AmeriCorps VISTAs are placed through the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas at service sites across Texas. Each VISTA serves full-time for one year at their placement site with at our partner agencies. They help to improve health services, create and evaluate programs, strengthen community groups, conduct outreach, and much, much more. VISTA members and their service sites create, implement, expand, and improve programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty.
Multicultural Refugee Coalition (MRC) is an innovative nonprofit organization in Austin, TX, employing refugees in fair-wage, dignified work through two social enterprises: a sewing studio and a commercial farm. The New Leaf Agriculture program trains and employs refugee farmers from traditional farming cultures in dignified work that reconnects them to the earth in their new communities. On a 12-acre commercial farm east of Austin, farmers learn about Central Texas agriculture methods while using organic and regenerative practices. Additionally, New Leaf provides community garden plots and resources such as seeds, transplants and tools to 20 refugee families so they can produce fresh, healthy produce to feed their families. At MRC’s Open Arms Studio, refugees have the opportunity to be trained in production sewing techniques and become eligible for full-time fair-wage employment. One of only a few social enterprises in the U.S. providing private-label manufacturing, Open Arms specializes in producing home goods, accessories and clothing basics. Learn more at https://www.mrcaustin.org
The MRC Austin Programs and Evaluation VISTA will research, develop and implement data collection processes to demonstrate the short-term and long-term impact of MRC’s programs, including updating the logic model and collecting quantitative and qualitative impact data. Other responsibilities will include the research and design of supportive programs for refugees such as English classes, financial and digital literacy, and research on other projects such as democratic decision-making processes and skills matrix management. To achieve program goals, VISTA will recruit volunteers for the new programs as well as manage and improve the current volunteer management system.
Open Arms Studio = sewing studio; New Leaf Agriculture = commercial farm and community gardens
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
Professional development and network building
Permits attendance at school during off hours
Prohibits paid work outside of the sponsoring agency at any time
Subject to criminal background check