Each year, Strong City develops and supports nonprofit and community leaders who are passionate about service and community development.
As written in the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, “SEC. 104. (a) Volunteers serving under this part shall be required to make a full-time personal commitment to combating poverty and poverty-related problems. To the maximum extent practicable, the requirement for full-time commitment shall include a commitment to live among and at the economic level of the people served, and to remain available for service without regard to regular working hours, at all times during their periods of service, except for authorized periods of leave.”
No Strong City VISTA Member shall participate in the following as an identifiable member of Strong City VISTA or an official part of their duties:
• Partisan and non-partisan political activities, including voter registration.
• Direct or indirect attempts to influence passage or defeat of legislation or proposals by initiative petition.
• Labor or anti-labor organization or related activities.
• Religious instruction, worship services, proselytization, or any other religious activity as an official part of their duties.
Community Need Addressed
The Strong City VISTA Cohort implements sustainable solutions and expands the impact of education, economic opportunity, and healthy futures projects in Baltimore City as well as Montgomery, Prince George’s, Washington, and Howard counties. We continue to seek out partners across Maryland to offer National Service opportunities and placements.
Strong City Baltimore is proud to sponsor the longest withstanding AmeriCorps VISTA intermediary program in Maryland. We believe that AmeriCorps VISTA projects are integral to positive community empowerment. We leverage our resources and expertise to support and build the capacity of Maryland’s changemakers by offering recruitment, project development, administrative, and supervisory support.
Members serve for 365 days as full-time volunteers at a nonprofit organization, religious organization, or government agency. They work to eradicate poverty by fighting illiteracy, improving health services, strengthening community groups, and much more. Strong City-sponsored AmeriCorps VISTA members receive a solid foundation of skills they can use as a springboard for careers in government, nonprofits, education, and beyond.
Childcare assistance if eligible, Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Relocation allowance (if applicable), Student loan forbearance, Training
The Strong City VISTA Cohort prioritizes professional development for each of its members. The Cohort is gathered on the second Tuesday of each month for Professional Development Meetings, to network with local nonprofit leaders and learn valuable skills they can use during their service year and long after.
Skills you will gain
Strong City provides an On Site Orientation & Training (OSOT) at the start of the term and monthly Professional Development Meetings (PDMs) tailored to the VISTA cohort. Training topics have included volunteer management, sustainable project planning, grant writing and reporting, effective communication, and community organizing, among others. Our in-service trainings are an opportunity for team-building and resource sharing among our VISTA members and are often described as a highlight of the service experience through Strong City.
Competencies You Will Develop
Lead group discussion, Listen to and consider others' viewpoints, Maintain open lines of communication with others
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem, Capable of generating possible solutions, Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel, Improvise, Provide relevant expertise, Select and implement well-considered solution
Develop constructive working relationships and maintain them over time, Establish a high degree of trust and credibility with others, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers, Stay positive and outcome oriented, Use appropriate strategies and solutions for dealing with conflicts and differences to maintain a smooth workflow
Accepts responsibility, Anticipate the consequences of decisions, Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Involve people appropriately in decisions that may impact them, Quickly respond with a back-up plan if a decision goes amiss
Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create environment of contribution, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, Demonstrate the effective allocation of time and resources efficiently, Facilitate group planning, Set goals
Be pleasant, courteous, professional and respectful when dealing with internal and external customers or clients, Honor the privilege of being able to work with and for those being served, Provide personalized, prompt, and efficient service to meet the requirements, requests and needs of customers, Recognize the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality of those being served, Understand and anticipate the needs of others, Understand the importance of one's role in the functioning of the organization, Understand the significance of maintaining a healthful and safe environment