SC Service Leaders

Promoting Participation in AmeriCorps SC

SC Service Leaders Application

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Vision: To ensure that all individuals, regardless of economic standing, have the ability to combat South Carolina’s most pressing community challenges through participating in an AmeriCorps SC program.

Mission: To provide need-based scholarships, emergency financial support, and professional development resources to individuals who have committed to serving in a term of service with a South Carolina-based AmeriCorps program.

Overview: SC Service Leaders is creating an ecosystem of service in which every person, from all economic backgrounds, has the opportunity to serve and can begin to realize their full professional and civic potential. We believe that a term of service is a transformative experience and that everyone who wants to serve should have the opportunity to do so.

Unfortunately, the AmeriCorps living allowance does not provide the same level of financial support as it once did, and more common than not, AmeriCorps Members must access savings or work additional part-time jobs in order to make ends meet.  This economic reality significantly decreases the number of individuals that view national service as a viable option, and does not allow for equity among individuals from low-income communities to participate in AmeriCorps programming.

SC Service Leaders also believes that AmeriCorps service is a stepping stone to civic and professional leadership. Thus, in addition to the “on-the-job” skills, insights, and work-ethic that AmeriCorps Members gain during their term of service, steps should also be taken to connect Members to top-tier professional development networks that can help them further leverage their abilities to make a lasting impact.

Strategy: To increase the ability for all persons to have an opportunity help address pressing community needs, and also grow their personal and professional qualities by serving in an AmeriCorps SC program, SC Service Leaders will implement the following:

  1. Administer an annual fellowship program that will provide financial scholarships, as well as professional development opportunities to individuals who demonstrate financial need and who wish to participate in a term of service with an AmeriCorps SC program.
  2. Provide an opportunity for current AmeriCorps SC Members to apply for in-service financial assistance to help address unexpected financial challenges that arise during their term of service.

 

Apply to Become a SC Service Leaders Fellow

According to studies conducted by Service Leaders Rising, the organization found that, generally, full-time AmeriCorps Members must access an additional $5,000 during their term of service in order to help meet their expenses. Based on this information, SC Service Leaders’ goal is to provide scholarships that range from between $2,000 to $5,000 to up to four individuals annually who plan to serve in either a full or part-time term of service with an AmeriCorps SC program

 

About the SC Service Leaders Fellowship

Application Deadline: Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis, but complete applications must be received no later than July 15th, 2020.

Eligibility: In order to be considered for a SC Service Leaders Fellowship, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Have received an offer of enrollment to serve in a term of service with an AmeriCorps SC South program.
    • Eligible programs are listed on the following website: https://www.uwasc.org/americorps
    • Individuals who intend on enrolling in either a part or full-time AmeriCorps SC term of service may apply to the SC Service Leaders Fellowship program; however, priority consideration will be given to applicants that intent to serve in a full-time 1700hr term.
  2. Must be able to demonstrate financial hardship by submitting the following:
    • A bank statement demonstrating less than $5,000 in savings.
    • A prior year tax return with a total gross income of less than:
      • $23,221 if single
      • $38,693 if single with one child
      • $45,330 if single with more than one child
      • $46,537 if married with one or more children
    • Additionally, as part of the application process applicants will also be required to certify that they do not receive any financial support or income from family members, partners, friends, acquaintances, or other parties.

*Financial eligibility limits were established by consulting top-tier limits in self-sufficiency standards feature on pg. 16 of the Self Sufficiency Standard for South Carolina.

  1. Are able to provide a letter of recommendation.

Commitment Requirements:

If selected to become a SC Service Leaders Fellow and receive scholarship funding, Fellows must commit to the following:

  1. Enroll in an AmeriCorps SC service position that has been offered to them.
    (Scholarship awards and funding will not be issued until the Fellow has been enrolled.)
  1. Remain enrolled in the service position, and complete the program and service hour requirements applicable to the position.
    (Scholarship funds will be distributed on a quarterly basis, contingent on proof that the Fellow is still enrolled and actively serving in the AmeriCorps SC program.)
  1. Provide a brief bio at the beginning of the Fellow’s term of service, which will be featured on the SC Service Leaders’ website and social media accounts.
  2. Attend quarterly professional development opportunities.
    (May require occasional in-state travel. The cost of mileage to attend these events will be factored into the scholarship award, and gas/transportation must be paid for by the Fellow.)
  1. Provide an end-of-term write-up that describes the Fellow’s service experience, key takeaways or accomplishments, and next-step goals.
    (This write-up will be featured on the SC Service Leaders’ website and social media accounts.)

Application Process:

Candidates must submit an application here: Application form.

The application form will request candidates to respond to the following criteria:

Applicant Information

  • Name:
  • Phone Number:
  • Email:
  • Address:
  • Name of AmeriCorps SC program that you are seeking to enroll in:
  • Email address for program staff contact at the AmeriCorps SC Program:

Narratives

  • Describe why you are interested in participating in a term of service with an AmeriCorps SC program. (500 words or less)
  • Describe the impact you hope to make during your year of service (500 words or less):
  • Describe what personal or profession goals you have for yourself, and how a year of service will help you achieve those goals (500 words or less):

Supporting Documents to Attach

  1. Proof of Offer of Enrollment into an AmeriCorps SC program. (Typically an email offer from the program.)
  2. Copy of prior year tax return. (Sensitive information may be blacked-out)
  3. Bank statement (Sensitive information may be blacked-out)
  4. Letter of recommendation to the SC Service Leaders Fellows program.

Certifications

  • Certification that you understand the Commitments and Requirements of participating in the Fellowship program and that you agree to adhere to those requirements if selected to receive a scholarship award and become a SC Service Leaders Fellow.
  • Certification that you do not receive any additional financial support or income from family, partners, friends, or other parties.

Anticipated Review and Award Process

Timeline

  • July 15th, 2020 : Application due no later than this date
  • July 16th-17th, 2020: Application review and clarification period
  • July 20th, 2020: Notification of Intent to Fund
  • Upon receiving proof of program enrollment: First scholarship payment
  • September 2020: Kick-off and first professional development opportunity
  • December 2020: Second professional development opportunity, and second scholarship payment
  • February 2021: Third professional development opportunity, and third scholarship payment
  • May 2021: Fourth professional development opportunity, graduation, and fourth scholarship payment

Review Process

Each scholarship application will be reviewed by SC Service Leaders’ Advisory Board, which will use a variety of factors to select scholarship recipients.  Contact information for Advisory Board Members will not be provided to applicants, nor will candidates be provided with feedback regarding the application.

Apply for In-Service Emergency Assistance

Please check back in September 2020 for updates.

 

Meet our SC Service Leaders

Please check back in September 2020 for updates 

Contact

For more information, please contact Brent Kossick, SC Service Leaders Co-Chair, at brent.kossick@alignedimpactcs.com

Donate to the SC Service Leaders Fund