AmeriCorps and NAI Vista Program


The Michigan State University Native American Institute

The Michigan State University Native American Institute is recruiting for a one year appointed AmeriCorps VISTA Member to support the federal My Brother’s Keeper Initiative (MBK) in Michigan.  The MBK Member will serve in the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians community located in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.  The appointment period has a targeted start date of June 11th, 2016

The MBK Member is required to have at least a B.A level degree or comparable applied experience in one of the following areas: Education, Social Science, Social Work, or Communication Arts.  The MBK Member must also have experience or familiarity with working with underrepresented youth populations. Project management skills are also highly desired. 

The specific project the MBK Member will be appointed to will be to conduct an observational study to identify (1) where the K-12 achievement gap begins, and in what subject areas, for American Indian male youth from the Sault Ste. Marie tribal community and (2) existing educational programming support and their effective outcomes. This baseline data will be provided to the Sault Ste. Marie tribe as a comprehensive resource to help develop more impactful k-12 programming and curriculum for American Indian male youth. 

 The MBK Member’s specific duties will include:

  1. Coordinate the pilot project for the observational study (including develop procedures and systems for collecting data) in conjunction with experts from Michigan State University and in consultation with tribal government representatives.
  2. Identify existing programming that targets American Indian male youth and/or at-risk students in general in the Sault Ste. Marie community. 
  3. Recruit volunteers (including developing forms and volunteer assignments) to participate in the study (i.e. Sault Ste. Marie tribal community members and government officials, teachers and principals)
  4. Conduct the observational study under the direction of the VISTA supervisor and in consultation with relevant Sault Ste. Marie tribal partners during the fall semester.
  5. Work with tribal government, educational (including Michigan State University), and community experts in the development of a meaningful analytical framework.
  6. Consult with supervisor and experts on the development and production of the report for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe.

The Native American Institute will provide:

  1. On-site orientation at Michigan State University and at Sault Ste. Marie.
  2. Mentoring and supervision over the course of the year.
  3. Professional training opportunities relevant to the VISTA member’s position.
  4. Office space at the Native American Institute and computer and campus phone and internet access.
  5. Funds for required to travel to site locations, meetings, and campus parking.
  6. Help in identifying/securing housing for the year. 
  7. Additional provisions and requirements are outlined by the AmeriCorps VISTA program below.

Please send a cover letter and resume to Dr. John Norder, Director of the Native American Institute at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or to Mary Calcatera, Academic Specialist in the Native American Institute at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

While the position is supervised by staff in the Native American Institute the VISTA Member is supported through the AmeriCorps VISTA program, and requires and provides the following:

About AmeriCorps VISTA: AmeriCorps Vista members commit to serve full-time for one year at the locations specified by and on the program described in the position announcement.  The general goals of AmeriCorps are to work to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses and strengthen community groups, with the ultimate goal to eliminate poverty in the United States.

Applicant AmeriCorps VISTA Member Requirements and Commitment:

  1. Because all of the projects involve working with children and/or vulnerable populations in some capacity or another, Americorps VISTA members will be required to complete a criminal background check and child abuse clearance.
  2. VISTA members will serve full time for a period of one year.  All VISTA positions require full time service, with occasional responsibilities during evenings and weekends.
  3. VISTA members will participate in local orientation, regularly scheduled professional development sessions and team meetings throughout the year with the institutational host for the program.
  4. VISTA members are required to attend a mandatory pre-service orientation prior to beginning their year of service.  All transportation and lodging costs for Pre-Service Orientation (PSO) will be covered for individuals attending PSO.  Pre-Service Orientation will be held in Chicago, Illinois, or Columbus, Ohio, on June 20-23, 2016.

Stipend and Benefits:

  1. AmeriCorps VISTA members receive an annual living allowance of $11,676 to $11,797 before taxes.  The amount is based on your host site location.  There is also the option to enroll in the VISTA Health Benefits Program.  Some locations offer the VISTA members an opportunity to take advantage of housing opportunities on a campus and/or provide assistance in securing housing. 
  2. AmeriCorps VISTA members who  successfully complete their year of service can choose to receive either an Education Award of $5,775 or End of Service Stipend of $1,500. The Education Award, which is subject to taxation, can be applied to any federally backed student loan or used to pay tuition in the future.
  3. NOTE: per the policy of the Corporation for National and Community Service, as of May 2015, AmeriCorp VISTA members CAN engage in additional paid work during their year of service. For detailed information about the updated AmeriCorps VISTA outside employment policy please click here.
  4. For detailed information about AmeriCorps VISTA, including member benefits, please click here.

About the My Brother’s Keeper Program

President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.  Through this initiative, we are taking important steps to connect young people to mentoring, support networks, and the skills they need to find a good job or go to college and work their way into the middle class.