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LISC AmeriCorps is a federally- funded national service program that places dedicated individuals within partner organizations to work on valuable projects for ten months. Members receive insight into aspects of community development, leadership training, and a stipend to complete this work. In return, they help to drive important projects, work with community members to provide much-needed support to make a bigger impact in local neighborhoods, and an education award after successfully completing service. Nearly half of LISC AmeriCorps members who complete their service have been hired by the community-based organization where they served or by another non-profit/government agency. In 36 cities across the country, LISC has provided more than 2,700 AmeriCorps members to community programs since 1994.
Houston’s LISC AmeriCorps program was first implemented in 2004 with 8 members serving in neighborhoods such as Third Ward, Kashmere Gardens, and Denver Harbor. Nearly 100 people have participated in the LISC AmeriCorps program at 37 different partner organizations throughout Houston. They have contributed to a much-needed pipeline of diverse, committed leadership in our local communities. In many cases, AmeriCorps members are from the communities they serve. This program provides them with an opportunity to engage in a meaningful way to developing their own community while growing as leaders.
For the 2016 - 2017 LISC AmeriCorps Program, members served with Avenue CDC, Chinese Community Center, Connect Community, and Project GRAD in economic opportunity and community engagement goals. Members were involved in various programmatic work such as providing career counseling and co-teaching job readiness workshops in Alief, organizing community events for residents to meet with public and government officials in the Northside, and co-facilitating multilingual resident leadership focus groups in Gulfton. Members grew in their awareness, skills, and experience while amplifying the impact of organizations that are doing great work in local communities. You can view profiles of previous members serving in communities here.
With members piloting these types of efforts, LISC’s partner organizations can strengthen their organizational bandwidth and test out new ideas to deepen their mission. As part of LISC’s broader strategy to enhance the capacity of individuals and organizations, LISC connects communities with this and other resources to support hard-to-reach communities focusing on revitalization efforts in various Houston neighborhoods.
If you are interested in more information on the national LISC AmeriCorps program, more information can be found here.