Scholars in Service

scholars

At this time, Americorps is not funding this program.  We hope this will continue in the future.  Watch for updates!

Overview:

Scholars in Service to Pennsylvania is an AmeriCorps Education Award Only program (Ed Award). This means that participating students enroll as AmeriCorps members on a part-time basis and receive a partial Education Award at the end of their term. Students may choose to do a "quarter-time" or "minimum-time" commitment. A student who completes 450 hours of service over one calendar year can earn an education award of $1,468; a student who completes 300 hours of service over one year can earn a $1,175 education award. The award can be used to pay for any legitimate educational expense at their current undergraduate institution or to pay for future educational expenses, as well as to re-pay student loans.

Students earn their educational award at the completion of their term of service.  The award can be used to pay for any legitimate educational expenses at the current undergraduate institution or to pay for future educational expenses (up to seven years). It can also be used to pay for existing federal educational loans.  Note that the educational award is taxable.

Scholars will commit to volunteering with one primary community organization or project throughout the school year. This may be supplemented with ad-hoc volunteering and project leadership in other areas, but primarily, relationships should be built with one primary organization (at most two) so that the Scholar and the community can both achieve the maximum benefit. Students may work with a second organization during the summer months, if necessary.

The Scholars in Service to Pennsylvania program has a focus on volunteer recruitment and management.  Students will need to meet with the agency and create a job description which will be handed in to the Center for Service & Social Justice with the AmeriCorps enrollment paperwork at the end of May.

Aside from the intrinsic benefits of service and the added benefits of being a part of a leadership program on their campus, students will receive significant benefits from participating in an AmeriCorps program. Their Ed Awards will allow them to earn $1,175 or $1,468 per service term for college expenses. (Please note that the Ed Award is taxable.) While an AmeriCorps member, they will also have all of their federal student loans deferred, and will have their loans placed in forbearance (meaning the interest is paid for by the Corporation for National Service Trust).


Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I apply?

Internal applications become available in early April. Once accepted, AmeriCorps enrollment paperwork must be completed and handed in to the Center for Service & Social Justice during Final Exam week.

Are clearances required?

Yes.  AmeriCorps requires students to complete clearances.  The campus supervisor will provide you with details as you apply.

How many hours do I need to spend at my service site each week?

Volunteer at site 5-6 hours per week – including the summer if necessary.

 What are the other commitments?

* Focus on recruiting and managing additional volunteers for your primary host site for an additional 4-5 hours per week.

* Hours in the Center for Service & Social Justice coordinating projects and/or with an academic department coordinating service-learning can count as service hours.  Typically, the SISPAs have evening office hours approximately two hours per week.

* Recruit other students to volunteer.

* Participate in regular training and/or reflection sessions. We typically meet monthly as a group as well as individually.

* In April, the SISPAs typically complete a group service project together.

* Informing your campus supervisor immediately any time you are unable to complete your service hours as planned.

* All other responsibilities as needed.

How do I keep track of my hours?

It is important to complete all necessary AmeriCorps paperwork in a timely fashion. Service hours must be logged electronically on the myvolunteerpage.com.

For more information, contact Lori Moran, Assistant Director of The Center for Service & Social Justice at lori.moran@scranton.edu or 570-941-7429, or by stopping by her office in DeNaples 205-B Monday-Thursday from 8:30-1:30.

Scholars in Service Website Information

sispa

2012-13 Scholars In Service Participants are Left to Right: Brian Dolan, Matthew Tarrantino, Raquel Biondi, Kelly Judge, Deanna Lindberg and Victoria McAllister

Missing from photo: Anna Phelan