Feerick Center Receives AmeriCorps/VISTA Grant

April 04, 2012

The Feerick Center for Social Justice of Fordham Law School has been awarded an AmeriCorps VISTA grant valued at over $90,000.

Beginning in September 2012, three AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers will work for three years at the Feerick Center to implement the new Legal Economic and Educational Advancement Project (LEEAP), which aims to engage retired lawyers in meaningful service opportunities, both legal and non-legal. Two of the volunteers will develop legal service opportunities while the third will develop non-legal service opportunities. Building on the Feerick Center's extensive connections to community-based organizations and government agencies, the VISTAs will identify existing service opportunities for senior volunteer attorneys in the key focus areas of consumer debt, credit reporting, and high school/college application assistance. The VISTAs will establish partnerships with community organizations and set up systems for recruiting and training volunteers.

Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) is an anti-poverty program created by the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 as the domestic version of the Peace Corps. There are currently over 5,000 VISTA members serving in over 1,000 projects throughout the nation. During the 1990s, VISTA was brought under the newly created AmeriCorps program, a division of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and was renamed AmeriCorps VISTA. VISTA members sign up with a host agency to a full-time term of service, 365 days. In return for their service, members are provided with orientation and training, a living stipend, settling in and transportation costs, child care benefits, and a basic health care plan. Upon completion of their one-year term, VISTA members have the option of receiving a small stipend or an education award of $4,725.