor is required to attend the project director training hosted by
      either Hands On Atlanta or the Corporation for National Service.

7.    Upon return to the project site following initial CNS training, the VISTA will
      be provided a minimum of forty (40) hours of on-the-job training/orientation.

8.    Furnish office space, telephone, supplies, and other items, which are necessary for
      the VISTA member to fulfill the goals and objectives as stated in the VISTA
      Project work plan.

9.    Provide career development training to low income VISTA members. Ensure that
      VISTA members receive training and guidance necessary to successfully
      complete their assignment. Supply opportunities for on-the-job/in-service
      training as needed.

10.   Identify potential resources in the community which AmeriCorps*VISTAs may
      seek to mobilize.

11.   Introduce the VISTA member to the community through the use of media and
      letters of introduction to local officials. Assist the VISTA in locating affordable
      housing if necessary.

12.   Assure the VISTA obtains timely reimbursement of on-the-job travel of at least
      thirty (.30) cents per mile or some means of transportation.
Site Supervisor Responsibilities Continued-

13.      Provide, in writing, formal grievance procedure and be prepared to discuss with
         the VISTA member during initial on-the-job training.

14.      Immediately, or within twelve (12) hours, report to the HOA VISTA Leader or
         VISTA Manager any change of an AmeriCorps*VISTA member‘s status, i.e.;
         early termination, criminal arrest, AWOL, hospitalization, etc.

15.      Assure that the sponsor has a five hundred ($500) dollar emergency fund set
         up for VISTA member emergencies as stated in Memorandum of Agreement.

16.      Provide annual evaluation of the project by at least the end of the 9th month
         of the project period. Submit the AmeriCorps*VISTA Future Plans form to
         the CNS State Office at this time.

17.      Submit required forms (in a timely fashion) to the HOA VISTA Leader and
         VISTA Manager.

18.    Meet with HOA VISTA program staff during site visits.

“Gustavious read his first book ever last week! When we first started meeting, he had very little interest in
books and barely knew his alphabet. Now he eagerly picks out books everyday and reads what he can.”

                                                                 -Kelly Antor, Hands On Atlanta Volunteer

      “Your generosity allows us to diminish the impact of homelessness on families. With your support we
          provide day care at no cost and give parents the social service resources to work their way out of

                                                         -Jacqueline Brown, Atlanta Children’s Shelter, Inc.
Diversity… what does that word mean to you? Diversity is a word used a lot in today‘s
society, but it is also a word without a clear definition. Taking a hint from an AmeriCorps
research paper, I went around my organization and asked a dozen people what ―diversity‖
meant to them. I received a dozen different answers. The definitions of ―diversity‖ were
as diverse as the people I had asked to define the word. ―How we define diversity is
dependent upon our situation,‖ to quote Rick Barry, author of ―Improving Diversity and
Representation within AmeriCorps Programs.‖

Barry‘s definition of diversity is this: ―On its most simple level, diversity is about what
makes us different. It is those qualities that define who we are, what groups we belong to
and who we identify with.‖

Barry then goes on to list some components of diversity. His list includes:

   1)         Race/Ethnicity
   2)         Gender
   3)         Age
   4)         Socio-economic status
   5)         Educational background
   6)         Religion
   7)         Disability
   8)         Sexual orientation
   9)         Marital status
   10)        Status as a parent
   11)        Geographic (what part of the country someone is from)
   12)        Type of community (urban vs. rural)
   13)        Criminal background

I would recommend Barry‘s book, (which can be downloaded free from the AmeriCorps
web-site) to anyone who is truly interested in exploring the subject of diversity in an
AmeriCorps program. As I read Barry‘s book, I was struck at how broad a topic diversity
is. I thought about a group of VISTA volunteers that I had worked with in Macon.
Among our group were men and women, blacks and whites, people with disabilities and
people without disabilities. Our group was incredibly diverse and reflective of my
greater experiences in VISTA.

I remembered all the VISTA members that I had met during my VISTA year of service. I
had met and served not only with people of different races and ethnicities, but also people
of vastly different ages. I served alongside an 18-year old and a 78-year old. I worked
with Christians, Jews, Buddhists, agnostics, and even a Witch or two. I met
heterosexuals, homosexuals and bisexuals. I met VISTAs with Master‘s degrees and a
few who had only earned their GEDs. I met a former drug dealer who was setting her life
straight, and an ex-convict who wanted to make amends for a wrong he had committed in
the past. I met a VISTA who was getting back on her feet after being homeless, and one
who was recovering from mental illness. I look back on my three years of service and
realize the incredible diversity represented in the individuals I served with. This is a great
reflection of VISTA, as well as a reflection of the fabulous country in which we live.

Yet diversity consists of so much more than outward appearances. Simply having a
black, white, yellow, brown or red face in the group does not ensure or protect diversity.
Diversity also consists of the differences, which are not so apparent. For example, an
individual‘s sexual preference may not always be immediately apparent to you. Likewise,
you probably couldn‘t tell if someone suffered from chronic depression or bipolar
disorder unless they told you.

Simply having a gay/lesbian person or a straight person in the group does not
automatically bring diversity, anymore than having a diabetic or a Native American in the
group brings diversity. So perhaps when we hear the term diversity and think of a
different colored face, we should consider some of these other factors.

Realize that these components, these aspects of who we are, do not alone ensure
diversity. As VISTA volunteers, we may find ourselves of a similar mindset or
philosophy. We may tend to forget that others may not believe the exact same things
that we do, or that others may even disagree vehemently with our political ideas. To have
diversity, we must try to understand and recognize the many differences of opinion
among individuals.

Remember that no one group or sect has a monopoly on truth. We hold our opinions and
ideas because they make sense to us, but others believe in what they do because it makes
sense of their reality.

As a VISTA you may meet Feminists, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians,
Independents, Populists, and even a Communist or two. Understand that this eclectic,
diverse smattering of ideas is a strength that we have. We are VISTAs; we are
representative of America. We are a melting pot not just of races, creeds, and genders,
but of ideas, opinions, concepts and beliefs.

Consider this an opportunity to learn about others, a chance to expand your horizons,
your views, and your background. Get to know your fellow VISTA members for more
than just what they are on the outside. Try to learn (and most of all respect) who they are
on the inside. You will be far richer for it. I guarantee it.
                     Role of the HOA-VISTA Program
I.     Hands On Atlanta

Hands On Atlanta is the administrator of a multi-agency VISTA program in the Atlanta
area. The actual work-site of a VISTA volunteer is refereed to as the Sponsoring Agency
(sometimes called VISTA Stations). Hands On Atlanta administers the VISTA program
to help lessen the work load of the state CNS office and to provide direct assistance to the
sponsoring agencies. Hands On Atlanta provides the sponsoring agency assistance in
receiving a VISTA Project. HOA then recruits and places the individual VISTA
members. Hands On Atlanta ensures that the individual VISTA projects are successful
and adhering to CNS guidelines.

HOA also provides monthly training/networking opportunities for VISTA members and
site supervisors. Hands On Atlanta also encourages inter-agency cooperation and
networking, and provides the logistics and resources for helping to support this.

II.    Corporation for National Service State Offices

Corporation state program staff seek out or respond to requests from potential sponsors
and aid in the development of AmeriCorps*VISTA projects. State staff assist potential
sponsors in defining project goals and objectives, determine program mission in accord
with the VISTA program, and ensure that a self-sustaining activity will be achieved
within the low income community.

Upon receiving final approval, the State Office provides assistance through pre-service
orientation/training to newly recruited VISTA members. The state office also provides
initial training to project sponsors, and sometimes works with the project sponsor to
provide in-service training and technical assistance for the VISTA members. The state
office also provides on-going training and support to project supervisors through periodic
site visits, meetings, and scheduled training events.

Corporation staff will review the sponsor‘s use of VISTA members in respect to
achievement of the goals and objectives specified in the project application during
periodic project monitoring visits. The sponsor will be advised of any specific
documentation that the state staff may wish to review during the visit.

III.   AmeriCorps*VISTA Headquarters Office

The AmeriCorps*VISTA Headquarters Office is located in the Corporation Headquarters
in Washington, DC. This office determines policies, administrative procedures, goals,
and budgetary requirements for effective program operation and monitors progress
toward achievement of national program goals and priorities.
                            Self-Directed In-Service

Definition: Self-directed in-service training will be defined as a workshop, seminar or
conference which is clearly of benefit to the VISTA member and is directly linked to the
accomplishment of those goals and objectives outlined in the VISTA Project Work Plan
under which the member is working.

VISTA members are strongly encouraged to seek out training opportunities offered
locally which will aid in the achievement of their VISTA duties and which can be
scheduled such that attendance will not conflict with the performance of their work. It is
recommended that each member identify and tailor these training opportunities to meet
individual needs, further career development objectives and correspond to the VISTA
Project Work Plan.

Reimbursement: Those requesting reimbursement for self-directed in-service training
through the VISTA Travel Grant will need to receive prior written approval through use
of the Self-Directed In-service Approval Form. A VISTA member may seek
reimbursement for up to two (2) self-directed in-service training's. The total amount
allotted per member will be $125 over twelve months. This amount will be used to cover
the following: workshop fees, parking, meals, and mileage.

When seeking reimbursement, the VISTA member will submit receipts and associated
mileage on the standard Mileage Reimbursement Form. Mail completed form and
attachments to the VISTA Leader for processing as per usual.

Examples: The range of training opportunities that may fit the needs of the VISTA
member and constitute acceptable in-service training is quite wide. The following are
offered as examples, which you may wish to consider.

1) Local Corporation for National Service programs offering training through Streams of
   Service, an AmeriCorps project, a Senior Corps project, or another VISTA project

2) Non-profit Resource Centers, other non-profit organizations

3) Local universities and technical schools offering applicable seminars

4) Computer or consulting companies offering intensive day-long courses

                To accomplish something important, two things are necessary:
                        a definite idea, and not quite enough time.
                                                                                 -Evan Esar
Mileage Reimbursement Guidelines for HOA VISTA Members
                 Defining Mileage Which is Reimbursable
1.   Reimbursable travel includes: driving to and from job related meetings, public
     speaking engagements, fundraising events, trips to acquire supplies or materials
     for agency use, going to the post office or copy center, participation in community
     outreach and/or any travel which is requested of you by your supervisor and
     which is deemed necessary in the performance of your VISTA goals and

2.   Travel to and from your primary job site, i.e. your office, school, warehouse, etc.
     is not reimbursable. The exceptions being, if you travel to more than one of these
     sites in a given day or if your regular work day has ended and you are required to
     return to a work site for a meeting or other job related responsibility.

3.   VISTA In-service Training: There will be times during your VISTA year when
     you will be informed of in-service training events. All VISTAs will be expected
     to attend these events. As part of the Memorandum of Agreement, your agency
     has agreed to allow you the necessary time away from your job site for this
     purpose. Please, keep track of your mileage, parking fees and any related
     expenses (keeping receipts, etc.) during this travel, as you will be reimbursed.

                       Travel Reimbursement Forms
1.   Important! Please, make copies of the VISTA Member Mileage Reimbursement
     form. Be sure to make enough to cover the upcoming year.

2.   Should our project be fortunate enough to receive a travel grant you will need to
     fill out and sign your reimbursement forms at the end of each month and mailed
     them to:
                        Hue Jacobs, VISTA Projects Supervisor
                   Hands On Atlanta1605 Peachtree Street, Suite 100
                                Atlanta Georgia, 30309

     These completed forms must be received by the 10th of each month. Mileage
     reimbursement forms that arrive after this date will not be paid out until the
     following month. You will be notified if Hands On Atlanta receives a travel
     grant, otherwise, you will submit your mileage reimbursement for directly to your
     Site Supervisor.

3.   In the event we do not receive a travel grant you will need to turn in your
     completed reimbursement forms to your supervisor for restitution. All sponsoring
     agencies have agreed to compensate VISTAs at the rate of thirty cents (.30) per
     mile for qualifying travel as part of the Memorandum of Agreement.
                              Glossary of Terms
Compensatory Time (sometimes called Blue Chip Days by the CNS State Office)

Compensatory or comp time refers to the time off work an individual is given to make up
for; offset; counterbalance those hours which have been worked in excess of the expected
45 hours per week. This time off is arranged and agreed to by the individual VISTA
involved and the affiliate supervisor and will not count against either sick leave or
personal leave.

Program Director

The state program director is the individual who administers the VISTA program through
the Corporation for National Service for the state in which you serve.

Project Director

The individual who writes and receives the VISTA grant through the Corporation for
National Service and who subsequently administers the program is the project director.
At Hands On Atlanta this person is referred to as the VISTA Programs Supervisor or
VISTA Manager.

Project Sponsor

The project to which you are assigned is the project sponsor. In this case, Hands On
Atlanta is your project sponsor.

Sponsoring Agency, VISTA Station or VISTA Affiliate

This is the non-profit agency that has been awarded a VISTA member through the Hands
On Atlanta VISTA Project. This is the agency that VISTA members are assigned to and
work at during their service year.

VISTA Leader

A VISTA Leader may be assigned to a project which utilizes eight or more VISTAs. It is
the responsibility of the VISTA Leader to assist sponsors and members in achieving
program objectives, and to aid the project director in administering the VISTA program.

Site Supervisor

The VISTA supervisor or affiliate supervisor is the individual on the affiliate level who
oversees the day to day activities of the VISTA member. This is often the executive
director or board president of the affiliate to which the VISTA is assigned. The VISTA
supervisor serves as the VISTAs immediate supervisor.
                 Hands on Atlanta VISTA Directory

Corporation for National Service, Georgia State Office

State Program Director, Darryl James

75 Piedmont Avenue North East, Suite 902

Atlanta GA     30303-2587

(404) 331-4646

FAX (404) 331-2898

Ms. Regina Grimes, Assistant

Corporation for National Service, Headquarters

1201 New York Avenue

Washington DC      20525

(202) 606-5000

VISTA Information Line (800) 942-2677

Hue Jacobs, VISTA Programs Supervisor

Hands On Atlanta

1605 Peachtree Street, Suite 100

Atlanta Georgia, 30309

(404) 872-2252 ext. 2034

FAX (404) 872-2251

Outsourced Administrative Systems, Inc.

AmeriCorps*VISTA Health Care Insurance

PO Box 78308

Indianapolis IN    48278-8308


(800) 847-8217

ReliaStar Life Insurance Company


PO Box 1548

Minneapolis MN       55440

(800) 328-4090

               It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.

                                        -James Thurber

                  …they had souls large enough to feel the wrongs of others.

                                   -Elizabeth Cady Stanton
      Notification of Plans to Travel Outside of Project Area

Name of VISTA

Name of HOA VISTA Affiliate

Date of Departure from Project Area

Date of Return to Project Area


Contact Number

Contact Name

Personal Leave will be taken during this travel?     YES                   NO

       If 'yes' you will need to attach the Request for Personal Leave form.

Signature of VISTA                                                 Date

Supervisor Name and Title     Supervisor Signature                 Date

This completed and signed form needs to be received prior to the date of travel
commencing. Mail forms to:
                                   VISTA Leader
                                  Hands On Atlanta
                           1605 Peachtree Street, Suite 100
                               Atlanta Georgia, 30309
                       Request for Personal Leave

Name of VISTA

HFH Affiliate

Dates of Leave



Will you be traveling outside your project area?    YES                      NO

       If 'yes' please attach Notification of Plans to Travel Outside Project area form.

Signature of VISTA                                                   Date

Supervisor Name and Title     Signature of Approval                  Date

This completed and signed form needs to be received prior to the date of leave
commencing. Mail forms to:

                                    VISTA Leader
                                  Hands On Atlanta
                            1605 Peachtree Street, Suite 100
                                Atlanta Georgia, 30309
             Self-Directed In-Service Approval Form

VISTA Member:



Name, address, phone number of organization and title of workshop, seminar or
conference for which member is seeking approval:

Contact Phone Number:

Associated Fees: $                Date(s):                        Hours:

Complete description of course:

Explain in detail how completion of this in-service training will improve your ability to
serve your project, and meet VISTA Project Work Plan goals and objectives.

Signature of Project Director Granting Approval                             Date

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