Serve With
AmeriCorps Emergency Response

Emergency Response Initiative – Summer 2021

The pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated the inequalities in our communities. Beginning in June, AmeriCorps members will be deployed to help organizations and schools that need more help to serve Minnesota communities. AmeriCorps members will serve in organizations and schools to help students PreK-grade 12 and will also provide support to individuals and families facing food insecurity, homelessness, and isolation.

Position Summary
The need is now. COVID-19 continues to create challenges for Minnesotans — and you can make all the difference! Offer your time and talent to support your community and meet critical needs.

As part of the Emergency Response Initiative, members will focus on helping support emergency relief efforts across the state including: meeting the educational needs of students, addressing food and housing insecurity, mitigating social isolation and more. 

We are currently recruiting for summer 2021. Members will be placed at community organizations to serve 35 hours per week from June 7 to August 14. 

This is an AmeriCorps member position with the AmeriCorps Emergency Response Initiative. As part of our team, you’ll join an amazing cohort of about 700 members determined to spend the summer making a difference. Click to read the position description.

What to Expect

  • Make an impact by helping organizations respond to local and statewide needs related to or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Gain hands-on experience while embedded in a public entity, non-profit or school.
  • Be an ambassador of the program by sharing your experience with the wider community.

Where do you want to make a difference?

Academic Enrichment, PreK-Grade 5

Focus on academic enrichment, tutoring, and mentoring students in preschool through grade 5. Additional tasks could include supporting summer school programming, meal distribution, family resource access, and building/facilities projects related to the pandemic (i.e. setting up classrooms for distancing, additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols).

Members will be placed in school and early learning settings.

Academic Enrichment, Grades 6-12

Focus on academic enrichment, tutoring, and mentoring students in grades 6-12. Additional tasks could include food and resource distribution, support services for families, and volunteer coordination. 

Members will be placed in school settings and community organizations.

Community Support

Emergency response-related service could include a combination of several response tasks such as addressing food insecurity; housing insecurity; volunteer coordination; connecting people to community resources; resource distribution; assisting with community needs assessments; supporting services and resources for adults; social isolation mitigation; and/or communications and marketing support.

Members will be placed in community organizations.

Not sure which application to complete? Contact us for help with the process! Click here.

Benefits

Living Stipend

Members are paid a stipend regularly for their term of service, totaling $3,750. This stipend is taxed as income, and members complete a W-4.

Education Award

Members who successfully complete their terms of service will receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award education award of $1,311. Awarded at the end of your service term, it can be used to pay educational costs at eligible post secondary institutions, or to repay qualified student loans.

The award has a seven-year expiration period and is considered taxable income in the year that it is used. 

Members who are 55 or older at the start of their service have an additional option. They may choose to transfer the education award to a child, stepchild, grandchild, step-grandchild or foster child. The recipient of a transferred award has 10 years to use it, beginning on the date the member earned the award.

Federal Student Loan Forbearance and Interest Repayment

If a member is making payments to a federally-backed education loan, payments can be put into forbearance during their service. Upon successful completion of the program, the accrued interest will be paid by the National Service Trust. Learn more about loan forbearance on the AmeriCorps website.

Health Insurance

Members are eligible to enroll in health insurance, with 100% of the premium paid. The plan is managed through Cigna and includes medical coverage for individual members. It does not cover dependents.

For greatest savings under this plan, members are encouraged to use in-network healthcare providers. Search the Cigna website (using the plan option “Open Access Plus, OA Plus, Choice Fund OA Plus”) to find providers in the network.

Child Care Assistance

Members may qualify to receive child-care assistance through a program administered by GAP Solutions, Inc. In order to be eligible for the assistance program, members must meet income requirements. To learn more about how to apply, please see our guide. You can also visit the GAP AmeriCorps website for additional details, frequently asked questions and the rules and regulations of the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

ServeMinnesota’s Emergency Response Initiative was created to help Minnesota communities affected by COVID-19. In partnership with Minnesota Alliance With Youth, Reading & Math, Inc., and True North AmeriCorps in Duluth, nearly 700 AmeriCorps members will assist organizations across the state this summer, especially in the areas of math and reading tutoring, food insecurity, homelessness, and more.

AmeriCorps is a national service program often referred to as the “Domestic Peace Corps.” Here in Minnesota, more than 2,000 individuals serve in more than 200 communities annually. People who join AmeriCorps (called “members'') commit to a year of service in exchange for a modest living stipend and an education award to help pay for tuition or student loans. Members are typically passionate, committed individuals who are dedicated to serving the needs of their communities. Members gain valuable professional, educational, and life benefits, and the experience has a lasting impact on the members and the communities they serve. AmeriCorps is a real-life education and work experience wrapped into one.

The program will provide each member with an AmeriCorps orientation at the start of service. The service site will be responsible for training their AmeriCorps member(s) in what they will be doing at the service site. The site will be able to collaborate with the program manager about what information will be essential to successful service of the AmeriCorps member.

Members will begin their service on June 7 and end on August 14.

The application process opens on March 8th and closes on May 19th. Positions across Minnesota are filled on a rolling basis so you are encouraged to submit your application earlier in the process when the most positions will be available. Once you apply, a recruiter will review your application and, if you meet the minimum qualifications, will reach out to you to schedule an interview. Selection decisions are made within 1-2 weeks of your interview and by May 21st at the latest. 

Great members come from all walks of life. No matter your experience and background, the most important qualification is a desire to serve your community. That said, you also need to meet the following minimum qualifications by the time you begin your service. 

  • Are dependable and have a history of good attendance
  • Able to understand and follow instructions
  • Have basic computer skills (like email and navigating online)
  • Can speak, read, and write English fluently
  • 18 years of age or older with a high school diploma or equivalent
  • A citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States*
  • Agree to and successfully complete a background check

*Applicants who have received deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are not eligible to serve as AmeriCorps members at this time.

We are committed to providing a safe service environment for all AmeriCorps members. Sites need to verify that they have implemented safety protocols in compliance with the federal, state, and local recommendations. In addition, members will be provided PPE as part of their service year. Members are not allowed to serve in COVID-positive sites (such as hotels for quarantine) at this time.

A day in the life of an AmeriCorps Emergency Response member is dynamic, flexible, and always evolving to meet the site and community needs. Depending on the service site, Emergency Response members will fill their day supporting student academic enrichment and tutoring, food security, housing stability, and helping the site connect people to resources. Members can also anticipate attending regular meetings and training to receive support and guidance from the program and site staff.

The living stipend will be paid regularly and will total $3,750 for the entire service term.

Yes. The education award for members in the Minnesota AmeriCorps Emergency Response Initiative will receive an education award in the amount of $1,311. To learn more about the AmeriCorps education award benefit, visit the AmeriCorps website.

Yes. Members who serve 35 hours a week or more receive individual health care benefits with 100 percent of the monthly premium covered. 

Individuals can serve up to a total of four terms of service with AmeriCorps State and National.  If the summer is your first term of AmeriCorps service, you can serve up to an additional three terms.

While the majority of available positions will require in-person service, there may be some virtual opportunities available depending on the needs of our partner organizations. We will update our list of partner organizations by April 9, 2021.

ServeMinnesota is the Minnesota state service commission, and as such administers AmeriCorps state programs to address critical community needs. The Emergency Response Initiative is a strategic investment of AmeriCorps resources across multiple AmeriCorps programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in our state.