AmeriCorps is a federal service program that engages helpful individuals in community service at organizations across the country. AmeriCorps members at the American Red Cross serve under-resourced communities by providing preparedness education, responding to disasters, and engaging volunteers. Members benefit from a biweekly stipend and health insurance during their service term and are eligible for a $10,000 education award upon the successful completion of the program.
Our AmeriCorps program is looking for passionate individuals who want to make a significant impact on others through public service while gaining meaningful professional experience.
California Safe Corps (CSCS) is a state-wide AmeriCorps program whose members respond to disasters, connect disaster clients with helpful resources, teach vulnerable communities to prepare before disasters strike, and support the organization's volunteer workforce. They also become instructors and deliver a no-cost CPR and First Aid program to under-resourced communities.
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Amber Gibson, Program Director
Amber is a former AmeriCorps member who served alongside Red Cross volunteers and staff during Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts from 2005-2008. She has a master's degree in post-war recovery studies from the University of York. During her time in college, she had the privilege of working with the ministry of public health in Lebanon to draft their first national mental health care strategy. Before starting this position, Amber served as the disaster workforce engagement manager helping to coordinate the engagement of more than 2,000 Red Cross disaster volunteers in Los Angeles.
California AmeriCorps Disaster Team (CADT) is a state-wide AmeriCorps program whose members also focuses on the areas of community preparedness education, disaster response and volunteer management; however, members of this program have the unique opportunity to deploy to disasters across the state under the direction of the California Service Commission to assist with response and recovery efforts.
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Minimum Eligibility Requirements
Must be able to serve approximately 40 hours per week, from 9/13/2021 to 7/22/2022
Minimum of 18 years old
Able to pass a criminal background check
Holds a High School Diploma or GED
Must be a U.S. citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident
Possess a valid driver’s license
Applicants who currently reside outside of California should be prepared to relocate, if selected for the position
Service locations may include:
Los Angeles County (Santa Monica, Long Beach, Arcadia, Ventura, Antelope Valley, East LA, Downtown LA)
Bay Area (San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Concord)
Our AmeriCorps programs recruit passionate individuals who seek to make a positive difference in the lives of others through public service. Successful candidates are service-minded, collaborative, and adaptable individuals prepared to serve full-time for 10.5-months.
Day-to-day duties depend upon specific roles. Nevertheless, AmeriCorps members across all regions deliver preparedness presentations, respond to local and national emergencies, and assist clients on their road to recovery from disasters. AmeriCorps members also help build the organization’s capacity by supporting our Youth Volunteer groups, recruiting and training new volunteers, and by leading specialized volunteer teams across all lines of service.
Invaluable experience from a nationally and internationally respected organization.
The opportunity to build your network and accrue professional development skills including communication, project management, community organizing and presentation delivery.
Extensive opportunities for Red Cross and Emergency Management training.
Bi-weekly stipend of $782.61 (before taxes), health, dental and vision coverage, and childcare assistance for those who qualify. Member may also be eligible for CalFresh benefits.
Federal student loan forbearance during the period of service. Accrued interest of those loans will also be paid with the successful completion of the program.
AmeriCorps members who successfully complete a full-time, 1700-hour service term are eligible to receive a combined $10,000 Education Award to use for educational expenses at an eligible institution, to repay qualified student loans, or both.
I cannot thank the Disaster Team enough for all they have done. We continue to be blessed by the generosity and support of the American Red Cross these AmeriCorps members. I remember fondly when this team arrived. There are no words that can express our gratitude for all of the care, support, energy, and time members devoted to helping us vaccinate over 160,000 arms in South Los Angeles. Thank you for all of the support of California Volunteers, the Americorps, and the American Red Cross.
Service members have been instrumental and tremendously vital in our vaccine distribution program at KEDREN HEALTH. It is such a pleasure and joy serving with each of them.
Thank you infinitely for all your help and all the support you have given us. I’d especially like to thank you for reading my emails, for giving me the confidence [to be] someone with a voice whom another can listen to or whose letters another can read. I hope never to relive this feeling of desolation and hopelessness. What could I say if it wasn’t for you?
My husband told me you called to see how we were doing. He told me, “Don’t worry, a Red Cross representative called to see how we’re doing. See? Someone does care about us.” I doubted your existence until that day I read your email.
You brought to me hope and the will to continue forth. I tell you, I have many plans. And this eruption of visions, plans, and hopes is thanks to you.
And so I thank you for changing my life.
Members benefit from many opportunities to engage in emergency management training, especially during their first month of service. Thereafter, the program offers a mid-year retreat and sporadic trainings throughout the service term to further develop the member’s professional capacities. Training includes becoming CPR/First Aid certified, Psychological First Aid, becoming a Red Cross preparedness instructor, and so much more.
Life After AmeriCorps
Our programs invite members to join a 25+ year legacy of getting things done to strengthen under-resourced communities across the United States. In return, we want to help you. Members are awarded service hours dedicated to the transition from service to their life after AmeriCorps, whether this be the pursuit of higher education, the launch of a new career, or enrollment in another service term.
Members develop a project beyond the normal scope of their responsibilities to enhance their service experience and to leave a lasting contribution to their program, the organization, or their department. Past projects include preparedness videos for social media publication, a local study of diversity, and a Power BI app to streamline one of the organization’s signature services.
Join a network of like-minded leaders who are passionate about improving underserved communities. AmeriCorps alumni receive access to special benefits and resources. For example, many colleges and universities match the Education Award and offer additional AmeriCorps scholarships. Once you complete your service, leverage the Employers of National Service network to connect with hundreds of employers from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors who are committed to hiring alumni.
Mid-Year Training Retreat
AmeriCorps staff hosts a mid-year retreat to afford members an opportunity to re-connect to their year of service and to focus on their professional development. Members benefit from a variety of networking and training opportunities amid a serene landscape.
We host happy hours, movie nights, game nights, and virtual talk shows to encourage members to build relationships with their colleagues and to leverage the network they’ve built here well past their exit from the program.
National Service Days
AmeriCorps members come together multiple times throughout the year to celebrate heroes such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez by volunteering to improve the lives of others in partnership with local organizations. AmeriCorps have been charged with leading volunteer efforts on these day for the past quarter century. Members will have the opportunity to volunteer with a new organization on these days to connect with their communities and inspire others to get involved.
Members across both programs have the exciting opportunity to deploy to disaster response operations anywhere in the United States. These engagements may last anywhere between two and four consecutive weeks. In previous years, members responded to wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members benefit from many opportunities to engage in emergency management training, especially during their first month of service. Thereafter, the program offers a mid-year retreat and sporadic trainings throughout the service term to further develop members professional capacities. Member engage in extensive emergency management and AmeriCorps training their first three weeks of service. From there, the program provides monthly trainings, a mid-year retreat that includes extensive work on Life After AmeriCorps plan, and other professional development opportunities through the term of service. Trainings include becoming CPR/First Aid certified, Psychological First Aid, and becoming a Red Cross preparedness instructor, and so much more.
Members have the unique opportunity to serve at the world’s largest humanitarian agency, the Red Cross. Being a Red Crosser provides enormous opportunities for members including extensive emergency management training, mentorship from the premier humanitarian leaders in California as well as connections to the larger Red Cross network through professional development opportunities and national events.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a maximum age limit?
No, we welcome members of all ages at least 18 years and older.
Do I need a college degree?
No, applicants need only a high school diploma or GED. There is no higher education requirement.
How does the stipend work?
The AmeriCorps stipend is distributed biweekly via direct deposit. AmeriCorps stipends are subject to the same taxes as a normal paycheck.
What is an education award?
Members are eligible to receive an education award of $10,000 upon the successful completion of their service term. This award may be used to repay qualified student loans and to pay current educational expenses at eligible institutions of higher education and training programs.
This award comprises two separate purses: the Segal Education Award and the California for All Education Award. The Segal award is dispensed directly to the institution that holds the members’ debt. The California award is distributed to the member as a lump sum via direct deposit. Members’ use of the latter is subject to audit by the California Service Commission.
Do you provide AmeriCorps members a place to live?
No, although some AmeriCorps programs do offer housing, programs hosted by the American Red Cross do not.
Do AmeriCorps members get vacation days and/or holidays?
Yes, members who commit to serve a full term are afforded six fixed holidays and 80 hours of personal leave provided they are on schedule to serve a minimum of 1,700 hours by their end date. Personal leave is subject to prior approval.
May I leave the program early if I fulfill the minimum number of hours before the end date? May I leave the program to accept a job offer or to attend school?
No, members must serve the full, 10.5-month term to complete the program successfully. Members who leave the program prematurely forfeit the education award and jeopardize both their eligibility to serve in another federal service program and to assume a federal position in the future.
Would I earn additional stipend money if I serve beyond the minimum hour requirement?
No, AmeriCorps members receive a fixed stipend every two weeks. Although members must serve approximately 40 hours a week, some weeks are likely to be more demanding.
Would I be eligible to receive the education award if I leave the program early due to unforeseen circumstances?
Yes, members remain eligible to receive a prorated education award provided the premature termination of their service contract is due to compelling circumstances outside their control, e.g., serious injury, severe illness, death in the family, relocation of a spouse, military service, etc.
Could I defer student loans during my term of service?
Yes, members may place eligible student loans on forbearance for the duration of their service term. Upon successful completion of the program, the National Service Trust will reimburse 100% of the interest members accrued on eligible student loans during their service term.
If I accept the program’s health and dental coverage, will this money be deducted from my stipend?
No, the Red Cross will pay for monthly health and dental premiums, but members are responsible for paying the deductible and any co-payments. The AmeriCorps health plan is considered, “minimum essential coverage,” as defined by the Affordable Care Act.
May I waive the program’s health and dental insurance to continue using my own?
Yes, but—per the Affordable Care Act—members who reject this benefit must provide proof of alternative health coverage.
Would I qualify for CalFresh benefits?
Possibly, members should apply for CalFresh benefits upon enrollment, but this is not a guaranteed benefit as factors outside the program’s control inform members’ eligibility.
Does the program provide childcare accommodations?
The program offers subsidized childcare for eligible members.
Would I need to drive my own vehicle while I serve the community?
Members are personally responsible for travel to their assigned Red Cross office(s). Members must, however, travel to all pre-scheduled commitments and any disaster response operations in one of the organization’s branded vehicles. Should branded vehicles be unavailable, members may request reimbursement for any mileage incurred on their personal vehicle.
Rideshare costs are not reimbursable.
Would I need to have a driver’s license?
Yes, members must have a valid driver’s license to serve in our AmeriCorps programs. The Red Cross will review all members’ driving records to authorize their use of Red Cross vehicles.
Should I expect to deploy during my term?
Safe Corps and Disaster Team members alike may have the opportunity to deploy nationally under the direction of Red Cross, but this genre of deployment is not obligatory. Voluntary deployments are subject to prior approval.
Members of the Disaster Team, however, MUST deploy at the behest of the California Service Commission. Such deployment summons are impromptu, and members may remain deployed for as many as three weeks at a time. During their assignment, members may be expected to distribute emergency supplies, staff shelters, manage volunteers, conduct damage assessments, etc.
What financial responsibility would I assume if I deploy?
Red Cross will pay for members’ travel, lodging, and meals during their deployment assignments.
Does Red Cross hire its AmeriCorps members?
Red Cross has hired AmeriCorps alumni on rare occasions, but members should not expect to be hired as a result of their service. Furthermore, Red Cross will not hire members who terminate their service contract prematurely to pursue employment with the organization.
Could I entertain school and/or a part-time job during my service term?
Yes, members may attend school or work a part-time job during their service term provided they prioritize their commitment to the program.
Historically, members who juggle school or part-time jobs struggle to meet the capricious needs of their role. Members are often expected to serve late nights, early mornings, and weekends at irregular intervals.
Would I serve in person or remotely?
As of June 2021, the program expects to resume in-person service by the start of the 2021-22 service term. Hiring Mangers will keep candidates apprised of any changes to this plan.
AmeriCorps member responding to the Ridgecrest Earthquake in 2019.
AmeriCorps members at a Pillowcase Project presentation in our Northern California Coastal region.
Los Angeles AmeriCorps members at a Sound the Alarm event in 2020.